Nick Mulvey is no ordinary new artist. Actually, he’s technically not new at all. Mulvey already has a Mercury Prize nomination and a world tour under his belt as part of the critically acclaimed Portico Quartet and now, he’s hoping to make his own mark on the musical world flying solo. After his debut Fever to the Form was released in June of this year we were smitten with his new take on folk and his serious guitar skills. Mulvey is just as intriguing as his music and as a youngster headed to Havana for some cultural experiences and later studied the elusive Ethnomusicology. Returning to his first –and what seems to be most loved – musical instrument, his guitar, he’s going it alone and keeping everyone happy in the process. Inbetween supporting folk star Laura Marling at Shepherd’s Bush and and his headline tour that kicks off next month (find out more here) Nick Mulvey squeezed in some time to talk all things musical.
You were previously part band Portico Quartet – what made you what to go out on your own?
It was time for a change and I had these songs bubbling inside me that needed to get out.
What’s the inspiration behind your new music and album?
My whole thing with music is about trying not to box it and limit it but just to allow it and wait and see what it wants to become. So that’s what I’m doing with this record..
When did you know you wanted to be a musician? And what artists inspired this choice?
Always. It’s never even been a choice. I’m told that on the my first day of school I sung ‘Ain’t Nothin But A Houndog’ standing the table.
You moved to Havana at 19 to study music – how was that experience?
That was a special time. My friend had told me about this music school on the outskirts of Havana and I thought ‘why not?’. I didn’t have any other plans at that time. Lots of really good young musicians from all over the Caribbean and beyond. We played constantly.
You also studied ‘Ethnomusicology’ – can you expand?
It’s the study of music in its cultural and historical context. The anthropology of music kinda. It was 3 years studying things like ‘music and gender ideology in 1980s Mali’ and ‘music and shamanism in Russian cinema’. I’m no academic but I loved it.
Are there any current artists you look up to?
Plenty. Dean Blunt, Mestre Irineu, Bjork, Bon Iver…
What’s been your best gig of the year?
There’s been a few. Supporting Ben Howard at Belsonic was fun. I enjoyed the mainstage at Wilderness too.
What was it like performing at the Green Man Festival?
I played Greenman in 2012 and it was fantastic. Very muddy that year but still a top festival. Loads of huge old trees.
What’s next for Nick Mulvey?
I’m supporting Laura Marling on tour and then my own solo UK tour in Nov and a full album in 2014 and the hot tubs and limos I should expect.
Check out Mulvey’s very original version of Donna Summer’s classic, I Feel Love below.