“When I was three years old I would walk around and be like ‘I wanna be a superstar!’”
Sydney-based pop-dream MUKI is well on her way to reaching that superstar status. With three singles under her belt, support act slots for the likes of Paces and Client Liaison, the MUKI project has landed on the pop scene ready to shake it up.
Last year saw her embark on her first national tour, which was a “big learning experience”, and sign to Sony/ATV. It doesn’t seem that 2018 will slow down for her either, and it’d be fair to say that Madeline Crabtree is certainly going places. With her first headline tour announced for June and an upcoming EP, it won’t be long until you can catch her yourself.
Madeline’s first single release Friends Don’t Make Out is an aptly-titled anthem that addresses that situation when you’re left asking “what are we?” Relatable and brutally truthful, she explains “I write all of my lyrics from experiences that I’ve had.” Perhaps that’s what makes her music very different from anything you’ve heard in the pop genre for some time?
“I feel like there is a shift that is happening,” she says of the boldness in her music, which mixes the clean yet quirky facets of pop with a completely new set of electronic and stylistic influences. “Pop music is going through a transformation in the music industry… it can be a bit safe.” She’s breaking down traditional conventions with a lot of voice distortion, fun synths, banging beats and nods to Japanese pop culture; equal parts cute, fierce and total badass.
Taking her inspiration from Swedish performer Robyn and, of course, The Spice Girls (“I genuinely love the Spice girls” – who doesn’t?!), MUKI’s style very much pushes boundaries to create a new space in the pop genre that dares to be different. At the core of the project is her desire to “showcase pop music in a way that is really authentic.” And it’s not just about themes or genres either; Madeline is very focused on exploring and experimenting with ways of putting music together, with a desire to see more sound design in pop. “It is fun to say I’m just going to do whatever the fuck I want,” she laughs.
Her debut EP It Won’t Hurt is set to be released in June. Her latest single Gold Oxygen gives listeners a taste of the psychedelic pop-synth treats she will deliver. On this track, Madeline explained that the idea for the lyrics originally stemmed from a writing session for another single, Sassaparilla. The lyrics for Golden Oxygen though, took on a life of their own, as she drew out the song from the idea of an alien queen defending her territory from the opposition.
“It was a bit weird,” she says. “The way that I wrote particularly for this EP was very visual.” These visuals will all make sense during a live performance, she promises. “Expect all of the sass!” – and some red wine spilling – but more importantly, MUKI’s live shows creates a universe unique to her music. And creatively, touring is a special time for her to not only meet her fans, but also work with the other artists on tour. “I feel like I always knew that I wanted to do music, and then I guess my journey was figuring out how to do that!”
If a tour and EP wasn’t enough, Madeline will be keeping herself busy as she heads over to South Korea to collaborate with some K-pop artists! MUKI continues to exceed expectations – and we are absolutely ready for it.
MUKI | TEISCHA
With special guest Essie Holt
15 June, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
22 June, The Penny Black, Melbourne
23 June, Oxford Art Factory – Gallery Bar, Sydney