Mallrat Interview - The Hannah Montana Of The Rap World
By Luke Byatt,
Meet Mallrat, AKA Grace Shaw the prodigal child, and teenage superstar of the rap game! Mallrat emerged from the Brisbane music scene in late 2015/ early 2016 with her firey take on rap, pop, and rock; combining multiple genres to create her own creative medium. Mallrat will be leaving the country to head off to LA to build upon her already amazing sound, but before she leaves you can catch her live at The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl in Brisbane, Saturday the 11th of February, 2017. RSVP HERE
Futuremag Music: You’ve been dubbed the prodigal child of the rap game; you’ve claimed it, and made it your own! I love it.
Mallrat: Thanks, hahaha; prodigal child is like the best thing. There’s this country song called ‘Prodigal Child’ by singer, Michelle Shocked. She was really big back in the 80’s, unfortunately she made some really homophobic remarks, and she disappeared off the face of the earth, but her music is awesome. A little tangent before we even start!
Futuremag Music: I’ve always wondered this, what is the inspiration behind your tag, ‘The Hannah Montana of the rap world?’
Mallrat: The main thing was I wanted something for my Triple J Unearthed bio, and I didn’t want to say, “Mallrat is the alter ego of 16 year old, Grace Shaw who is in Year 11 of bluh bluh bluh… she makes this, she sounds like this…” I just wanted people to listen to my music, also I wanted something kind of weird. I was at school at the time I started Mallrat, it was sorta a Hannah Montana situation and it was a little bit of secret.
Futuremag Music: It’s not a secret anymore, you’re going so well with everything! Did you have any experience with making, and writing music prior to Mallrat?
Mallrat: Ahhh nah, not really, not at all actually. I started writing for Mallrat in Year 11, and started to released stuff during Year 12. It feels like the stars have aligned for me, it’s been a really natural thing for me to be doing. I’m so happy right now, and I’ve been happy all the time I’ve been doing it, it’s been pretty awesome.
Futuremag Music: You definitely have the Australian music scene behind you. Talking about Australian music, who are you looking forward to seeing at The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl?
Mallrat: I’m super excited to see Gill Bates, I haven’t seen one of his shows in a while, so that’ll be cool, and I’m looking forward to see Moses Gunn Collective. Also WAAX, I haven’t seen them live yet, so I’m really looking forward to see them too.
Futuremag Music: Neat, they’re all superb acts. You’re Brisbane based, and in regards to collaborating with artists around Australia, and overseas, what is the process of organising meet ups, and travelling to all these places?
Mallrat: It’s the best! You know, Brisbane is great, but it’s a bit small; also I love travelling. If it’s someone I’m working with and we decide we’re keen to meet up and have a session we’ll talk over Twitter, Facebook, and such. I’ll try to group it in with a bunch of other stuff, and I’ll be like, “Right, I’m coming your way!” That’s kinda how it happens. It’s so sick, I love it.
Futuremag Music: That’s why I love the internet age, it’s so easy to create contacts, and friendships.
Mallrat: Hahaha, YES! I don’t know what I’d do without the internet, I’d probably be working at the post office. I might be doing something a bit chill, who knows?
Futuremag Music: Is that an aspiration of yours, working at the post office? Adding onto that, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mallrat: Ahhh, it’s not on the list, but I’m open to it. When I was really little I wanted to be a superstar, then I wanted to be a dolphin trainer because I thought it was unrealistic to be a musician. Then after that for ages I wanted to be a professional UFC fighter. That may sound like a joke, but I was really into jujitsu. I went to an Allday concert, and I realised I wanted to make music; it went full circle I guess.
Futuremag Music: What are some of your favourite technical techniques you implement into your music?
Mallrat: I’m trying to get heaps better at production at the moment. I haven’t put out anything I’ve produced myself, but I have written everything, and I have a big say in the production process. At the moment I’m doing a lot of guitar stuff, for the next few songs; I’m really loving that. I’m getting better at guitar, so I can play it in live shows confidently. I also love auto tune, and I love not using auto tune... I just love sampling vocals… What else do I like? I don’t know, there’s so much good stuff. I can’t wait to be better at the technical side of production.
Futuremag Music: Do you have one select producer you work with?
Mallrat: Not really, it’s basically people I find on SoundCloud. I’m actually going across to LA for a bit, and I’m working with some super awesome producers, one of which worked on Bon Iver’s new album, and with Chance The Rapper; I’m really excited. Yeah, basically people from SoundCloud, I’m really into PC music (Future Electronic Pop), and house music, but poppy house music. I love it all really.