Upon the release of “Joyride”, the artist talks all things music, her headline show and working with Fraser T Smith.
Necklace by SAAD COLLECTION
Ring by MI MANERA
Necklace by SAAD COLLECTION
Born and raised in southeast London in a music-loving household, it was inevitable that MYSIE would one day put pen to paper and begin creating music of her own. Growing up listening to a wide variety of genres, the one-to-watch songstress made her debut in 2019 before being crowned the Rising Star at the Ivor Novello Awards, where Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Fraser T Smith took her under his wing and signed her to his record label 70Hz. Since then, the pair have been making timeless music together that has seen MYSIE grow from strength to strength.
Following on from the 2021 EP “Undertones”, MYSIE has graced supporters with her latest body of work named “Joyride”. As with any artist, evolving with each project is a given. “Joyride” voyages through a mix of emotions that in turn showcase an unapologetic, vulnerable, and strong young woman that’s finding her way in life. Exploring the changes that come with letting go of a relationship, MYSIE takes the listener on a journey through the turbulence that comes with love and heartbreak.
Celebrating the release of her latest project “Joyride” Wonderland got the chance to speak to MYSIE ahead of the drop and spoke all things music, her headline show, working with Fraser T Smith, and more.
Walk me through your upbringing and how you were introduced to music…
Growing up, my house always had music playing. From gospel, ABBA, Biggie, and Koffi Olomide. My journey started when I got my first piano at the age of 7 and I instantly knew then I had a love for music because I cried my eyes out! From then, I trained in classical music, and didn’t start singing properly until the age of 14. My performing arts teacher heard me sing in class and offered me free singing lessons in exchange to join her choir. I took up this offer and never looked back since. At that time, I wasn’t making music, but I certainly knew that I had a talent and that I loved singing. Dance became a huge part of my life, and through that I joined a dance group called Wet Wipez, who I met in Trocadero underground which used to be a huge community of dancers from all walks of life. I learned how to KRUMP which was a form of street dance. Through that, I was introduced to so much music I’d never heard before, like J Dilla, Slum Village, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus etc. I was so inspired by that music I wanted to make my own, and from then on, I started writing to beats, recorded them at school and uploaded them all on Soundcloud. There was something about it that didn’t make me feel like the music was mine, so I decided to start composing since I knew how to play piano; I never really put two and two together. At 16, I had my heart broken by a guy who didn’t want to give me a hug on my birthday…so I wrote my first few songs and recorded at my cousin’s studio in Enfield. I popped them on Soundcloud which got a lot of interest and that was really the beginning of my journey.
Can you remember the first song you wrote?
Yes, the first ever song I wrote was called “On These Hills”. It was a very reflective song about me sitting on a hill thinking about another guy who didn’t want me – I was 16!
(RIGHT) Bangle by MI MANERA
Bangle by MI MANERA
So, you are currently gearing up for the release of “Joyride”, talk me through the name of the title and why you picked it.
When I first wrote the song “Joyride”, I had a strong feeling about it. I knew I was going to open the year with this track as soon as I wrote it. It gave me such a special feeling whenever I listened back to the demo; it’s what kickstarted the project. The idea of going on a joyride, the chaos of not knowing where you’re going or when it will end, mirrored what was going on within my personal life and my relationship.
Following on from your previous EP “Undertones”, would you say these projects are in conversation with each other? If so, how?
In a way, yes. I feel like every project that is to come – including this one – is an extension of myself. I’m uncovering more and more about myself as an artist and as a person. So yes, you could say they are in conversation with each other. But, at the same time, mentally with this EP I was in a different space in my personal life. I think sonically, we’ve pushed further from what we had in ‘Undertones’, still keeping it wavy but we really experimented more with the sound. ‘Undertones’ was more guitar-heavy but I really wanted to add more of my roots and foundations to this EP; so for most of the tracks I laid down piano.
You worked on this EP alongside Fraser T Smith, how did you find the creative process this time around?
Yes! It’s been amazing. Fraser is amazing to work with. The first day I walked into his studio to start the EP, I was greeted by a big whiteboard saying, ‘How can we make good songs great?’ – I think it would’ve been easy to just create another “Undertones”, but this quote really inspired me to push myself artistically in ways I hadn’t done before. This EP was also about uncovering more sides of me, the cheeky side, the fun side, and the deeply emotional side of me. At times, it was a bit of a struggle to access certain emotions because I was in denial and going through a lot during that time, but it’s always been a safe space when creating with him and it was definitely a relief to let go.
What I found interesting was that in your bio it mentioned that yourself and Fraser would sit and digest music that made you feel something – Is this how you would normally approach a project? Did it give you a different outlook or perspective at all going into your own music?
Absolutely. Music comes from influence, and I’m influenced and inspired by such a range of artists. During the times I’m not writing, I’m listening and getting inspired by different types of music. Sitting down and digesting music for me, especially when approaching a project, is super important for me. I’m inspired by music that makes me feel something, I love to pick it apart and listen to the details. There’s no limits. I take what I love from my influences and mould them, putting that spice into what I’m making.
Bangle by MI MANERA
Did any of these tracks challenge you in any way? Maybe emotionally or through production?
“Fade” was challenging. Emotionally, I was going through a lot during the process of creating this EP. When it came to writing “Fade”, I found it really hard to access the reality of what I was presently going through. It was definitely a vulnerable moment for me.
You have a headline show in London coming up which is amazing! Which song are you most looking forward to performing?
I’m looking forward to performing “After the Storm” – that song is so wavy. I’ve started rehearsals, and just love how it sounds live.
Putting the music aside, what makes you happy? What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love travelling and being by the sea and learning about people’s cultures. I also love watching cartoons as well as reading books. Oh, and I also love to party! I don’t get to do that too often but when I do… I go all out, I’m talking 5 AMs.
What else can we expect to see from you this year?
More music and of course, live shows.