New Music / Interview

Interview: We catch up with New Music star Mogli

Meet Mogli, the young German singer-songwriter you need to hear.

We met up with German singer-songwriter Mogli ahead of her sold-out headline London show at The Lexington to chat about the artists that inspire her, the way women are shaping the music industry and the thrill of watching Rihanna appear on stage on a big pink tank.

On the artists that inspire her…

I don’t listen to bands that are similar to what I do but I listen to bands who inspire me. I really like alt-J. They are super, super, super big now but I saw them by accident on a free festival in Paris. I only caught their last song and I loved it so much.  But when I asked around no one knew them so went home and listened to every band on the festival line up to find them. And I found them.

I really like Ben Howard too. I feel like his emotions are just there in his voice. So I get a lot of feels from Ben Howard. Daughter are another band I love. I really like how they created a vibe and a sound for themselves that just sounds so like them. Indie stuff was all I listened to until Lorde released her second album which I really think is amazing. That was the first time I got into “pop” music but it made me think if this is this good then maybe there’s something else out there for me.

On the origins of Mogli…

It was actually my mum who gave me the name because I was always running around outside in nature when I was a kid. I had this wild hair and everyone said I looked like Mogli (in Germany the name is spelt without the W). It’s the nickname I’m known by to some of the most important people in my life so I identify with the name totally. I’m 100% Mogli. Sometimes people think I must be this huge Disney fan but I’ve never actually seen the Jungle Book cartoon. I’ve never seen the Lion King either – people are going to hate me.

On the process of writing…

My whole first album was written on the trip whilst filming Expedition Happiness (check it out on Netflix). It was pretty fast. I went into the studio in February and released it in May. I liked that though, you connect with your music and it’s not sat in a drawer for a couple of years. I had so much inspiration to write for that album because of everything we experienced on that trip and nature we encountered from Alaska to the Grand Canyon.

Now I’m back home and I love it, being able to see my friends and family but I don’t have this constant inspiration around me all the time. That’s why the new single and EP is called Cryptic because being back home led to me being in a room and finding inspiration in myself. I enjoyed meeting up with producers and doing what feels right in that moment and go with what your music and your lyrics tell you.

So the two albums come from completely different environments.

On her single The Constant

It’s about remembering in a nostalgic way how my childhood was but acknowledging I have different constants in my life now. I lost my Grandpa a couple of years ago. I have a lot of great memories from my childhood running round my grandparent’s house. We used to do a lot of fun things together like he used to build Igloos with me. So when I started building a new home with my boyfriend I thought about those times but at the same time, I’m enjoying what I have right now.

On how her live show has developed…

On our first tour, I had the feeling that I really enjoyed myself but I was so concerned about doing everything right that the whole experience kind of went in a flash. When we played the other night it was so much fun. As a band, we feel like we know what we’re doing now so we can just enjoy it. We’re also a 4-piece now we have a bass player who’s really great, plus I built a set-up so I can control my own vocal effects now which is a lot of fun. It feels like a new instrument to me. I also put some nature sounds on there that I recorded myself so I can add some rain to a song, seagulls, whatever I like. I’m really trying to give the people in the room this feeling of being outside in nature.

On selling out her very first London show…

It’s crazy because I see from Instagram and Spotify that I have fans in London but you never know who’s going to come out. I was always a fan of music coming out of the UK and I always had the feeling it could work over here so I’m really excited.

On her favourite new German artists…

There’s one really cool band called ÄTNA who do piano stuff with vocoder that I think people will love.

On the interplay of language & music…

For me, language has a lot to do with melody and as soon as you change the language you change the genre of the music. So if I sing in German it sounds like German pop. It’s crazy. If I sing in French it instantly has this touch of chanson so I was just sonically into what English does to my music.

On being a Keychange creator…

I grew up with two mums so I’ve always been aware of inequality. I have a female manager now who’s awesome but often when we go into meeting it’s just us and a bunch of men. It’s not that we don’t belong but I think that the music industry could benefit a lot from more women being involved and embracing the different ways women work and the different approach they have to some things. I try to choose women where I can. The cover was shot by a woman, the artwork was done by a woman, the video was shot by a woman. What I like about Keychange is it connects women who are really great at their jobs and lets them create their own showcase for their talents.

On her gig history…

The first show I went to was actually Rihanna which is so funny to think about it now. It was this big ass show and she had this pink tank on stage that she was riding. It was crazy. I think my favourite show ever was Florence + The Machine. I was at this festival in Germany with all my friends and there were like 20,000 people watching her but I was in the 5th row and I actually froze in awe. I think she must have spotted me and sang a song for me. The last show I saw was by Fenne Lily who I took on tour with me – because I think she’s great. I discovered her at Reeperbahn and knew straight away I wanted her to come on tour with me so I text her myself and she was like “Oh I would love to!”. We sang her song Bud together which was amazing.

Check out Mogli’s upcoming UK dates and sign-up for Ticketmaster’s Ticket Alert at Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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