Mabel McVey on family, fate and the Destiny’s Child reunion she’s dreaming of

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Helen Bownass
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Five Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will the singer Mabel McVey make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life?

I always live by just trying to be a good person, treating others with kindness and respect. I try to live in the present moment and not worry too much because everything will work itself out in the end.

What is the difference between right and wrong?

Being right always feels good, but often when you are wrong, there’s a good lesson that comes from it. I think both can be a positive thing.

Where is your happy place?

My bed, the studio or being with my family.

Nature or nurture?

I think both. 

Is it more important to be liked or respected?

Respected, definitely. Being respected both personally and professionally
is really important to me. I think being respected is much more important in the long run than being liked.

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?

To have always been true to myself as a person and as an artist.

Who or what is your greatest love?

Music and my family, for sure. Without those two things I would have nothing. 

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When did you last lie?

Yesterday, when I told my friend I was five minutes away and I was actually 20 minutes away [laughs]. 

Does the supernatural exist?

I think it probably could, yes.

Are you fatalistic?

I definitely believe that everything happens for a reason. I try not to worry about the outcome of things because the majority of the time you cannot control the situation.

What is your greatest fear?

Eating a banana with brown bits on it. 

Animals or babies? 


What talent do you yearn for?

I’d love to be able to speak more languages fluently [Mabel also speaks Swedish].

Do you like to be complimented?

I think everyone does, right? I used to get super shy when someone would compliment me, especially guys, but I’m a lot more confident now so I will always say thank you and be gracious towards the person complimenting me.

Mabel hates the brown bits on bananas.

Do you have a high pain threshold?

Yes, I’d like to think so…

What book do you recommend most to others?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, it’s an incredible book.

What food sums up happiness?


Mabel loves Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2013 novel Americanah.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?

That, at the end of the day, you are the only one who will be there for yourself.

What have you never understood?

I don’t get how headphones become tangled as soon as they go into your pocket. And where all your socks go when you put them in the washing machine.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die?

If Destiny’s Child will ever do a reunion tour. 

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Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?

No, I don’t think so, it’s just a part of life.

Quinoa or Quavers?


Mabel’s Christmas single Loneliest Time Of The Year is out now. Catch her on her European tour from January 2020;

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Photography: Stephen Hallowes, Getty Images

Additional images: Instagram


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Helen Bownass

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