Talented artist Mawi is making waves in the music industry from New York City, he flawlessly blends urban pop, R&B and funk to create his authentic sound. Mawi has garnered a strong fanbase, allowing him to perform across the U.S., ranging from small concert bars to college music festivals. Mawi’s sound isn’t as straightforward as a single adjective, and that’s his intention. Mawi’s music details the complex emotions of everyday struggles, especially in regards to relationships, which explains his contrasting tones with songs ranging from “How You Want It” to “You’ve Once Known”.
“How You Want It” is Mawi latest confident anthem. The track boasts Mawi superiority over this girls man. He proves himself through his catchy verses and intricate hook. Blending old school R&B elements with contemporary hip-hop, funk and undertones of EDM, Mwi creates an absolute fire single. “How You Want It” will have you up and dancing, or is perfect to just chill and escape to the music. Mawi proves his talents over and over again through his addicting rhythmic textures and contagious melodies. We love what we’ve heard so far and we’re stoked for what Mawi will deliver next.
Check out “How You Want It” here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
Hi Mawi! Can you tell us more about your upbringing and how you got started in music?
I'm originally from Oakland, CA and I've been involved in music since I was really young starting with singing in school talent shows and playing the clarinet up through the 9th grade. At that point I wanted to pursue other interests but music kept coming back to me as something I wanted to continue doing, but this time I wanted to create my own music rather than sing covers or perform written pieces. I started writing songs, and really liked the process of creating music. By the end of 10th grade I released my first mixtape on soundcloud, and subsequently released a mixtape every year I until I graduated. As much as I enjoyed releasing music, I saw it as a hobby and didn't think I would continue in college. However, once I got to college I still wrote and eventually people on campus would push me take music seriously and pursue it as a passion. From there, I began releasing music under the name "Mawi" and have been doing so since 2016.
What’s your song “How You Want It” all about? Can you dive into the lyricism?
How You Want It is me telling a girl I'm interested in that she's in a relationship for the wrong reasons, and at the same time I can offer a better relationship, or at least "how she wants it". Much of the song doesn't really describe this other man as I'm trying to spend more time talking about us and the connection that I believe we both recognize is there. The kicker is that she seems to be unhappy with this other man, and my role here is simply to offer another option that hopefully would make her happier. I'm extremely confident in this underlying notion that she's unhappy, so much so that "I might even end the song" and that I'm willing to "put my money where my mouth is" when it comes to betting that I'm a significantly better option for her.
Who are your top musical influences? How do they inspire you?
I feel like my musical influences has changed so much over the past couple years since my music has changed so much as well. I think the biggest influence is The Weeknd. I've almost learned to sing by listening to his music, specifically paying attention to his vocal techniques and how utilizes his voice as an instrument. My other big influences are Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Drake is one of the first rappers to embody this new "singing-rap" style of music, which in my opinion has influenced genres outside of hip-hop so I look to Drake to understand how an artist's sound can change the music industry. For Kendrick, I truly admire the cohesiveness of his albums, and although I'm currently releasing singles, I want my EPs and albums in the future to feel like a singular piece of work with a larger meaning, much like Kendrick does.
How would you describe your live performance?
My performances are very energetic yet intimate. I don't usually have a lot of lights or stage effects when I perform so it forces me to ensure the fans are engaged with my performance, thus forcing me to bring out the energy. I believe the artist has to carry the energy in order for the fans to get hype and feel involved in the show. When I'm performing, I'm paying attention to what the fans are feeling, and know whether it may be a good time to have them sing along, or wave hands, or do something that will enhance not only the strength of the show, but the intimacy that each individual fan feels to the music.
Do you have any upcoming shows or events you’d like to talk about?
I currently do not have any upcoming shows but I'm always looking for venues and events to bring my talents to.
Connect with Mawi on social media