A revolution within
herself, an individual that doesn’t need a stepping stool or
helping hand- MYSIE is a magnetic force that will instantly lure in
anybody who comes across her music. Not lure, but induce in a way
that’s less subtle, as if you’re walking along the highstreet and
you see something that stops you in your tracks. An old lover, the
smell of freshly baked bread, a busker playing a nostalgic riff,
something that makes you feel.
This has become
evident since the release of her debut EP Chapter 11, gaining
praise from a number of media outlets and music reviewers alike, and
we can fully understand why. Her single Rocking Chair is a
hauntingly beautiful take on the feeling of isolation and loneliness
in a seeming interconnected world, expressed through a sequence of
cinematic yet doleful visuals. Contrastingly, her lead single Doves
exhibits lust and yearning, while taking inspiration from ‘Urban
Riders’; a multifaceted body of work by photographer Mohamed
Bourouissa. Along with the singer’s spacious arrangements and
transportive, saccharine voice, Doves transcends any borders
and whisks listeners to a melancholy dreamworld.
Raised in London as
a second-generation immigrant, Mysie was instantly engulfed in music
and the power history of its culture, especially as she ascended to
the throne as the granddaughter of a Ugandan musical legend which by
no doubt translates into her artistry. So, we decided to have a
5-minute session with the musical prodigy where she talked about
relating to the colour orange, erasing stereotypes and the importance
of being present.
twenty-three years old and began making waves within the past month.
What ways can you summarise your experience working in music? What
lessons have you learnt so far?
I’ve learned to
trust the process and to not put any limits on myself. It’s been an
amazing experience and I’m continuing to find and understand myself
and my sound. Knowing your purpose and having intention with every
move is the most important lesson I’ll take with me for the rest of
persona began under the name of Lizbet Sempa, what would you say is
the biggest difference between her and Mysie?
I started my career
at 17 under Lizbet Sempa. At the time I was young and being
influenced by a lot of different music but not really quite knowing
who I was. I was very clear on my influences, and still am now, but
it wasn’t translating through Lizbet Sempa. There was a lot of
push and pull about where I “fit”, what I “should” sound
like, and I felt like I was being led rather than taking the lead.
So, I hibernated for a couple of years and started working with my
producer Duncan Pym. We understood each other and just clicked, put
all ego aside and worked with totally open minds. It was during this
project I realised it was time for a change. I decided to change my
name to MYSIE (pronounced my-zee) which is actually the nickname for
my original birth name, Marj.
Other than “On
a Level” by Mac Demarco, were there any songs in particular that
inspired you to develop your music production and experimentation?
Empire Of The Sun –
We Are The People – this track is so ethereal and nostalgic;
the production takes you to a completely new space. Absolutely
timeless. Another track
I’m super inspired
by is Tame Impala – Let It Happen, the synths the pads and
topline is just incredible. Lastly, Anderson Paak – Dreamer,
the bass, and the tone of the whole song is otherworldly.
On that subject,
you’ve previously talked about not wanting to fit into a stereotype
of a certain type of black soul singer. What kind of issues do you
feel like these stereotypes enforce and why do you feel like it’s
important to break them?
I think we often
associate being a black female singer, as being a soul singer. I 100%
sing utterly and completely from the bottom my soul. However, I don’t
believe I should be put into a box as being just a black soul singer
because I have a particular tone, there’s more to it than that. I
feel with these stereotypes that it really is just a generalisation.
Music is constantly evolving. When you really listen to my music,
there’s a lot of experimentation, many layers, there’s elements
of pop, electronic, alternative: It’s time to start being more
specific and give more attention to detail.
You have a
diverse background in music, is there a particular category or style
that draws you in the most?
I trained in
classical piano since I was 7. Classical music has played a massive
part in my life, and I would not be where I am now if it wasn’t for
it. The foundation and discipline in classical music has allowed me
to explore so many different avenues when making music. I’m most
inspired by where classical music can take you. Sometimes you won’t
even think it’s the same song because the music takes you to a
completely different place. This is what I love and have taken from
Within this past
month you released your debut EP, Chapter 11- what is the most
significant element that you want people to pull from this record?
What does it say about you as an artist and person?
You are so important
to this world. Put yourself first. This project came from a period
of my life where I didn’t love myself, I didn’t see my worth and
I didn’t value time. Chapter 11 is about starting afresh. Starting
a new chapter in my life and taking you on my journey.
If you were a new
addition to a crayon box, which colour would you be and why?
I would be an orange
crayon. I love orange. It’s my favourite colour to wear, reminds me
of the sun, happy times and just gives good vibes.
Despite all the
negativity in the world, what is your favourite thing about humanity
People are gradually
becoming more conscious. We are speaking up for what’s right
instead of sitting in silence.
Is there a quote
you consider to be your life motto? What do you live by?
happened in the past; it happened in the now. Nothing ever happened
in the future it will happen in the Now”– Being present is my
life motto, it’s a journey I’m still going through. Nothing is
more important than what happens now.
What is your
ultimate goal to achieve within your music?
To create and play music every day and to connect and affect many different people all over the world. That is my ultimate goal.