Soundtrack To My Life: Maverick Sabre

Expect the unexpected.

Maverick Sabre (credit: Lewis Brock)

Image via Publicist. Photography: Lewis Block

Maverick Sabre (credit: Lewis Brock)

In 2011, Maverick Sabre released his debut album Lonely Are The Brave, a project that brought with it a rapid succession of career-defining singles. "I Need" (a remix of which included verses from Chip and Benny Banks), "What Have I Done To You" and "No One" dropped to enraptured audiences and he quickly became a name everyone wanted on their tracks. The album also made him a household name in the UK and a favourite of critics across the board. 

The English-Irish musician's start came via a low-key performance of "They Found Him A Gun" on SBTV back in '09, which earned him a stack of new fans, and then a guest-spot on Chase & Status' "Fire In Your Eyes". Since then he's collaborated with bigger and bigger names, including Shy FX, Devlin, Chronixx, Potter Payper, K Koke, George The Poet, Joey Bada$$ and, most recently, Bugzy Malone. For the past twelve months or so, Maverick's been hard at work on album number three. Entitled When I Wake Up, the new effort promises to be at least as eclectic and surprising as anything he's put out so far. Details for the project are so far being kept under wraps, but more info has been promised for the coming weeks. And who knows? Maybe we'll get a single or a video to tide us over until the album's March 22 release date.

As the release date for album number three approaches, we caught up with Maverick Sabre to get the soundtrack to his life.


Hank Williams — "Jambalaya"

View this video on YouTube

"My dad has always been a massive blues fan; bits of country and rock and roll always playing in the house growing up. He was always in bands or just writing for himself, and a lot of his influences were the likes of Hank Williams, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie. 'Jambalaya' was a song I always remember him playing as a kid."

Little Richard — "Good Golly, Miss Molly"

View this video on YouTube

"When I was around 8 or 9, I started really getting into my parents' vinyl collection. I used to have this old sweeping brush that I used as a microphone, thinking I was the dog's bollocks [laughs]. I remember this tune as one of the first I came across that grabbed me immediately."

The Beatles — "Eleanor Rigby"

View this video on YouTube

"The Beatles were a big influence when I started properly getting into music. The first album, With The Beatles, was the first thing I heard and loved. But when I heard 'Eleanor Rigby', it was something mad different and just sonically feels cinematic and takes you on that journey. Great songwriting by McCartney as well. This was around the first time I started playing guitar."

Ben E King — "Stand By Me"

View this video on YouTube

"This was the first song I learnt to play on guitar. If it's not my favourite song of all time, then it's definitely top five. I heard the song, I think, on a Drifters tape alongside 'Spanish Harlem' and 'Sweets For My Sweet', then I saw the movie and loved that too. Both were a big part of my childhood."

Korn — "Freak On A Leash"

View this video on YouTube

"Around the age of 10 or 12, I got into a lot of rock and metal. I thought about giving up guitar and learning drums! I couldn't deny the energy and the message in it. From Marilyn Manson, Puddle Of Mudd, Staind, Rage Against The Machine, this tune just always stands out from that era for me. And still bangs every time I play it."

The Streets — "Has It Come To This"

View this video on YouTube

"Around the same time I was into rock, I was also getting into garage from hearing what my sister was playing. I was a big So Solid, More Fire Crew and Streets fan. This tune, in particular, influenced how I made music and the feel I was searching for. It also was one of them tunes that really got me into producing beats."

Dizzee Racal — "I Luv U"

View this video on YouTube

"I hadn't heard anything like it before. I remember coming home from school to wait for this video to come on so I could go mad and spit along to it. Dizzee was one of the reasons I started spitting and even tried to sound like him when I was first rapping. Boy In Da Corner is one of my favourite albums."

2Pac — "Keep Your Head Up"

View this video on YouTube

"This is another tune that has to be in my top five of all time. I used to listen to this walking to and from school nearly every day. A song that, for me, will forever be relevant. A message like that doesn't die."

Burning Spear — "Marcus Garvey"

View this video on YouTube

"As I got to around 15, I was heavy into hip-hop and started to listen to jazz and more soul and reggae. This was one of the first reggae tunes that caught my attention. Mr. Spear's voice is golden and I'd never heard of Marcus Garvey beforehand, so it forced me to look him up and educate myself about his history as well as learning from a great song." 

Jorja Smith — "Beautiful Little Fools"

View this video on YouTube

"To bring everything up to date, 10 songs is too little of a number to really go through influential songs of my life, but this tune—out of the most recent songs that have blown me away—stands out. The message and feeling behind this song stands out so much in a era where there's lots of nice written songs saying absolutely nothing. This will be up there some of the greats in years to come! It brought my faith back in new music."

Listen to Maverick Sabre's new single, "Her Grace" featuring Chronixx, below.

Latest in Music