Gigging around the underground Irish hip-hop scene, Maverick Sabre is the distinctively voiced soul singer who idolises his dad.
Fighting for the one thing he truly believes in, his music, Michael Stafford aka Maverick Sabre is a small town boy who struck gold when he dared to dream big. Writing songs about real life, singing anywhere that would have him, he was your typical ‘don’t ask, don’t get’, tracksuit-wearing Towny who got signd to major record label Mercury. Releasing his free, digital debut mix-tape online, Travelling Man, earlier this year, the now 21-year-old skinhead was discovered by drum and bass Don Juans Chase and Status. Breaking through featuring on the dance music duo’s second studio album No More Idols, Pro Green then picked up on this prime talent, pairing up with Master Sabre for their chart topping track ‘Jungle.’
Living it up, proudly promoting his first EP, The Words, 2011 has proved a fruitful year for this lucky charm. Jetting across ponds to film the video for his first official single ‘Let Me Go’ in Vegas, Mav. maybe on the cusp of greatness but he still knows the value of family. Taking things back to Co. Wexford, where he grew up, to film the video for his latest release I Need, this is one Maverick who won’t forget his roots. i-D online caught up to get the craic on Mav’s movements for 2012.
What artists and bands have had the biggest impact upon you? Tupac Shakur, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley.
Who are your heroes? My dad and anyone who fights for what they believe in.
Tell me about the first gig you ever played? It was in Tramore in Co.Waterford supporting Urban Intelligence + Correkt Minds.
What artists/producers would you like to work with in the future? Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Salaam Remi.
How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you before? Wayne Rooney meets Brad Pitt.
What impact do you hope to have on audiences when you perform? Hopefully I can connect with them through the experiences I’m writing about and feed off that energy.
What was it like filming the video for the debut single in Vegas? An experience. I was 20 and so I wasn’t old enough to be in bars and clubs. I saw Vegas from a different view, it was interesting.
What’s the concept behind the song for the video? Basically the song is about addiction, so I wanted a video to represent that and what better place to shoot a video about addiction than Sin City.
What has been the highlight of the past twelve months for you? Going back to the town I grew up in and shooting my most recent video for ‘I Need’.
How was performing on the Jools Holland show? It was a humbling experience, I’ve watched that show since I was a kid and to be on it and have the introduction by the man himself was an honour.
What can people expect from the album? I really set out to make an album that would last the test of time, like music I was played from my dad’s collection that connected with me from a different time. I want my music to be able to do that in 20/30/40 years’ time.
What are your own expectations for the album? I just hope people enjoy the music and that it achieves in my mind what I want it to. I want to connect with people.
What are your top 5 hangouts in Ireland? New Ross, Tramore, Kerry, Galway, Cork city.
Maverick Sabre’s new single ‘I Need’ is available on iTunes from Sunday here