Culture Envy: Mauvey, mixtapes, and the importance of love

The singer-songwriter expects to have new projects released in the new year

Ransford Lareya, the artist who performs as Mauvey. (Submitted)

Henry, a flower delivery guy, a clown named Moby Locks, and a custodian are just a few of the characters in Mauvey’s latest mixtape, The Florist

With a mix of pop, hip-hop, and R&B, the mixtape reflects on a novel from a four-part series that Mauvey wrote, showing the importance of spreading love to others and himself. 

Ransford Lareya, the artist who performs as Mauvey, was born in Accra, Ghana and grew up between Southampton of the United Kingdom and Vancouver, British Columbia. Before entering the music scene in 2012, Mauvey was a professional basketball player for several years in Denmark and England. 

He says the album is about a man who quit his high-powered job to become a flower delivery man to distribute love and happiness by giving people flowers. 

“But in a lot of ways, I identify with this character, wanting to make people happy [and] to distribute love,” says Mauvey.

Mauvey switched his career to begin writing music. He started writing poems, short stories, and novels, and moved into writing hip-hop and folk music. Now, he writes a song every day to practice his skills. 

Nine years later, Mauvey has released two EPs, The Florist, and has gone on multiple tours across the U.K., Germany, and Canada. 

“I had really nothing to do with music until my mid-20s,” says Mauvey. “So my whole mindset is like, ‘Man, people have been doing this their whole lives, and I haven’t, so I actually have a lot of catching up to do.’” 

Out of the 10 songs, Mauvey says “Helium” and “I GET IT” were his favourite to create, not only because of the melody but for how personal they are. 

He says that these two songs specifically reflect more of his personal life and of a special time in his life. 

“‘Helium’ is an actual true story from beginning to end, it’s not like a metaphoric world,” says Mauvey. “Every single thing I talked about happened in real life, so it’s just a really cool reminder of something that was a really special time in my life.” 

In addition to the songs in The Florist, Mauvey directed and produced a short film series to accompany the mixtape release. This introduced the characters to the world and gave listeners “easter eggs” for future projects. 

Also filmed in B.C., the series consists of four parts, each featuring one song off the mixtape introducing seven characters showing how they’ve encountered love in their life and their individual love story. 

While being an actor in the film and playing five different characters in the series, Mauvey says that “the custodian is still often decades past this distant mourning, a loss of love to grieve and to mourn.”  

He adds that another character’s story was when the clown Moby Locks attended a dinner party where he was the only one who looked different except for the other clown sitting at the end of the table.  

“He’s learning how to exert himself like maybe he hasn’t seen someone who looks like him. In my life, being a Black man, and in the world, just being able to relate to that feeling, accepted and understood in certain environments,” says Mauvey.  

Although every aspect of the filmmaking was Mauvey’s favourite part, he says acting as the clown and the food fight scene in the second video stood out to him. 

“I’ve dreamed about having a real food fight. Not just throw a little thing here and there, but we were throwing real, disgusting food,” says Mauvey. “The cleanup was unbelievable … I’ll never forget that.” 

In the meantime, he is working on producing an album by the end of 2022 and planning an International tour shortly after the release in 2023. To stay updated with Mauvey’s latest work, he can be found through his website or Instagram

“To me, the reason I’m doing this is to distribute love and to get opportunities to tell people that they’re important,” Mauvey says. “It’s important people know just how important they are and how important love actually is to our human experience.”