Photo and collage by Alex Westfall.

Mallrat is the moniker of 20-year-old Grace Shaw. Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, the singer-producer began producing cloud rap-inspired demos in her teenage bedroom. Her recently released EP In The Sky proves a maturation in her sound. Blending her hip-hop origins with soft and dreamy bubblegum pop, it beautifully tackles themes of loneliness, loss, and needing change. Shaw explains, “I want to make music that makes people feel something. I want you to leave with a memory; something hazy that isn’t too concrete.” We met with Grace as she was finishing up touring with Maggie Rogers, and we’re so grateful that she shared these songs that have shaped her.

1. “Tomboy” by Princess Nokia
This is for when I need to get fired up. It’s so confident, exciting, baller. It feels so good to listen to to this.

2. “Empty Streets” by Kota Banks
I just finished my first tour in the US! Denim, who DJs at my shows, and I have been doing dance routines in our hotel room before each show. Kota Banks is a girl who’s also from Australia–this song gets us ready to perform.

3. “A World Alone” by Lorde
This was my adolescence. It reminds me of finishing school and starting to make music–I was going through exactly what she was going through. Everyone I’ve met who has listened to Pure Heroine is like, “this was written for me.” It’s like reading your own diary–so special.

4. “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes
Sometimes I wish listening to my music felt like listening to this song. My music is too airy, too dreamy. In another life!

5. “Rainbow Connection” by The Muppets
These are the most beautiful lyrics ever. It’s hilarious when you hear Kermit the Frog sing it, but when you listen a cover, you cry. I play to this before I go to sleep. The last verse goes, “Have you been half asleep? Have you heard voices?” And it’s hauntingly beautiful.

6. “Eyes on the Road” by Allday
This is what made me want to make music. I saw Allday live when I was in school. I heard this hip-hop/pop hybrid sound, and immediately thought, Whoa, maybe I can make music like this.

7. “Rodent” by Burial
I listened to this all time when I was writing my latest EP. There’s just no time to explain what is a metaphor and what isn’t in a song. That’s what I love about this–it just is.

8. “Chanson triste” by Carla Bruni
My favorite thing is when music makes you feel confused. Like, I’m sad, and I’m happy. I wanna dance and I wanna cry. That’s what this is for me.

9. “I’ve Got Love” by Empress Of
Just. So. Good. Nothing more to say here. ♦