Who is Mae Stephens? The 19-year-old UK music sensation making waves with viral TikTok hit If We Ever Broke Up

The success of Mae's first major single helped her quit her job.

If you have been anywhere near the internet - specifically TikTok, Instagram or YouTube - over the the last few weeks, then you probably have already heard and loved Mae Stephens' If We Ever Broke Up...even if you don't actually know who she is. Yet. 

Well, we're here to help change that. 

If We Ever Broke Up is fast becoming the hit to take notice of in the UK right now - last week it made its Top 40 debut on the Official Singles Chart, climbing up to Number 25 in its second overall week. 

A quirky, funk-propelled pop song, If We Ever Broke Up sees Mae lament a future where she breaks up with her beau...and actually, she wouldn't be that upset if it happened. Over a kitschy, distorted beat, Mae's breakout hit is as brilliantly odd as it is up-beat, and for sure holding a torch to artists like Lily Allen and Kate Nash, offering up a candy-coloured sonic update of the mid-to-late 00s indie-pop girl scene.

MORE: See how far If We Ever Broke Up is projected to climb this week

Who is Mae Stephens?

Mae Stephens is a 19 year old British musician, originating from Kettering in Northampton. Writing songs since she was 12, Mae had been diligently trying her best to break into the music industry years before If We Ever Broke Up helped her become one of the most buzzed-about new talents in the UK right now. 

Mae previously self-released two songs, the piano ballads White Lies and Infamous Kiss, in both 2020 and 2021 respectively.

How did Mae Stephens write If We Ever Broke Up?

Like any creative looking to solidify a career, Mae was working hard behind the scenes to engineer a breakthrough. In 2023 of course, this means going viral on TikTok -  a surefire way to get on the radars of A&Rs and labels. 

At the tail-end of last year, Mae - who prior to her record deal was working in her local Asda - was running low on content ideas for her TikTok channel, so decided to post a snippet of a demo she'd just received back from a producer.

Originally, If We Ever Broke Up had been conceived while Mae was still in a relationship with her now ex-boyfriend as a bit of wish fulfilment (who doesn't want to call their ex's dad and tell them all the horrible things they've said?) and from just a 15 second clip posted to TikTok, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts, pulled in hundreds of thousands of views in just a few short days, and finally gave Mae the career breakthrough she'd been hustling so hard for. 

How is If We Ever Broke Up performing so well on the Official Charts?

In a word; virality. Since it first blew up across socials, Mae was quickly courted by several majors in the UK, before eventually signing with EMI. And they jumped on the potential of the song really quickly - the single was officially released on February 10, less than two months since it was first posted online. 

In two weeks, Mae herself has quickly grown over six million monthly listeners on Spotify, while the song has claimed nearly 20 million worldwide streams too. 

And this quick reaction is certainly helping the song climb the chart. On today's Official Trending Chart, If We Ever Broke Up is currently projected to crack the Top 20 for the first time this week...and the sky seems to be the limit for this hit and for Mae herself.

If We Ever Broke Up is out now via EMI. 

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Geoffrey St. John


Another one hit wonder

The UK Singles Charts is a joke