Mae Muller has thus been officially revealed as the UK’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
The 25-year-old heads to Liverpool in May to perform I Wrote A Song – a funny but catchy revenge song, written for her ex-boyfriend and heavily teased on her social media channels.
Muller follows Sam Ryder, who came second in Turin last year – giving the UK its best result in more than two decades.
Like him, she’s been in music for a while, releasing her debut single Close in 2018. and scoring a minor hit in 2021 with Better Days.
Hailed as “the remarkable queen of sass” and a “pop sensation in the making”, she’s already been nominated for an MTV award and collaborated with stars like Little Mix and Marshmello.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Eurovision 2023 hopeful.
He has middle child syndrome
Holly Mae Muller was born in 1997 in Kentish Town, North London. and says he was a typical middle child who hogged the limelight.
“I’ve been an attention seeker since I was two years old,” he recently said on the Private Parts podcast. “Every Christmas or family thing, I’d say, ‘I want to put on a show! Everyone sit down, I want to sing for you!”
“It sounds so silly, but I just loved music and I felt like I loved music more than anyone else.”
Her parents divorced when she was six, but May stayed in London with her mum, a costume designer, while she attended school at Tufnell, where she taught creative writing to younger children.
Handily, her aunt is a music video director, and Muller spent her afternoons as a runner for artists such as Labrinth, for whom she once made tea in a Styrofoam cup.
“It’s been my claim to fame for a long time,” he told Golden Plectrum.
She has never confirmed the identity of her aunt – but it seems likely that she is Sophie Muller, the acclaimed director of videos such as No Doubt’s Don’t Speak, Bjork’s Venus As A Boy and Beyoncé’s Deja Vu.
Sophie also directed the music video for Mika’s Grace Kelly, which brings us to this…
Her first role was in a Mika video
When she was nine, Muller starred in the video for Mika’s hilarious single, dancing around in a green robe and lip-syncing Grace Kelly’s dialogue from The Country Girl.
“I actually got it based on how [messed] My teeth were, obviously,” he said on a recent episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
“I guess they saw all the auditions and said, ‘He’s got some really sharp teeth. That’s good, we like that.”
Gwen Stefani got her into music
The first album he became obsessed with was Gwen Stefani’s Love Angel Music Baby – a hyperactive pop classic that married pop, hip-hop and a retroactively questionable obsession with Japanese Harajuku culture.
“I wouldn’t say it influenced my music and songwriting, but after I discovered Gwen I knew I wanted to do what she did,” Muller told Wonderland magazine in 2018.
Other early influences included Florence + The Machine (“I’d listen to it on my headphones and cry about some 12-year-old boy I was upset about”) and Lily Allen’s debut album Alright Still.
“We used to listen to it on vacation,” he recalls.
“We’d be driving around these beautiful mountains and Lily Allen would come up saying the rudest things. I was still in grade school so I didn’t really know what it meant, but I knew I was obsessed with it.”
She wrote her first song because the Wi-Fi failed
Despite her ambitions, Muller didn’t write her first song until she was 19 – and even then, she was forced to do so.
The singer was taking a train from her father’s home in Cornwall back to London when the Wi-Fi went down and started writing a tune for her boyfriend to stave off the boredom.
“I opened Notes [on my phone] and I started singing tunes and anything that came into my head,” he told The Line Of Best Fit. “I just said how I felt and tried to make it into a song and it worked.”
After she got home, she asked a friend to help her record the song on his laptop and uploaded the track – now called Closer – online.
“I gave him a bottle of wine because he did it, because I had no money.”
The song is still on her Soundcloud now.
“It snowballed from there,” she told Glamor magazine. “I started going to sessions and just making more and more music and working on improving my writing skills.”
Those early songs landed her a manager and publishing deal, and she signed with Capitol Records in 2018.
Better Days was her breakthrough
A collaboration with Swedish producers Neiked, Better Days blew up in September 2021, giving Muller her first taste of chart success.
An upbeat, upbeat dance-pop track, it’s an obvious festival-slayer, but Muller was initially reluctant to record it.
“I used to be very stubborn about recording songs that I didn’t write myself, because that’s what I’ve always done,” she told Women In Pop.
“But I heard it and I just fell in love with it. A great song is a great song, and Neiked said ‘Put your sauce on’ and I did and it felt good.”
She was right to trust her gut – the song sold more than a million copies and has gone platinum in the US.
Her Eurovision song is a diss track
“Never cheat on a songwriter” is a good maxim to live your life by.
Muller has made a career out of shaming her rogue exes in songs like So Annoying, Jenny and HFB – which tell the (true) story of how she discovered her partner was double-timing her and dumped him on his 18th birthday. every year reminds him of his mistakes.”
Her Eurovision entry – I Wrote A Song – continues the tradition.
“I was really pissed off at this guy. I wanted to do something crazy, maybe burn his house down, I don’t know,” she explained on TikTok.
“But I took the road and wrote a song. And that’s called growth, ladies and gentlemen.”
An upbeat club banger with bits of Spanish guitar, the song tells this story almost word for word.
I was going to guess you / Outside your house for all to see
I Wanted You To Dump Your Benz / Tell All Your Friends How Cruel To Me You Were
Instead I wrote a song / About how you did me wrong
I could have cried at home / And spent the night alone
I wrote a song instead…
Technically, though, the title should be “I co-wrote a song.”
Muller had a little help in the studio from hitmakers Karen Poole (Kylie Minogue, Zara Larsson, Becky Hill) and Lewis Thompson (Joel Corry, Little Mix Raye).
He can “cut” it live
Before Sam Ryder, one of the great failings of UK Eurovision acts was a complete lack of experience performing (a) live vocals, (b) on camera, (c) to a global television audience or (d) in anyone all.
But Muller paid her dues and earned her stripes and generally proved pretty decent at holding her own on live TV.
He supported Liam Payne and Little Mix on tour. Sung with Aitch at Live Lounge. and played a sold-out homecoming show at Kentish Town Forum last year.
And here she is performing to millions on The Voice US, looking perfect in front of megastars like Ariana Grande and John Legend.
Fingers crossed for Liverpool.
Harry Styles helps her get ready for the scene
Most musicians have a pre-show ritual to help them get in the zone. The Foo Fighters drink shots and listen to Michael Jackson, Rihanna leads her band in a battle cry, Beyoncé gets an extensive massage.
Mae’s requirements are a bit simpler.
“I have to have some tea,” he told CBBC earlier this year. “And I recently got a Harry Styles mug and now I have to have it in my Harry Styles mug.
Her love for Styles runs deep. “When I was 13, I went to see One Direction on the X Factor and I’ve grown up with it,” he told Capital Radio last year.
But her obsession almost landed her in trouble last year – after she released a cover of Styles’ As It Was and used her Harry Styles mug as artwork.
“I failed to realize that you can’t just have the most famous man in the world on your release without their permission,” he admitted.
“[I] he had to take it down to save the lawsuit.”
Despite the last name, she is not the heiress to a German yogurt fortune
But he dressed up as a giant Muller Corner yogurt for a Hallowe’en performance in 2019.
Bonus fact: Mae also has a tattoo of a Tunnock’s Teacake on her forearm.
After Eurovision – film career?
In the middle of last year, Muller shot her first film role in an action thriller called Gassed Up.
Directed by Bafta-nominated documentarian George Abonsach, it tells the story of 20-year-old Ash (Stephen Odubola), who becomes involved in a moped crime wave while trying to raise money to send his mother to rehab.
Muller posted a video from the set last July, saying that filming was “the most fun, exciting, terrifying, amazing experience” of her life.
But music will remain her focus, with her debut album planned for later this year – and her sights set on the charts.
“I never wanted to be a cool underground artist,” she told Billboard magazine. “I want to be a pop star, I want to travel the world, I want to be in the charts. I’ve never shied away from that.”