It's safe to say Mabel "won" the breakup that inspired "Don't Call Me Up."
The U.K. singer scored a smash with her bass-heavy, ex-blasting anthem, which became pop's most instantly relatable kiss-off since Dua Lipa's "New Rules." But as Mabel recently told us, the process of writing "Don't Call" was less about boasting and more about healing.
"I wrote it for myself because that's where I wanted to be. I was going through a breakup and I was like, I want to be the person that doesn't care," Mabel, the MTV Push artist for the month of July, explained. "And the song kind of helped me get there. [Through] listening to it, writing it, singing it, I did finally get to the point where I was like, 'Yeah I'm over you.'"
"Don't Call Me Up" marked Mabel's first time working with writers and producers Steve Mac and Kamille Purcell, a hit-making duo she describes as "the dream team." (She's since collaborated with them on "Mad Love," another single from her upcoming debut album, High Expectations.) But even more integral to the single's success and appeal was the honesty that Mabel put into the lyrics.
"I remember listening back to it and being quite overwhelmed because it was definitely different to anything I'd ever done before," she said. "I've always wanted to make songs that have done what 'Don't Call Me Up' has done: go global and have a pop record that's still me. It took years to figure out how to make that record, and 'Don't Call Me Up' was sort of that breakthrough moment."
She continued, "I knew it was different. It was actually almost scary. ... Sometimes the song is bigger than you, and it just sort of leads the way, and that's quite scary. It was like, 'Oh my god, I can't control this one.'"
For her MTV Push performance of "Don't Call Me Up," Mabel stripped things down, giving the hit a cool acoustic makeover. See that below, and check out more of her exclusive Push content here.