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The Young and the Restless: Mapei

The Young and the Restless: Mapei


'Don't Wait' to love the Stockholm-based singer

Photography by Therese + Joel
Sassy finger snaps, crackling acoustic guitar, a Daft Punk-y vocoder breakdown, percussion that sounds like a train running off the tracks -- those are some of the elements in just one of Mapei's new songs. That single, "Don't Wait," which she describes as an ode to "friendship and just living your life to its last minute," became a standout last fall, and she promises more of the same doo-wop-tinged, sparkling soul-pop on her forthcoming album (due in early summer). Though the Rhode Island-born, Stockholm-based singer was raised on hardcore hip-hop ("I hung out with a lot of dudes into rap and freestyling") and Radiohead (because of the "high level of melancholy" in Sweden), she now takes her cues from disco gems like Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" and Irene Cara's Fame classic "Hot Lunch Jam." And if her irrepressible 'fro recalls '70s Diana Ross, it's no coincidence -- the icon is her biggest style influence. "I've been looking at a lot of fashion magazines and wandering around kitschy stores," Mapei says. "I want my music to be visual."

LISTEN TO: The single "Don't Wait"
FOR FANS OF: Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Santigold

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