Meet Sydney's MUKI. She's sassy and gifted as all get out, and owes a lot of that to her uber-talented and unconditionally loving family
Maddie Crabtree identifies as "bitey." The woman with a voice that can pierce through a manic sonic soundscape featuring a wall of drums as high as Mt Everest, Ms Crabtree is one wonderfully spirited and cheeky cat. And that's before she pops on her musical Wonder Woman cape and transforms into MUKI. With one single under her belt - released thanks to the business savvy and eye for talent musician Phebe Starr - MUKI has come out of the stalls all guns and everything else blazing. The song in question? Sassaparilla. It took a while to create this masterpiece which debuted on Spotify in the US at number 4. Everything had to be just right for Maddie, and for MUKI. Enter producer Aaron Reyes who knew how to package up MUKI and send her out into the world with a killer debut. MUKI makes music inspired by PC Music. Know it? This genre - well it's really a record label and collective of artists in London that formed in 2012 - is jam packed with synthetic sounds, accompanied by high pitched vocals and sounds like eating bubblegum in front of a cartoon. PC Music is associated with Korean and Japanese pop music and influenced by gyaru culture. Think dyed hair, attention stealing-nails, strong make-up, and Japanese street wear. It's a whole lot of fun and Maddie and Aaron have absolutely nailed it. And Australia got - for want of a better word, but I fear there is no other - woke. Sassaparilla went crazy. And now we wait for the music video directed by ARIA Award winner Matt Sharp (The Veronicas, Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian) and his producer partner Julian McGruther. And once that's out, we'll have our recovery time, and then we'll all be waiting for what's next. And it could be anything. Maddie's artistic landscape knows no bounds. But one thing is for certain, there will be sass in spades. MUKI - and Maddie - took some time to tell Music Love about her musical journey so far, and how she credits her family for much spunk and a tonne of love.
What does music mean to you?
Music mean freedom of speech, expression, sass, fun, my zen, unity.
What has your musical pathway been like so far?
Literally [for] as long as I can remember, I was singing random songs I had made. I would write a song about ANYTHING. My dad is a blues musician, and my older sister is also a writer and a musician, so in saying that, my music pathway has been very natural and very encouraged. I think with everything that you are passionate about it can always be hard work, but it has been a very natural journey for me, which is nice.
How did the artist MUKI evolve?
I have always had a bitey attitude. I am the youngest in my family and I could get away with saying really sassy things for some reason. I have always been passionate and fascinated with other strong women in the industry, and so it's not really a surprise that my music is inspired by those women. But the music side took a bit longer, and my producer Aaron [Reyes] really helped me find my feet with that.
Do you like having a moniker? Do you try more things?
I love it. I get to do naughty things and blame MUKI for it! She's like my evil twin!
You have a big voice - how do you look after it?
I try really hard to look after it. [As] soon as I started understanding that my voice was an instrument it became easier. It's not like you are going to go throw around a fender strat. But I take lessons occasionally, and drink water, warm up, and sleep!!
Tell us about how you got to write such a huge song and Spotify sensation, Sassaparilla?
My friend Joel texted me one day and told me to write a song called Sassaparilla and so I took the idea into my very first session I had with Aaron and we started to hunt around for some cool sounds in the depths of YouTube to sample, and Sassaparilla formed!
How did your upbringing with your family - your father, a super talented blues musician; your mother, a psychologist; and your sister, a producer and singer - inform who you are as an artist today?
So much of who I am as an artist was instilled in me from my family. My parents have been the most encouraging with this journey, and they have literally put their skin in the game to help me. My sister and I would often write together when we were younger so there are some similarities in the way that we write. She also taught me how to harmonise when I was six. Hahaha she is so cool!
Who are your favourite Australian women in music?
There are so many awesome Australian women killing it at the moment! Tkay Maidza, SIA, Mallrat, as well as Sarah Aarons, Alex Hope, Obviously my favourite is Phebe Starr!
How has it been to work with Phebe Starr?
Phebe is so fun to work with, and because she is an artist herself, she completely gets where I am at with things. It's cool cause I can bounce so many different ideas off of her, and she has a cool creative perspective. She doesn't just come at it from the business [point of view]. And she is a boss lady, which is super inspiring.
What can we expect next?
I have a video clip coming out, a new single, and lots of writing and hopefully some more shows coming up as well!
What is your favourite place in Australia?
Oh that's so hard! Im a city girl, so I am going to say Fitzroy in Melbourne!
Would you ever leave to pursue a career in music overseas?
Australia will always be my home, but I have definitely dreamed about living abroad and pursuing music!
What is your wildest musical dream?
To win a GRAMMY