NATIVE Premiere: mau from nowhere’s “I LIKE” is a warm display of romantic affection

I Like is a reflection of everyone's love fantasy

mau from nowhere is always on a road to self-discovery. With a catalogue of hits under his belt, the 2022 uNder alum is opening up his book with memorable and relatable releases. The last quarter of 2022 saw Mau spring up with new creativity featuring in collaborations with Ugandan artist Mauimoon and Maya Amolo. With the new year in sight, the Kenyan singer is ready to establish a well-rounded identity in his music. 

Gearing up for the new year mau from nowhere took to Instagram to announce a surprise project that was exclusive to SoundCloud. Dubbed ‘MIM. VOL4’ project is curated with five songs each one minute long. Whether touching on identity crisis and self-sabotage in “Here In Time,” on “Who I Thought U Were,” or exploring his sonic template with “Hey There” covering Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” , mau from nowhere has cemented his position in Kenya’s alternative canon.

mau from nowhere · MIM VOL.4

With this in mind, mau from nowhere is today sharing the official video for his recent single “I LIKE,” a clear sign that the road to his new project is drawing nearer and nearer. Drawing inspiration from the initial stages of love, mau switches his signature minimalistic productions to uptempo distinct mellow piano riffs which provide the perfect backdrop for his romantic intentions.

Singing “I like taking my time, I like taking things slow//I like holding your hand,” he addresses a love interest who he enjoys spending time with, a sign of his commitment to her. Accompanied by equally exciting visuals helmed by Tyse Visual, “I LIKE” is a sweet-sounding barrage of wordplay and flirtations with a sobering, almost-too personal vulnerability. The video is visual feast which exemplifies mau’s adoration towards his muse with rich colour and ambient scenes.

Speaking about the new single, mau shares “I Like is a song about the early stages of falling in love. Those early stages in which butterflies are swarming and excitement is kicking fear’s ass. I really loved making this song because it was simple, and while usually I’m over analysing a lot of what I’m feeling and what’s around me when I write lyrics, this time everything came out in a light and easy way.”

Ahead of the official release of the Tyse Visual-directed video “I LIKE,” the NATIVE spoke with mau from nowhere about the new release, his experiences with love and his plans for the rest of the year.


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His answers, which follow below, have been lightly edited for clarity.

NATIVE: Hi mau from nowhere, what was the inspiration behind your new single, “I Like”?

mau from nowhere: The song was inspired by the early stages of falling for someone. At that time I was quite jaded about myself in relation to love and I thought it would take a while to find myself catching feelings for someone, so when it happened again it felt like quite a lot. 

The new track talks about the early stages of love and relationships. What are some of the signs you show when you’re in love?

mau: Lowkey I’ll start writing songs. It’s weird because I don’t necessarily have writer’s block beforehand but when words start falling out of me it’s a sign and a lot of those words are either triggered by being around them or conversations with them. As far as it relates to the person I’m feeling things for I think I just start getting a lot more comfortable, so I start overthinking less and can be my full self

What were the major challenges when creating this video?

mau: Honestly, the main challenge I felt was from a performance perspective. It was the first time I was performing with a happy song as well as working with an actress or love interest character. It’s a bit easier for me to tap into gloomy and introspective instead of being a sweet-boy on camera, so I think the first few scenes were a bit odd for me because I was worried about it coming across as forced or disingenuous. It really helped that my friends were there throughout and so it felt really natural. 

In the video, contrasting Hues are heavily featured to attract the viewer’s attention. Was this done on purpose and if so, why?

mau: I think vibrancy was a huge part of the visual direction of the video. When I approached Tyse about the video I stressed how much I wanted it to emulate that rose tinted view we have when we find ourselves falling for someone. People often talk about how love can make “colours brighter” and “food taste better” so I wanted to play on that idea and have the video feel like a stylised romance film. Tyse really took lead with this with colouring the video too as he brought out a really stunning vintage pastel look in all the shots that made that dreamlike feeling a lot more tangible. 

You are preparing to release an album, what themes will you be exploring with the new drop?

mau: I think just being honest with your feelings where they are at the moment. The whole album centres on vulnerability and the necessity for openness to grow and trust the process, be it life or artistry. This song was made in the throws of that crazy delusional space of early romance and I think it was important for me to fully embrace that space even though it’s never clear things are going to work out. The feeling of wanting to hold someone’s hand and explore life with them regardless of the outcome is a beautiful thing and I wanted that joy and excitement to be captured in its entirety. I think the album is about feeling things to the fullest in a lot of ways, the good and the bad. 

Watch the premiere of “I LIKE” below.

Featured image credits/NATIVE/Courtesy of the artist

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