We caught up with rising Bristol pop star Mouse to talk five iconic tracks that are inspiring her right now as she writes her upcoming EP.

‘Dance like nobody’s watching’ always used to be one of those figurative inspirational quotations to get people to aspire towards purer and less inhibited selves. Now, on lockdown, you have every reason and every chance to dance like nobody’s watching. Cue the dance-pop of Mouse. We checked in with her to see how she’s getting on in lockdown:

“Well, hasn’t 2020 been a string of interesting events? Although I recognise that it’s not a unique situation, I’ve had some significant life changes as a direct consequence of Covid-19. Therefore, much of my self-isolation so far has been adjusting! I’ve punctuated it so far with writing and recording new music, getting outside on my bike and an interview on BBC Upload.

“Prior to the pandemic, I’d been busying myself with the creation of an EP and everything that comes along with it. I’ve written so many songs that I can’t wait to share, but making sure they’re presented in the right way is really important to me. I’ve designed a set of new logos, artwork and even some merch. I’m pretty sure it’ll all still happen in 2020; thankfully, so much of what musicians can do is online and indoors anyway!

I was going to be playing several festivals and gigs over the next few months which have all been cancelled. I can’t wait for the first show back after this, I think it’ll be quite emotional to have so many people in one room again!”

Check out Mouse’s single ‘Grow’ below and get to know her In Five.

“Here are five songs that have been particularly inspirational to me while I’ve been writing my EP”:

Charli XCX – ‘Vroom Vroom’ 

‘Vroom Vroom’ is the holy grail of pop music and Charli XCX is its deity (or the pope of pop, take your pick). I dream of writing something as fun as this and the video is also one of my favourites too. Sophie’s production is flawless and really inspiring. I downloaded her sample pack at the end of 2019 and it’s encouraged me to push myself as a producer.

Billie Piper – ‘Day & Night’

One of the first pop songs I ever heard, this song will always be in my heart. I guess they were pushing Billie Piper to be the British Britney Spears? I love how tonally dark this song is and it heavily features my favourite sample of pop: the orchestra hit. A side note, the video peaks in two places: the moment when she runs up a wall and the launderette scene. Exquisite.

Ariana Grande – ‘Touch It’

The best song from the best Ariana Grande album, Dangerous Woman. Again, this song appeals because the production is so heavy. I acquired the stems for it a few years ago; the layering is insane and it taught me a lot. When producing before, I’d usually use one or two rinsedown and impact sounds, but this song contains approximately a million of each with every section. The whole thing is flawless, but my favourite melody is that of the pre-chorus.

100 gecs – ‘ringtone (remix)’ feat. Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, Kero Kero Bonito

I hardly slept for a week after I heard this song because I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’d avoid having the same artist twice, but Charli XCX is only featured on the remix so I guess it’s okay… I think it’s really impressive when production is so sparse. It really contrasts ‘Touch It’ in that way and in some sections, there’s just one synth and a vocal. I’ve not been brave enough yet to keep my production that sparse, but soon I will… I also love the addition of the guitars that come in with Rico Nasty’s verse and anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a sucker for an interesting snare. Hi, I’m Mouse and I’m such a nerd.

Caroline Polachek – ‘Pang’

Coming through again with the sparse production! I think this song is really beautiful and Polachek’s vocal delivery is so delicate. As you listen to it, you don’t realise that the production is building towards the final chorus because it’s so subtle. When the kick comes in after the final chorus, it’s the ultimate delayed gratification. I love Danny L Harle’s production style but this feels quite soft compared to the rest of his work.

Follow Mouse on Spotify here.

Photo credit: Nix Boulton