The Tottenham-raised singer-songwriter making music on her own terms.
If you didn’t know: Miraa May hails from N15. The Algerian-born, Tottenham-raised singer first made waves in 2016 with EP “N15”, a sharp ode to her ends, complicated romance, and staying fiercely independent.
After 2 years biding her time under the radar, Miraa released a raw, sass-packed video for “N15” (produced by the legendary Salaam Remi) in February, and has since been writing and recording follow up EP “Care Package”, which dropped earlier this month.
With ’90s laid-back beats and mellow electronic sounds, the eclectic 5-track project reflects on love, feeling lost, and the art of not giving a fuck. She strikes a rare balance between tunes to get hyped with and those to unwind to, all underpinned by a distinctive sultry vocal.
Already promising an imminent third EP, Miraa’s not slowing down or conforming for anyone. In line with the video release for “Care Package”‘s “Sad”, we chatted to the newcomer about being real, learning Japanese, and keeping uncompromising ownership over her music…
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
I listened to a lot of Algerian music, a lot of rock music. I was a little emo kid when I was younger, a lot of Paramore. I was a Camp Rock Kid as well… Then I kind of progressed into listening to folk music, like Lucy Rose and Daughter, really sad, depressing stuff. I started listening to Kendrick Lamar and that really got me into hip-hop, to be honest, as well as Mac Miller. It was really just a whole melting pot of things.
Do you think growing up in Tottenham has influenced your sound and style?
1000 per cent. I realised when I went to Miami that I was such a Tottenham girl – when you go abroad, people think London’s all tea and crumpets. I really realised that I live and breathe my city. It’s important to put that out there, because there are so many women out there who are from Tottenham, Hackney, Brixton, Peckham, those kind of areas, where it’s like a community. I rep my ends hard because I’ve lived in North London my whole life.
Would you ever move away?
I would, but my family live in Tottenham and they’re not going anywhere, so it doesn’t matter where I move. Would I think about living somewhere else? LA, Japan. Within the next year, if I’m not in America for business, you’ll probably catch me in Japan or Jamaica. I’m learning [Japanese], I did a course end of March time. I’m already kind of really good…
Obsessed with “Care Package”. Do you think your sound’s evolved since the last EP?
Absolutely, definitely. That’s going to happen every time I make music, it’s a constant evolution and a constant story. With all of my different projects there’s a story behind it. I like to make it really organic, and to be quite honest, I don’t really give two shits – just make music. You know the methodology and the planning? I couldn’t give a fuck. I just get really high, get in the studio, have fun, make music.
How would you describe its sound?
I couldn’t tell you, honestly. At 3pm it’s like this, and at 6pm it’s like that. I like to think that I have absolutely no genre. A lot of people will say I’m R&B or soul, but I don’t like to box myself in like that, because I feel like I’m everything. I haven’t had the chance to do all the things musically that I want to do, I’m still kind of just taking it step by step – I’m going to do a rock album, I might have a pop radio tune, or come out with a grime tune, who knows.
How do you write lyrics?
I write all my own songs, and nobody helps me! I like to class myself as a writer before a singer. I’m all about lyrics, delivery and cadence. Obviously I would love to write for other people and I’d love to collaborate with people, but as of my music? It has to be 100 per cent written by me.
When can we expect new visuals? And how do you come up with ideas for videos?
I’ve got another video coming in the New Year, and hopefully loads of other videos after that. I try and relate them to the message of the song. It’s my first time really getting stuck into it – I’m very camera shy, only now I’m realising I can’t afford to do that in my career. I’m just making sure that if I am going to do it, I’m going to do it my way.
What’s the most experimental genre you would explore? Princess Nokia did that emo album, would you ever do something like that?
Yeah, that was brilliant. Of course, I’m really into all of that stuff, and as a kid I was really into it. So I definitely want to explore that side, but right now I’m trying to go with the flow. That’s not how I feel right now, but when I feel like that, it will be a thing.
Do you have any advice for your younger self?
Don’t stress too much, man. It’s not that deep, it’s just music, it’s just meant to be beautiful. It’s just meant to make you feel OK.
What have you got coming up next year?
I’ve got loads of gigs coming up. Also, I’ve got a project dropping within the first quarter of next year, another EP. It’s going to be fucking mad – with capital letters.
Any collaborations on that?
As of yet, I haven’t. I have so many musically talented friends. I’ve made songs with a lot of people, because making music is fun. I don’t approach collaborations or features on a basis of name, it’s like who do I fuck with, who do I vibe with, who did I randomly meet at the studio. It’s very organic and it’s very raw, then when everybody decides we want to do something with this, then let’s do it. Until then, it’s not so much chess moves as it’s just music – just trying to make music with people you fuck with, that fuck with you too.
Do you have a big dream for a few years time?
I want to put my family in a big yard, have my own yard, and be driving a Tesla. If I can do that, I’m good.