Mallrat (AKA Grace Shaw) has arguably had the biggest 12 months, having placed #46 in this year’s Hottest 100 with her single ‘Better,’ and then backing that up with her latest single ‘UFO,’ which has gone just as gangbusters. She wrapped up performing at SXSW, where she was named as one of the 17 Acts That Stood Out by the New York Times, has been on tour through the US and UK and returned to perform on the Groovin The Moo tour. Now she is ready to embark on her own (already almost completely sold out) solo tour in June in celebration of her new EP. We chat to the endearing live performer ahead of the release.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to chat! You’ve had an absolutely massive year and now your new EP ‘In The Sky’ is set for release this week! What inspired it and how does it differ to your debut EP Uninvited?
It’s been so fun to work on! I feel like my ears were more tuned to production while I was making this EP so I was really inspired by was artists like Maribou State; electronic producers that are able to be very emotional in their production, and who use vocals on top, or use vocals as instruments as like a bass for the track. With the last EP, they were the first songs that I’d ever really made so I was really winging it. I’m not saying that it’s bad because I think it is good and it’s especially cool for what my situation and experience was at the time, but now I have a much stronger understanding of production and mixing and what I like about songwriting so I feel this is a big step up in the process.
You recently collaborated with friend and hip-hop star in his own right, Allday on your truly epic single ‘UFO,’ what sparked this collab?
I’m very particular; there aren’t a lot of people that I would probably want on my tracks just because the lyrics are so personal for me and it could feel a bit strange to ask a stranger to rap on my track. But because we’re so close and we talk about music all the time, we were just really on the same page about everything so it felt very natural to ask him.
You have your headline tour in June which is almost sold out, keen for that one?
I’m so excited for that one, I’ve got some really cool support acts as well – I’ve got Ninajirachi from NSW, and Eilish Gilligan who is from Melbourne, she is so talented. I’m really excited, it will be so much fun. We’re also going to bring our friend Times James Organ along who is this fantastic singer/songwriter so we’ll add some acoustic elements to the set as well.
You’ve also got a slot at Splendour in the Grass. What do you love about being on stage?
It’s something that I’ve definitely learnt to love; at first it was very unnatural for me but now I feel like I’ve become a better performer and I’ve got more songs to play so it’s more fun now. It’s really cool; just being able to make people dance, sing and get out of their comfort zone within a big group of people, that’s really cool. And to travel to different parts of Australia and the world to actually see the people that listen to your music, it’s really cool.
Plans for the rest of the year after all that, are you having a rest at all?
Because I love what I do, I don’t really feel like I need rest that much. I really just love working, and I just really want to become a better producer and songwriter and get to travel more, so I’ll probably just be working on that. Oh, and I’m moving overseas! I’m heading to L.A where I’ve been doing lots of bits and pieces over there. It might not be that it’s better for my music, but I do want to break outside of Australia so it’s important to me to be working with lots of different people that already have reputation outside of Australia and just learn and grow as much as I can and just kind of get myself out there.
Release: In The Sky EP out June 1 via Dew Process
When & Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – June 23.