The avant-garde songstress talks new EP, her writing process, and using music as a cathartic outlet.

Photography by Michael Smits

Photography by Michael Smits

The modern world plunders forward into the unknown, and music floats alongside it. With rapidly advancing technology that – in some instances – threatens to remove the authenticity of artistry all together (see AI), it is more pinnacle than ever to celebrate the creatives who use sonic and technological futurism as an augmentation of their vision rather than a tool to promote derivative idleness. Having said that, let us introduce you to MEYY.

Dazzling and dainty yet simultaneously almost abrasive, there are constant challenges to convention throughout the work of the Belgian-born, London-based talent. Falling somewhere between progressive alt pop and new-age R&B with a sprinkling of trap and ambient tendencies, MEYY is a maestro of atmosphere. The translucence of her musicality and production tendencies juxtaposes the intimacy of her songwriting; honesty isn’t the wall to climb but rather a launchpad of artistic and personal growth.

We’ve recently received the most self-assured work of MEYY’s career to date. Digital Gloss is a cinematic and hypnotic EP that see the singer delve deeper into her mindset, outlook and past than ever before. Her most vibrant and positive collection of songs to date, it’s ethereal and infectious, with standouts like previous single “QT” and new focus cut “Tshirt” perfect examples of MEYY’s colourful gusto and avant-garde vision. Hazy but focused, Digital Gloss is encompassing and empowering, an impressive amalgamation of influences and individuality. Amplifying the project, MEYY is releasing an interactive game-like metaverse, highlighting the forward-thinking approach from one of the most essential new artists in the alternative space.

We had the pleasure of connecting with MEYY to dissect her writing process, her journey to date, and using music as a cathartic outlet.

Listen to Digital Gloss…

Read the exclusive interview…

How do you feel about by the EP dropping?
I’m feeling very, very excited. I can’t wait for it to be out there. Personally, for me, I’m still very excited about the songs. I think the whole rollout with the game we made as well is very exciting.

Why did you want to do a game? What was it about doing a game that felt suited to the EP to you?
I mean, to be honest, it’s more that there was no budget for music videos. I didn’t want to do another music video where I felt it could be better if there was more money to spend. Not to be like, I’m tired of it, but I feel like as an upcoming artist, you’re so often put in a position where you need to ask people for favours. It’s not enjoyable for me. All of the the music videos that I’ve released are great but I think I I wanted to look at it in an alternative way. We wanted to look at content because I feel like everything is kind of distilled into 15 seconds, you know. We thought about a digital music video but they are kind of played out?

We obviously don’t have a team of 70 people working on the game, so it was about finding out how it’s going to be interesting enough. It was actually because a friend of mine was working on the game and he was already game developing for his personal work and also for his job. We’re all kind of friends on this. We all started talking about doing on for the EP. So it kind of grew organically. The three people working on the game are all friends of mine. All three of them are so talented and so driven. I think it’s so cool that they wanted to and to have them collaborate on one project that is like an extension of EP is amazing.

How do you approach writing and creating – does the avant garde nature of your sonics reflect your process?
I write songs that are always very specifically for a person – it’s kind of like a letter to a person. I think a recurring theme of songs on Digital Gloss is despair and love as a battle. I remember when I wrote them, I was feeling so bad, and I just saw loss and so it comes from that, that I’m gonna write this for me. To stay sane. The last two years or so, which is kind of the scope in which the project was made, I felt very intensely. I think that’s reflected in the sound design.

I’ll start recording top lines, and I’ll write and sing simultaneously. Then I’ll produce a little soundscape around it, but I didn’t really have access to hardware. So for the chords, I’d use my voice. Then afterwards, I’ll go to the studio with the producers and then we will work on the soundscape together. So it’s definitely very collaborative. There was a lot of amazing people that I was able to work with.

I think beautiful art comes out of despair.
I love despair because I think it’s the final iteration of desire. That’s something that comes very naturally for me to write about. The first songs I made when I was 15/16, listening back to them, I think all of them were about desire. It came naturally to me. As you grow up, and your life and your views change, I feel like you just feel deeper and deeper – you grow infinitely. For me especially last year, since I’ve moved to London, I’ve been fully focused on my project, and in an extension of that fully focused on myself. Personally, my music is a portrayal of what I feel. I had a lot of time to see myself. Whereas before I was doing that, too, when I was in uni but more passively, whereas now I feel like I need to know what’s going on in order to project it in an honest way.

It’s the oldest cliche in a book, but creating is cathartic for an artist.
It’s really true. The other day in an interview, someone asked me “why do you make music?” Honestly, I really do it to stay sane. There’s been moments where I haven’t made a song for like, two, three weeks, because I had to do other things, or I didn’t have access to my mic or whatever. I would feel a certain way, and then I’d feel like “why do I feel like this?” and then I’m like “Oh it’s because I haven’t made music in a bit”.

It’s great to have the outlet.
I’m very grateful that I have it. I feel like we’ve kind of been deprived, it’s harder and harder to be passionate about things, I think in our generation to have a passion, to have something that you really want to do, is quite rare. I’m so lucky that my passion is also what I get to do every day. Your job is your whole personality in a way. So many people are doing things that they don’t necessarily love or feel passionate about because obviously you need to make money. I don’t want to say a passive society because that’s way too general but it’s kind of true. I grew up in a small town right outside of Brussels. I did my middle school and first part of my high school in like a very regional place and the people I met there, seeing what they do now, it’s so different. I don’t want to put judgement on other people’s lives like that, but I see a lot of people that lack passion, and I think it affects their life.

What does music represent you? Why is it such a pinnacle element of your life?
I was just always singing. I don’t know where it came from. It’s not like my parents are musical or that I grew up in a musical environment, like not at all. I was always singing and I think I was singing a lot when I was little, then I got good at it. Sometimes when I was a child, I remember that performance would really speak to me. I loved the story part of it, because I really live in a fantasy world in my head. Making music is just another part of that fantasy world.

You’ve got a really diverse cultural background, are you influenced by that in your art?
I think especially in the beginning, when I moved to London, there was a little moment where there was stars in my eyes. I’m always like that, very disciplined and stuff, but there was a moment where maybe also, I was trying to venture into pop music. That’s been a bit of a quest. I think it’s a genre fabricated to work for the masses. So I think, by definition, it’s hard to make – good pop music is very hard to make. I think there’s like a handful of artists in the world, in my opinion, that do it. I remember after a couple of months of living in London, I had to remind myself of why I got into music in the first place. In the beginning, it was very sudden, the big city life. It’s not like I grew up on a farm, but it is different. Here, you’re always kind of going out to meet people. Like, I feel like it’s always in the back of your head. Social life pays into the project, and that was was a very new concept. On a romantic level too, which obviously has played a big part on my life. There’s so many beautiful, interesting people. So I feel like the way people look at love is so crazy, because it’s kind of like no one’s going to settle down because something better might come along, which is really not how it is supposed to be.

Digital Gloss is incredible! What are you trying to say with the EP?
When I first started writing it, it wasn’t calculated, I wasn’t trying to portray anything. I tend not to think about my songs going anywhere when I make them. Even now, the second that we handed in the masters, it’s all campaigning. Even me talking about it right now, it’s very different to me writing it. Really, I just think it’s very important that we feel things. That’s the key to sustaining things, with the way that the world is moving – technologically, societally. I think we need to be in touch with ourselves and to have emotions. Music is one of the best ways to feel things and express things. Apart from that, it’s up to the listener – I just want it to make them feel – anything.

Where do you want to take your artistry?
I think in life there are two kinds of matter. Firstly, the fundamentals that you need to nourish, like existence; on that front I already have it, I’m making music everyday and I don’t really expect anything else can make me feel that way. The other side of it is spending your time on earth in the most meaningful way for you. In that sense, I want to do everything possible. In a literal way, I’d want to do a sold out world tour. It’s good to want things and to aim for things, but in the past it’s been dangerous for me as I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want my performance to taint the sincere bound I have with music. Really, I just want to grow forever.

Tickets to MEYY’s European tour here.


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