Toronto-based pop artist Mauve is in her ascension, with her single  “Come Around” clinching top honours at the 2019 InterContinental Music Awards for Best of North America. Her unique sound melds genres to bring you feel-good tracks with hints of RnB, Tropical House and EDM. Her latest EP, Palette, just dropped.

“With Palette, I hope to create an expression of music that people can visualize and evoke different feelings from just as a painting would,” she says. “I am not one to create a song that is dull or meaningless to me, so that is why I want all of my work to feature splashes and pops of colours that sparks life and creativity to those who are listening.”

We asked her about her work this week.

SDTC: What was happening in your personal life when you were writing Palette?

M: I wrote most of the songs as I was moving away from a disappointing period to one that was more supportive and empowering for myself. Writing these songs was a way for me to honour those emotions that you go through with the different transitions in life. Having these new feelings of inspiration and celebration flood in created a dynamic that made me think of all the colours that surround us in life, which made me want to call this EP Palette.

What’s your earliest memory of songwriting?

I remember when I was around eight years old, I was playing video games with my sister downstairs and suddenly this random melody came into my head with lyrics attached to it as well. I still remember this melody in my head to this day, and that was the first time an original piece of music was formed in my head. I wasn’t even trying to write a song at eight years old, but maybe I will use that melody for a song that I write in the future!

What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

I’ve learned that it is important to do what is comfortable to you, but sometimes you have to trust what is “out of the box” and see where it can take you by going with it. A lot of it comes down to listening to your intuition and finding out where you want to take your next steps.

What is a fun, little-known fact about you?

I am actually a big history nerd and love learning about and discussing politics.

What have you connected with recently, and what about it appeals to you?

I read Timbaland’s memoir, “The Emperor of Sound” and it is so fascinating hearing how his mind works in using ordinary/everyday sounds to create a song. I like how he hears potential for a beat or rhythm in non-conventional sounds, and that really shows his creativity and love for his craft. That’s what progresses music forward, when people can find new ways to create a feeling or tone.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?

There’s a few people I’ve come across that live by the idea of playing safe and sticking by the “well-paved” path. That mindset always seemed boring to me because there’s so many opportunities to try out, even if it’s at the risk of “failing”. I think it’s worth it to see what you can make of yourself by not always living within the safety net.

What is your motto at the moment?

On my Instagram I have the words “Just play” in my bio, and to me, that’s about enjoying the playground that is life. There’s so many hesitations that you can have about performing or making music, but being able to just play means living with your heart and not second-guessing what feels natural to you.

What do you hope listeners take away from your album?

I hope that they are able to feel the excitement and celebration that I was expressing through the songs. I hope they understand that same feeling of seeing the pages turn and anticipating that joy of the new colours coming into your life.

What are the qualities you like least and most about yourself?

I can be very analytical about a situation to the point where I have to make it perfect, so I’ve been learning to apply more breathing room and just let things go with the flow. I feel that with this tendency though I have the ability to work hard and push myself to get to the next level, and it’s important to have that work ethic if you want to see yourself excel in a certain area.

Rewind five years. What advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to not dread the tedious work so much. When you are pursuing music, you want to jump to the point when you are performing on stage all the time, but there are so many things that need to be done before you get to that point. I am grateful now that I stuck with my practices and routines in order to keep growing as a musician.

What are you currently listening to in heavy rotation?

Lizzo has been giving me so many good vibes from the energy that she spills into her songs. I’ve always been drawn to those artists who don’t hold back and just belt it out, and she certainly has been giving the music world so much power and passion. I’m glad that there’s someone like her sharing her voice on the radio.

What childhood memory makes you laugh out loud?

I have so many memories of little plays that me and my friends put on, either pretending we were in a music video or coming up with some creative storyline that we would act out. We would make each other cry of laughter with different characters that we would come up with, and it’s fun to look back on the silliness and craziness of our imagination.

What unnecessary object would you love to own?

I feel like a gigantic waterslide would be something that everybody would want.. so that would be pretty cool to have in my backyard!

What tip, technique or hack has made your life better in the past year?

This isn’t necessarily a hack, but earlier in the year I got an iPhone with 250 GB of storage space, and that has been a lifesaving! I usually record voice clips on my phone if I have an idea for a song, and my other phone would run out of storage because of all the files I was collecting on it. It was such a drag to have to delete footage that I had to make room for new footage, so it’s nice that I finally don’t have to worry about going over the storage limit!

What issue do you wish people took more seriously?

I think being on social media so much and documenting your life can be pretty detrimental in small ways. It makes you detach from the real world around you. Social media can be very amusing and interesting, but you can be overusing it without even noticing. I think it’s important to keep a healthy distance away from the social media newsfeed and find more wonder in the reality that surrounds you.

What outfit makes you feel the most you?

I’m the type of person that prefers clothes that allow for comfortable movement, but I do appreciate stylish and cute outfits. For me I don’t want to wear anything that feels restrictive because then I would be distracted by that all day and it’s better to wear something you’re confident in.

Who has surprised you lately, and how?

Jennifer Lopez has been surprising me with how much she keeps raising the bar for all the ventures she’s involved in, but that should come as no surprise because she has such a killer work ethic. She truly loves to be involved in all sides of the business and doesn’t let herself get comfortable with all the success she’s already achieved. She keeps coming back for more and she is a powerhouse when it comes to performance and entertainment.

What changes would you like to see in Canada’s music scene?

I have a huge appreciation for the Canadian music scene, but of course more support and coverage for local artists would be really great to see increasing. I really appreciate those radio stations that take a chance on up-and-coming artists and allow their music to be heard alongside mainstream names.