mlbacard¡ FAULT Magazine Photoshoot and Interview

Photography: Jack Alexander

Hair and MUA: Ciara Deroiste

Introducing mlbacard¡, the artist that’s about to be on everybody’s watch list. In this interview, we’ll delve into the inspiration behind her debut track “KETCHUP,” explore her musical style, and gain insights into her creative process. mlbacard¡, this is all your FAULT.

What inspired the name mlbacard¡?

My full name is Maria Luisa, and since I can remember I’ve called myself ML, as I’ve always felt like it’s suited me better… my teachers, friends and mother (unless irritated) have always known and called me ML, I’ve been ML my whole life.

The upside down exclamation mark could’ve been an inspiration from my prevailing Spanish roots you might think, but no… I unfortunately don’t speak a single word of Spanish. 

I’ve always been a black sheep, which used to feel like an impairing weakness, but now see it as my biggest strength, the exclamation mark represents not following the rules and owning your differences. 

There you have it, I’m clearly an un-inspired person, considering that my stage name is the name that I use in my everyday life, but – with an upside down exclamation mark, cause I think it looks sick and to obviously bend the rules a bit… cause that’s always more fun. 

What was the main inspiration behind your debut track KETCHUP?

Ketchup was written during a time of utter sadness, having really struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Using writing as a form of therapy, and subsequently keeping me sane. When one goes through phases of depression, it feels as though there is a tendency of going through never-ending cycles that utterly engulf your being. 

This song represents a time experienced shortly after school, struggling to break this mental cycle. It represents the inevitable battle between oneself, most times a feeling completely invalid due to being absorbed by your own mental and emotional destruction. Writing has helped me reach a third person perspective, giving distance and understanding to my own self sabotage. It was a means of passing this feeling that consumed me for so long. 

How would you describe your musical style?

I’d describe my musical style as an alternative, indie, pop hybrid genre.  If Kurt Cobain and Christina Aguilera had a baby, that baby would be me. Greatly influenced by the likes of Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Still Woozy, Led Zeppelin, 070 Shake, Arlo Parks, The Rolling Stones (and many others, but this list proves to already be too long). This eclectic influence has given me a certain diversity in my own personal style. 

Can you tell us about your creative process when writing music?

My creative process can vary depending on my mood and the emotions that have driven me to write my music. I have legitimately 2000 notes on my phone, with short lyrics or random things that pop into mind that I think are cool at the time… and are more often than not: complete garbage. 

I also have multiple notebooks, loose pieces of paper, all unfinished, littered w doodles, singular words that make absolutely no sense, or full blown lyrics and songs. I have a tendency to think of everything all at once, and this is the closest attempt of me trying to narrow down the millions of ideas I have. The way I write my music is a complete and utter reflection of who I am as a person. Everything that I do, inspires a new idea, that inspires a new idea, that inspires a new idea… you get the idea? It never stops. 

The music process can start or on logic pro, or messing around with my guitar, or a melody I’ve just sung. For me there is no clear cut way to express a raw emotion, it’s as messy as the human experience of feeling. 

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a musician and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a musician stems from doubt, fear and the general human experience. That being said, narrowing down ideas and being hypercritical has happened to do just as much harm as it has good. 

I’m a perfectionist, and that has been an excruciating battle with myself, having to let something be what it has become, I could continue to depict all the things I’d like to change, potentially make better (or worse). It’s the fact of letting a song be, and accepting the fact that imperfection is what makes something impeccably perfect. 

It’s taken me a while to apprehend this, but you live and you learn, and that’s what I try to do everyday. 

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or releases you have planned?

First off, I’m so exciteddddd! I’m going to be releasing a couple singles before my first mixtape! I’ve been working in Stockholm, Sweden, London – continuously in the studio… i’ve been working hard and have got a lot in store. 

Do you make longterm plans for your music or take things as they come? 

I’m constantly writing, creating new music; therefore yes, the longterm plan is there but it’s subconscious and isn’t an active thought process to have a longterm plan. It’s more the fact that I’m a creative, and therefore to live, I need to create. Therefore, there will always be material to release or to work on. 

It just really depends on the way of perceiving things. I’m taking things as they come, as well as continuously working on my music. I’m open to opportunities as they come, as well as being happy to take the time some things need. 

What are you most looking forward to this summer? 

I’m most looking forward to getting that tan on, as well as seeing friends, having a drink on the beach, and unwinding.

I’m going to love doing intimate gigs for friends and if the opportunity arises for a bigger crowd… taking everything as it comes, because that’s kind of what summers are all about. 

What is your FAULT?

My personal flaw is being too wonderful, beautiful and out of this world… and obviously conceited, oh actually did I mention that I’m dreadfully funny?  Sorry, I promise that I’m done… please tell me you’ve realised that I’ve meant this utmost sarcasm (ever). 

To be quite frank, my perfectionism is what has diminished my ability to do a lot of things. Considering, being hyper judgmental towards myself and not ever being satisfied with the end result, knowing (or simply convincing myself) that there can always potentially be better. 

I’m trying to accept that imperfections in life are what make us inferior beings… I mean HUMAN.