Mowgli May Is Back With ‘Streets Calling’
Staying fit, getting lit, swiping left, playing hits!
Words by Andrew Yee August 7, 2023

She didn’t choose the club; the club chose her. 

Mowgli May is back with her sophomore single ‘Streets Calling’. The rising pop starlet wants to fly the flag of Sydney’s nightlife with a banger tailor-made for the club!

For Mowgli May, her life has been entrenched in Sydney’s queer party scene for as long as she can remember. She has previously accredited some of her most formative life experiences to riding euphoric highs on sweaty dance floors, including getting on the decks for the first time and organically making unbreakable bonds with fellow musicians. Her natural love for music has led her to a fruitful career as a DJ and radio broadcaster. She’s blessed crowds at festivals such as Summer Camp (Australia’s first touring pride festival), Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Listen Out, Field Day, Groovin The Moo, DJ’d the Sydney World Pride Opening Concert alongside Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX and Jess Mauboy and hosted the weekly program ‘Midnight with Mowgli May’.

In 2023, she debuted as an artist with ‘Cash Money’. Mowgli May introduced listeners to her undeniable charisma and carefree ownership of her identity in just over two minutes. Her follow-up, ‘Streets Calling’, is an anthem for anyone entranced by the club’s chaotic energy and ended up on the long nightrider home. Mowgli May defiantly declares lyrics of living your best life in 2023 over a pulsating beat produced by Tyoow. The track could easily soundtrack any party, from a King Cross Club night to a Marrickville warehouse rager.

We chatted with Mowgli May about the release of ‘Streets Calling’ and owing her life to the club! 

Firstly, congratulations on the release of ‘Streets Calling’! How does it feel to have the track finally out? 

Thank yooou! It feels crazy to have it finally out it’s the first track I ever worked on even before my first release “Cash Money”. I’ve been working on it with my producer Tyoow on and off here and there for years since 2021 but after my first release and getting over the kinda mental block of releasing and putting music out there I was like OKAY I really want “Streets Calling” to have its moment too. It’s so funny because I’m pretty sure my best friend Tyoow suggested we make this song because it was during lockdown and I was so depressed about not being able to enjoy my regular life of going to 4 different parties every night and she was like damn wow this girl is really not okay lemme try help her jeez and now lockdowns and all that mess seem like such a distant memory. Like I really was so depressed at the time and it’s nice to look back at that being OVER! And the song is a bop for the girly pops so I’m so proud and happy to have it finally out!

You’ve had an extensive career as a DJ and radio host, but ‘Streets Calling’ marks your debut as an artist. What inspired you to make the leap into releasing your own tracks? 

BOREDOM! I wanted to do something new and different just for myself I want to always be growing and learning and developing. I always wanted to make my own music but I couldn’t really figure out what it would sound like or feel like for a while, like a really long time from the initial thought of “one day I want to release music wow what a dream” it would’ve been yearssss.

There were definitely some things I had to go through that really coalesced what my music would be like for me and it only happened as recently as last year. 2022 I was lucky enough to tour with Haiku Hands and Big Freedia and that CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m not even exaggerating. They are huge inspirations to me and my music. That feeling of hype and energy and inclusivity and a good time for everyone at the show is what I’m trying to capture. I’m trying to alchemise the experience of a good time, all the elated emotions and highs I have felt so many times djing a sick gig, into a song.

How did your experiences in the Australian club scene influence your identity as an artist?

Queer clubbing raised me! It’s everything I know and made me who I am today I wouldn’t even be a DJ without having won the Birdcage DJ competition so many years ago back when it was at the Sly Fox.

People say I run the streets, but the streets actually run ME! I love nightlife it has given me EVERYTHING my whole ass career and all my friends that’s how I met literally everyone who worked on this track. Nightlife has a certain magic to it especially queer nightlife. It doesn’t matter who you are during the day, at night and in the club you can be whoever you want, love whoever you want, wear whatever you want, do whatever you want. YES it’s that deep! The girls, gays and theys get it! And so can the allies! The streets are literally always calling me who am I to say no to a good time.

Clubbing and nightlife are my sonic inspiration I used to want to make “deep” “meaningful” music but now I just really want to make music I can play out and everyone can enjoy and dance to. Like just because something is silly and unserious doesn’t mean it also can’t be good.

You’ve talked about in the past how you’re indebted to some of the diverse women in Sydney’s creative scene. Who should be on people’s radars in music or just making amazing work? 

Tyoow is an incredible producer/artist who doesn’t big up herself now or even release enough but can literally make anything like her music is SO different to what we make together, more artists/publishers should hit her up to work with she’s BEYOND.

I love Mulalo she’s so outspoken and funny she says everything we’re all thinking but too pussy to say! BVT is ALWAYS serving BIPOC excellence with love and attitude defs check them out. DJ Yvngcweed is one of my fave DJs in this city always playing the most fire global club sounds and he’s one of my best friends he’s really digging and doing the work for every set bless him. And my lil sis Jayyyslays she is the definition of a slashie what can’t she do photography/videography/graphic design/dj and she does them all WELL.  

And lastly, What are your plans for the rest of 2023?

I’m currently in the middle of the most hectic schedule of my life djing 20 out of 30 days for the FIFA Women’s World Cup (GO MATILDAS!!) so right now just getting through FIFA is my whole life then enjoying my hot girl summer I honestly didn’t make any concrete plans apart from getting this out before the silly szn really starts LOL. The song really is my whole life I’m about that life “staying fit, getting lit, swiping left, playing hits” 🤪

Special thanks to Mowgli May for taking the time to chat. You can listen to ‘Streets Calling’ now on all streaming platforms. Have a listen below!

Editors Pick