With her unique blend of LA-Lo-fi and classic R&B, meet the artist taking pop to new frontiers.
Moulded by Motown and saved by Soul, LA-based singer-songwriter Michi has always loved to cross-pollinate. Fusing LA-lo-fi with tinges of classic R&B, her sonic palette is an insane melting pot of styles and influences, a culmination of her Latino upbringing and general musicality.
Today she drops her six-track debut EP, “Sugarbaby”, a project for lonely souls, horny souls, in-love souls, or even those souls that just love the idea of love. “The EP is a sonic representation of who I was and who I am now,” she explains. “After a season of change and loss, I didn’t know where I was going. Through this journey of reclaiming myself, and falling in love again, these songs on Sugarbaby were born.”
“Break My Own Rules” is all about the fleeting lust of crush culture, cheerily blending funky bass and a plethora of up-beat choruses, while “Estranged” touches on the singer’s loss of a friendship, calling her to question how life can change so drastically over the minuscule. Between these highs and lows, we’re invited into a candy-coloured world where Michi bares her anxieties, free spirit and multi-faceted sense of being – and let me tell you, it’s a treat!
We caught up with the spellbinding singer below, and spoke growing pains, her big plans for the future, and how these uncertain times have shaped her artistry…
Hi Michelle, how has this uncertain time been for you? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
This uncertain time has been a bit challenging to my psyche, yet through it I have gained a season of reflection, rest and internal progress. Hand in hand with that, it’s allowed me to experience my creative space intimately and without the contamination of thoughts or insecurities that revolve in a more normal time.
How did growing up in a Latino home influence you musically? Who did you listen to growing up?
Growing up in a Latino home where dancing and music for family gatherings or just on the daily by my mother and father has impacted my magnetism to music and definitely the elements of honesty, sensuality and groove find their way into my music much like the music I was raised on. Growing up I listened to a lot of Selena, Aventura, Joan Sebastian and of course Motown by the influence of my mother.
Congratulations on your latest single “Break My Own Rules” – what is it about and inspired by?
Thank you very much! It’s actually inspired from a time of having my heart broken by someone and feeling incredibly lost inside, yet trying to gain footing on having my shit together and wanting to convince this person to love me, yet realizing I’m crossing my own boundaries for what I know is not good for me. Feel like we all can relate to this at some point in our life, it was therapeutic to release it!
And you’ve got your debut EP “Sugarbaby” out – why that name? And what pulls all the tracks together as a body of work?
“Sugarbaby” just felt right in the cheekiness of how I feel about this project as a whole. It’s sweet and rich in feeling and while there are darker emotions I write about, it’s a really fun thing to amount all of it up to being sugar. I also call my partner whom I love dearly my Sugarbaby, I want to spoil him with my love so that’s another personal sentiment in my decision.
Do you have a favourite track or lyrics from the EP?
Yes! My mind has changed a bit, however Estranged is actually my fave track. It’s tender, vulnerable and about a female friendship I lost. I felt like I had fallen in love with my best friend and when we had a horrible falling out, I realised I lost a form of a lover. The song is super special to me, exploration of female relationships is extremely important to me.
Anxiety, love, female friendship – your influences are so personal – how does it feel relaying emotions that are so raw and vulnerable?
It feels natural, to be honest. I’m a very emotionally intuitive person for the most part and while writing about lighter topics is fun, I can’t help but gravitate to what’s going on inside and overall hope my audience can relate and will want to join me on my growth and experiences that I share on.
Your visuals are really carefree and unapologetic – what are you trying to convey?
I feel that a sense of uncensored self is what is most important to me. I think conveying feelings of sensuality, admiration, insecurity and all is what’s important to me in hopes that whoever watches will have a moment of seeing themselves or the parts of themselves they maybe don’t confront.
Ultimately how do you want your music to make people feel?
I ultimately want people to feel a sense of relation and identity through my music. Especially since I tend to write from such a vulnerable place, I really want my listeners to feel a sense of compassion and mutuality.
What’s next and what are you looking forward to?
Next is an exploration of sound! I want to get in touch with different styles I love such as R&B and even alternative-indie. Would love to open doors to working with new producers as well!