The singer is descended from music royalty but she’s making it on her own
Mabel McVey (23) is the daughter of ’90s icon Neneh Cherry and super-producer Cameron McVey, who worked with Sugababes, Massive Attack, All Saints and his wife, Neneh.
Mabel’s first album, High Expectations, is due out in July, almost exactly 30 years after Neneh dropped her debut, Raw Like Sushi.
She worked hard to keep her musical heritage discreet – determined to make it on her own and prove that she had what it takes to become a star.
“I’m not embarrassed to say I’m their daughter,” she told NME. “I work hard and I’m very separate from what my parents do.”
Growing up, she says, “I felt quite embarrassed by being my mum and dad’s daughter. I thought, ‘People will never take me seriously’.
“But actually, the older I get, the prouder I become of the things they’ve accomplished. Like, my mum’s sung for Nelson Mandela [at a 1990 tribute concert in London], and my dad produced one of my favourite albums of all time [Massive Attack’s debut, Blue Lines].”
The Spanish-born, Stockholm-raised singer has had six tracks on the singles chart since 2017, and two in the top 10 – Finders Keepers featuring Kojo Funds, and this year’s pop banger Don’t Call Me Up.
But don’t ask her for details about her upcoming album.
“I can’t even talk about [it] yet,” she told GQ. “No one can fully understand the feeling or the emotion I had when I wrote these songs. I like that the album right now is still my baby. I’m not ready to let it go yet.”
All she would let out was that she “wanted to make something that’s going to tell a story”.
What she’s not secretive about, is her ambition. “I want to be really successful and sell loads of records!”