Read our exclusive interview with up-and-coming solo artist Dolly Mavies ahead of this year’s Big Feastival. She will be gracing the ever-exciting BBC Introducing stage…
DOLLY MAVIES INTERVIEW
THE JOURNALIX: We love BBC Introducing! And over the years they have helped further the careers of Adele, Florence, The 1975, Ed Sheeran to name but a few… How did it feel to have your music played on BBC radio for the first time?
DOLLY MAVIES: The first time one of my songs was played on the radio it was amazing! It’s always great to be able to share songs with people and allowing people from all over to tune in was unreal. It meant my Grandparents in Wales could listen and friends in New Zealand so that was pretty cool!
THE J: How important is BBC Introducing as a platform for shining a light on local acts such as yourself?
DOLLY MAVIES: BBC introducing is such a great platform to support new music. I’m so lucky that my local BBC intro rep. is Dave Gilyeat who always asks great questions and keeps on the ball with what everyone is up to. It’s a really great way to get your music heard, reach new audiences and play new festivals – which is always so much fun.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
THE J: Have you attended the Big Feastival before?
DOLLY MAVIES: I have never been to Feastival but have always wanted to go, so I am so stoked to be playing it for the first time!!
THE J: How much do you love cheese?
DOLLY MAVIES: I absolutely love cheese, so this is my perfect festival. I played a show in France in Cannes a couple of years back for a Snapchat launch (or something along those lines) and the highlight of the show was the cheese selection afterwards!
THE J: We’re attending but will be staying in the Cotswolds for a week – where else should we visit whilst we’re in that part of the country?
DOLLY MAVIES: The Cotswolds are LUSH! So many great places to explore. You can do a really nice walk all around Stow-on-the-Wold which takes you through a horse training ground which is cool. Daylesford Farm is a nice trip out for a coffee and a mooch and a new mortgage. Bourton-on-the-Water has an AMAZING bakery called Bakery on the Water (I love bread too, a match made in heaven!) and Lower Slaughter is beautiful and serene.
THE J: Your music is very atmospheric and we’ve heard it used on TV… Would you ever consider working on a movie soundtrack?
DOLLY MAVIES: I would be honoured to work on a movie soundtrack. I absolutely love film scores and even have some decorating the halls in my flat! I always think so many of my songs would work well for that – sitting on a train, looking out the window, rain falling down – kind of scene.
THE J: Which film soundtracks are you particularly fond of from over the years?
DOLLY MAVIES: There is a documentary called Sleep which is all about Max Richter and his sleep album which I think is incredible. The psychology behind it and the scientific nature of the songs is amazing. I love the film Wayne’s World, and that has some classics.
“THE SOUND, THE FEEL AND THE EMOTION”
THE J: Your Twitter bio says “Making music, keeping my clothes on” – do you feel there is still a pressure on women in music to sexualise their image to succeed in the industry?
DOLLY MAVIES: I think it is an expectation for a lot of people. It’s also just a reminder that music isn’t about what you look like, it’s about the sound, the feel and the emotion.
THE J: Acoustically I get vibes of Joni Mitchell… Does she inspire your work, or are we way off?
DOLLY MAVIES: I absolutely love Joni Mitchell, very flattered. I think her unapologetic-ness and her desire to write songs because she wants to and how she feels is what I take from her music. And the freedom to not always need a standard verse bridge chorus kind of thing.
THE J: One of my favourite songs of all-time is Ambition by Doves – recorded live at a Scottish Monastery – how was it recording your latest single at the beautiful Grand Chapel Studios and does a venue like this inspire a change in your performance?
DOLLY MAVIES: So amazing. It is such an awesome place and had such a great vibe. Anneliese and Mikey are awesome and really know what they’re doing. They were so great to work with and really put the time and effort in to achieve what we wanted. It’s such a great space to perform in and capture a moment in time.
POP FACT! Ahead of the interview Dolly had been providing backing vocals for Spandau Ballet lead singer Tony Hadley’s new album. She said it was “pretty cool”.
THE J: You have released EPs but when can we expect your debut LP?
DOLLY MAVIES: I am hoping that we’ll be getting in to the studio and getting some new music out there. There’s old songs which we have reworked and new songs I can’t wait to share. It’s just about finding the right sound, vibe and collection all together. It’s so exciting to be putting a REAL record together and going into the studio for a good stint to really get what we want on to the record.
THE J: It’s your name on the posters but you talk about “we” as a collective band for the live shows… What can we expect from your upcoming festival performances this year?
DOLLY MAVIES: I am lucky enough to have some awesome people join me on stage and play alongside me. It’s great to bring my sound to life and have fun on stage with some great friends. It’s usually brothers Adrian on Bass and Chris on Guitar, and then Bee on drums, and I’ve even got a lovely friend and awesome singer Ruth joining with backing vocals which will be a really exciting new dynamic.
THE J: How much have you been enjoying being able to play to a live audience again? How difficult was 2020 for you personally and as an artist?
DOLLY MAVIES: It is so great to be able to finally play in front of people again. It’s so cathartic to perform. It’s a real work out too ha ha! Last year was really tough because – like everyone – we couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. But in that time I did do lots of live shows from home which were interesting, a couple of live streamed shows from our local rehearsal studios and spent time writing music for myself, but also for music libraries – so that was fun to try out new styles and keep creative.
THE J: Have you played Manchester yet?
DOLLY MAVIES: I have played in Manchester a couple of times and it’s such a great place for live music! There’s always something going on and so many great places to discover new music.
THE J: Do you have a favourite venue?
DOLLY MAVIES: I think my favourite was when I played a show at Leaf and it was so intimate and chilled and a really great vibe and a really great selection of other artists.
THE J: What does the future hold for Dolly Mavies?
DOLLY MAVIES: I hope the future holds lots more concerts/gigs/shows/festivals and plenty of recording. I would love to work with more artists, and if I got the opportunity to tour with someone, that would be amazing.
THE DOLLY MIX – PLAYLIST
Check out this awesome mix of songs all picked by Dolly Mavies in an exclusive for The Journalix!