Mabel admits being ‘savage’ with lyrics and recalls ex confronting her over hit song Don’t Call Me Up

Mabel uses her past relationships as inspiration for her hit songs (Picture: Getty Images)

Mabel created the ultimate power anthem in her hit song Don’t Call Me Up but one person didn’t appreciate it – the ex-boyfriend who inspired the break-up track, naturally.

The dance single soared to number three on the UK charts last year and earned Mabel a Brit Award nomination for song of the year – while she missed out on this gong, she did scoop the British female solo artist award. 

Don’t Call Me Up became the soundtrack for women everywhere dealing with a break-up and getting their sass back with lyrics including: ‘Feeling good now you’re outta my life, Don’t wanna talk about us/ I gotta leave it behind, One drink and you’re outta my mind.’ 

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So it’s not surprising that Mabel, 24, herself admits she can be pretty ‘savage’ with her lyrics. 

When asked if she’s ever warned an ex about her songs, Mabel – who is taking part in the Google Nest Audio sessions – told Metro.co.uk: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever said anything, I’m quite savage with my songwriting about people. 

‘I’m just like, you’ve made your bed, you have to lie in it. If you’re dating me and you do something wrong I’m probably going to write a song about it and the whole world would know.’ 

She added: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever gone back to someone and said, “This song was about you”, but someone has asked me before, “Was this song about me?” and I was like, “Yeah, thanks”. Don’t Call Me Up, thanks! It was my biggest song.’ 

Mabel won British female solo artist at the Brit Awards 2020 (Picture: WireImage)

Mabel is never too far away from her songwriting pen and wrote an original song for the Nest sessions. 

Taking fans behind the creation of the track, the singer said: ‘It must have been last year, I was going through something and it was something I really needed to get off my chest. 

‘I’m an album person in terms of when I put together an album, sometimes you have to let songs go that you really love but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not close to your heart or something that you don’t want people to hear. 

‘So I thought I’d give something to my fans that they’ve never heard before through an original song.’ 

Since 2017, Mabel has kept us dancing with a string of hit songs including Finders Keepers, Fine Line, My Lover, Ring Ring and Cigarette.

Surprisingly, she is yet to claim her first number one single despite clocking up millions of streams. 

How does she feel about the evasive chart-topper? 

‘Of course, I’m incredibly ambitious and things like winning a Brit, having a top 10 and those things – they feel good, I’m not going to lie,’ she explained.

The pop star continued: ‘It’s not the reason why I make music but it is good to get the reassurance that what you’re doing, people like it. 

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‘I wouldn’t say I wake up everyday and think I’m failing because I haven’t had a number one. I’ve achieved a lot as a 24-year-old but it’s definitely something I dream about and work towards.’ 

Mabel is clearly well-versed in creating a banger of a song but believes it’s all down to luck rather than a formula. 

‘I think the beautiful thing about music and about hits is there is no formula which is terrifying because you’ll have a hit and be like, OK so I’ve done this once, I should be able to do this again,’ she said.  

Mabel is taking part in the Google Nest Audio sessions (Picture: Google Nest)

‘It just happens sometimes, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m obsessed with magic and I think music is the closest thing to that because you can’t control it. It happens when it happens. Everything can look great on paper, you can think great, this session I’ll write a massive tune, and it might not happen.’ 

According to Mabel, you’re always ‘just one song away from your biggest moment’. 

‘That’s why I do what I do. I want to make people feel good but I’m also chasing that high of today could be the day I write the song that could change my life,’ she said. 

Citing Rihanna and her diverse discography as her inspiration, Mabel added: ‘You never know when you write a song but I would say you have a hunch. 

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‘There’s a feeling with a song where you think, I connect so heavily to this, I think my fans will too.’ 

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Nest Audio Sessions features Ella Mai, Jessie Reyez, Mabel, Shizuku (Polkadot Stingray), BENEE, Tove Lo, Lola Indigo, Joy Denalane and Louane. All you have to do is say, ‘Hey Google, play Nest Audio Sessions on YouTube Music’ to hear the full compilation from all nine artists. 

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