Treefort 2023 Profile: Vancouver’s Mauvey

Born in Ghana and currently residing in Vancouver, Mauvey’s life story is as wide-ranging as tastes in music, which span alt-pop, hip-hop and soul. But there’s a through line to his story, and it’s a hideous one: “My whole life, I have faced the unimaginable torture of racism. It has been unyielding and suffocating,” Mauvey said in a statement while reflecting on his life.

While no one would want to shoulder that burden, what makes Mauvey a magical artist is his desire — and success — at molding the perfect response to hate. Rather than focus his art around the abuse he’s faced throughout his life, the artist counters hardships with positivity. Call it turning the other check, taking a stand or whatever you will — Mauvey uses his opportunity at the mic to create a rising tide lifting everyone who listens. Expect nothing less when he performs at Treefort Music Fest in a couple of weeks.

The Bad Penny recently caught up with Mauvey, who was more excited about playing Treefort than any other artist interviewed for this series on participating international artists. If you don’t fall in love with him after reading this interview, be sure to catch one or both of his Treefort sets, and you’ll see what you’re missing: An exceptionally talented young artist, at the top of his game, with an unflaggingly enlightened approach to life.

[Go here for a primer on this series of Treefort Music Fest previews. Check back for new profiles of international artists playing the festival every day leading up to the fest’s kickoff on Wednesday, March 22.]

Artist: Mauvey
From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Genre: alternative pop, hip-hop, R&B and soul
Treefort info: Playing Friday, March 24, at Reef at 11:40 p.m.; and Saturday, March 25, at Cyclops at 6 p.m.

Why did you decide to play Treefort Fest this year?

MAUVEY: I wanted to be a part of the most important event for new and emerging acts. An invite alone is priceless.

What excites you the most about participating in it?

MAUVEY: The most exciting part about participating in Treefort for me is twofold. First, the quality and quantity of opportunities. Whether it be game-changing people catching your showcase, to the networking opportunities and the potential possibilities coming from any one meeting. Second, the lineup is unbelievable. Genuine discovery everywhere you turn.

Is this your first time playing Treefort? If so, how did your booking come about? If not, why did you choose to return?

MAUVEY: This is my first time playing at Treefort. I was accepted last year, but wasn’t able to attend. I am attending thanks to continued support from Music BC [a nonprofit supporting artists] out of Vancouver, Canada.

Have you visited Boise/Idaho before? If yes, do you have any fun stories to share? If not, what have you heard about Boise/Idaho?

MAUVEY: I have not visited Boise or anywhere in Idaho before. I have heard about the blue turf at the university and one of my favourite foods: the underrated POTATO.

Did you face any challenges or headaches in securing a visa to come here?

MAUVEY: No. Visa issues kept me from accepting the offer to attend last year, but I have recently received a [non-immigrant] O1 visa and am delighted to be issue-free this year.

What expectations do you have for your experience here and at Treefort?

MAUVEY: I am attending with a super-positive mindset. I believe in fairytales and magic. I know something magical is going to happen in the week I am in Boise. I am going to challenge myself to meet more people than I ever have.

How would you describe your state of mind going into Treefort?

MAUVEY: I am heading to Boise with an open heart and a lot of energy. I am extremely focused on putting in the work to put myself out there and create opportunities for life changing magic to happen.

What other artists on the Treefort lineup are you excited to see? Are you friends with any of them?

MAUVEY: I am excited to see Meltt and VOX REA. I am friends with both bands, and I am so excited to watch their stunning live shows.

What do you enjoy most about performing at music festivals in general?

MAUVEY: I enjoy the lack of judgment from audiences. I enjoy the supportive atmosphere backstage with other bands and artists on the line up.

What can Treefort attendees expect from your performance?

MAUVEY: People can expect everything I have and a little bit more. All my love and passion and desperation and gratitude. I will hold nothing back. Expect a highly energetic, intentional live show.

For more Treefort coverage, check out our recent conversations with:

• Italy’s Dumbo Gets Mad

• Brazil’s BIKE

• Chile’s Sistemas Inestables

• British Columbia’s Mother Sun

• Norway’s Orions Belte

• Treefort Co-Founder and Festival Director Eric Gilbert

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