Angel Mawlabaux is an English singer-songwriter from West London. Born into a musical family she grew up watching her mother and family perform as vocalists, musicians and comedians, joining them on stage from a young age and continuing to sing, play and perform musically in various groups, orchestras, choirs and bands throughout her formative years.
Angel’s musical journey froze for a while when she lost her mother aged 21 and through the shock found herself unable to sing or perform for many years. Instead, for over a decade, she channelled her grief into running a London-based party called Planet Angel and its family-friendly sibling event Planet Angel *Chilled* with the positive intention of providing a space where people could lose their inhibitions, be themselves and feel comfortable. The parties became a great success, hosting around a thousand colourful, creative people every month. It continues to this day, though Angel left the organisation in the hands of her business partner over a decade ago.
Seven years after losing her mother, Angel started to feel the urge to sing again. It became strong, as though she needed to exorcise a part of her soul that needed to be free. She picked up the guitar for the first time, learnt a few chords, learnt a few songs, then began writing her own lyrics and melodies, which led her step-by-step through the process of unlocking her musical door and rediscovering her voice.
Angel released her first EP ‘Angel Song’ under her original music name ‘Angel Kelly’ in 2008, adding it to Spotify in 2010. With delicate vocals against simple strings, these songs were authentic, beautiful and full of emotion. Later she released a second single ‘Less is more’ under the same name.
Over time Angel formed relationships with other talented musicians who accompanied her in and around London at various venues and festivals including HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, The Troubadour in Earls Court, Chilled in a field festival, The Elysian Project, Small World festival, the Original Songwriters Club in Bethnal Green, Spitalfields City Farm and other folk nights around London.
Angel moved to South East London in her thirties and took a step back from music for a few years to grow her own young family. In that time, she became fascinated by the psychology of childhood and parenthood, inspired by her own experiences as a child. In 2017 Angel finished three years at university as a mature student, gaining a first-class Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Studies, drawing on scholarship in anthropology, economics, history and sociology of childhood, literature, religion, philosophy and psychology.
Now, she is back focusing on making music, with Dawn James on rhythm guitar and Sam the drum on percussion, the three of them gel and flow beautifully together. Dawn grew up in Wales playing blues and folk music with her family while studying guitar and cello. As an adult she has divided her time between live music and DJing at London clubs and festivals. Her musical influences include everything from Queen to Urban Folk Quartet, with a good dose of electronic dance music. Sam’s earliest influences came from the dance floors of D&B and Garage clubs along with bands like The Progidy and Apollo 440. When he was introduced to Whirl-y-gig his musical horizons broadened and he picked up a djembe for the first time. Since then he has played some of the world’s biggest clubs from Ibiza to New York and all over London, combining world music rhythms with western dance floor beats.
Having enjoyed powerful, poetic and emotional performances at HowTheLightGetsIn festival and Chilled in a field festival over the summer of 2018, the band are hitting the studio over the winter with guests providing violin, double bass and synths to rework Angel’s original tracks and record the newer material. They are looking forward to bringing a more folktronica sound out into the summer of 2019, including a drum and bass rhythm for “Can we keep this”, which is an exciting step towards adding a more electronic element to their sound.