In association with Lacoste footwear

In the second in a three part series of artist spotlights we pinned down London’s Maverick Sabre for a kick about with music genre.

Growing up between Hackney and less hectic confines of Ireland’s County Wexford meant that Michael Stafford always inhabited two worlds. Thankfully for us he’s carried this detail into his music.

Straddling folk and the direct, visceral words from the estates that Mike Skinner or Plan B evoked, Maverick Sabre has developed into an act that relishes serving up bleeding emotion: “I’ve always been inspired by emotional music.’ He declares in his thick Irish brogue ‘The songs that have moved me the most are always about something, like old Irish songs where you can hear the pain in there. If you write music about raw human emotions like love, hate, loyalty, getting stabbed in the back, and if you can capture these emotions and communicate these universal emotions, then your songs will always be relevant. Then your music will never die.”

Whilst millions of fans have enjoyed his high end videos for ‘I Need’ and ‘Let Me Go’ - both drenched in strings and swimming in the polished production closer to a Beyonce shoot, nearly all his songs start life on the humble acoustic guitar: “I want my voice and what I am saying to be at the forefront of it,’ he affirms ‘You can get a lot more power across when the music is stripped back because it allows you to be more energetic and emotional in your delivery. If you look back at Bob Dylan, he didn’t have the best voice in the world, in fact he could hardly sing, but his songs were so strong that he just cut through.”

His collaborations so far have included the likes of Chase and Status Professor Green whilst tour slots have seen him do the honours before Cee Lo and one particular canine obsessed G-Funk hip hop lord: “The person that taught me the most, and it wasn’t anything he said, it was just the way he WAS’ reveals the Irishman ‘Was Snoop Dogg, he’s a legend, no doubt about it. And for him to be that humble and honest was amazing, it was like meeting a family member.”

However now the support slots are behind him as his own headline tour beckons at the end of October before his debut album drops in January on Mercury Records. And like most things Maverick Sabre tackles, he aint thinking small: “I just wanted to make an album that, not in a cheesy way, my fans now could play to their kids in 50 years time and the music and the lyrics be relevant then. I feel that recently we’ve not had albums that can stand the test of time or cross social boundaries, like records that my dad used to play to me – like Bob Dylan or Bob Marley, they still work now. Like before there was recorded music, roots music was about telling stories and moving people.”

As the world of music spins ever faster, borders blur and genres eat one another with seasonal relish this artist is comfortable existing anywhere in the industry or anywhere in people’s minds. And confidence reigns when he says: “I don’t really see myself fitting into an existing genre of music or scene.’ breezes the singer ‘Music has gotten so diluted with everything. You’ve got hip hop artists doing massive songs in the charts, you’ve got people like Wretch 32 who has HEAVY songs but he performs it live with an acoustic guitar – so you’re mixing everything together, and I think that’s the best way. I am glad that everyone is being influenced by everything more so. I don’t want to be in the Pop section in HMV, just leave it somewhere on the floor and people can pick it up from there. If I wanna do a jazz album tomorrow then I should be allowed, you’d never tell a painter what to paint.”

Maverick Sabre kicks off his UK Tour on 25th October in Oxford.

Maverick Sabre wears footwear by Lacoste.

Words by Matthew Bennett


Visit ClashMusic's Lacoste hub page for more interviews, photo galleries and behind the scenes access HERE.

Follow Clash: