Features February 18, 2018

Mallrat: making pop cool again

Elise Ferrari
Features Editor
Mallrat: making pop cool again

Pop is no longer a dirty word, and commercial radio is embracing that fact. And what a time it is for the industry, with a host of new musicians finding their voice in the genre.

“I think too many people think that they’re too cool for pop.”

That’s the very sage advice Grace Shaw, better known as Mallrat, shared with TMN when she chatted with us about her new single.

A mainstay on the Amrap Metro and Regional charts, her track ’Better’ peaked at #1 on the Regional chart and #2 on the Metro. The song also debuted at #81 on the TMN Hot 100 in November 2017, marking her first ever appearance on the chart. It eventually went on to reach a peak of #13.

The 19-year-old Brisbane local has just dropped a new single ‘UFO’, featuring her idol, Aussie rapper Allday. It’s no secret that while attending one of his shows, Mallrat was struck with the inspiration to start creating music.

And while it’s not the first time the pair have collaborated, it is the first with Mallrat as the lead artist. The brooding track is yet another taste from her upcoming EP, one that she’s had more of hand on the production side of things.

“I do get nervous, but it used to be 90% nerves and 10% excitement,” Mallrat says about releasing new music.

“Now it’s like 20% nerves and 80% excitement.”

And that excitement is palpable both off and on stage. Already in 2018, she has opened for Post Malone, sold-out her all-ages headlining tour and been named on the lineup for festivals Sydney City Limits and Groovin The Moo, as well as preparing to head off on her own run of European and U.S. shows.

Not to mention the fact that she performed at Splendour in the Grass and The Plot (where she jumped up on and around the stage with Alice Ivy for a Flight Facilities cover) in 2017, and was handpicked for Zane Lowe’s global Beats 1 radio show when he broadcasted from Sydney last year.

It’s easy to forget that she hasn’t even turned 20 yet – and she is using that to her advantage when it comes to songwriting.

“Everybody’s been a teenager once so I’m sure people can feel where I’m coming from. But my songs aren’t necessarily about being a teenager, I think I’m just good at making people feel or remember things.”

“With that being said, a lot of the coolest songs ever are written by young people! When you’re young you can be very sensitive and excitable, and aren’t aware of a lot of the rules that people make up when they get older.”

Radio continues to back the young artist as well. Highlighted by Ash London on her Live & Local show just yesterday, Mallrat also scored herself the 46th spot on triple j’s Hottest 100.

“I don’t think you should have to choose between triple j and commercial radio. But triple j and Unearthed are invaluable for nurturing Australian music – I’m stoked to have that support.”

“I would love to see more Australian music chart here and internationally. I really want to be a part of that!”

In terms of her success so far, she knows exactly what she can put it down to.

“Writing good songs and being clever with social media!” she declares.

“Plus my manager and booking agent are amazing. And there’s definitely a higher power on my side too but I don’t know the details about that.”

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