“The rich velvet curtains draped behind the stage at Public Arts read “MABEL” in blocky letters. Photographers and pressed paced around snapping photos. Dedicated fans milled in front of the stage sipping from scuffed plastic wine glasses.
Public Arts, an upscale club, performance space, or art exhibit depending on the night, just opened last year, but is already on the radar of New York’s party people. You can say the same of Thursday evening’s performer.
Mabel’s entrance took me almost by surprise. The music changed from a generic dance beat to the light, rhythmic opening of “Fine Line.” The Spanish-born, Swedish-raised, UK pop star stepped onstage with two dancers and dove into the performance.
We’ve had our eye on 23-year-old Mabel McVey since 2015 when she released her debut single “Know Me Better.” In the last couple years, she’s made her presence felt on UK charts with singles like “Finders Keepers” and most recently, “Don’t Call Me Up,” which peaked at number 3.
She performed a tight six-song set alongside her dancers and DJ, pausing in between to thank her fans and enthuse about her first show in New York. Her confidence, complemented by a gracious and radiant smile, permeated the room. The audience smiled back. It’s always refreshing to see authentic passion onstage from a soon-to-be global pop star.
The audience cheered even louder as Mabel began “Don’t Call Me Up,” the final song of her set.
“I couldn’t have done this without you guys.”
The lone DJ provided the instrumentation for the showcase, but Mabel’s choreography brought as much energy to the stage as a band. When the song finished, Mabel thanked the audience warmly and stepped off as quickly as she’d stepped on. She left us with a strong impression, one I’m sure we’ll see magnified and refined in future performances as her career takes off globally.
Mabel has her debut album in the works and we can’t wait to check it out. Stay posted on her website here.