Interview met Mysie
To love, to joyride, to heal: an interview with Mysie
Rotterdam has been waiting for Mysie for a long time now: the glamorous singer was booked for MOMO Festival 2020 and she was picked by The Daily Indie among their favourite acts. Good news! The wait is over, she’s going to be at MOMO 2022 next month and we had the occasion to catch up with her.
Mysie is an artist able to transpose the Personal and the Authentic into intimate indie soul songs, dividing the line between pop and experiment, using a whole range of influences. She spoke to us about composing, healing through music and her collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Fraser T. Smith.
Even if she’s very young, Mysie already has many years of experience in the music industry and talked to us about the many ways she keeps reinventing herself. In reaction to her years in drama school, she realised how important individuality and originality are, contributing to who she is today as Mysie. “I’ve got my foundation, I know who I am as an individual. If you strip that away, it is not really productive. It’s good to be vulnerable because people relate to you when you’re being yourself”. Mysie has a joyful and energetic energy, but it’s especially through dancing that she channels her serious, fierce energy into her work: this helped building a character based on her strong and mysterious nature, in the likes of Beyoncé’s alter ego.
Not only this creative force shows in her music, but Mysie is a visual learner who possesses visionary skills that inspire the music videos as well: whilst working on a song, she often imagines how the music video is going to look like. And thanks to the team she is working with, the final content is enhanced and enriched, in a smooth and clear process. It’s definitely the case for the videoclip of her single, joyride.
The song draws on her personal experiences with love and turning it into a healing, cathartic experience. “You learn a lot about yourself when you fall in love, or fall out of love. Love plays a huge part of my life, to the point where it sometimes distracts me”. But it also helps her understand other people more, and you can definitely place joyride in a moment in which she eventually lets go and heals. This is why it’s very easy for Mysie to get attached to the music she’s writing, especially the early versions of it – but she’s gotten better at detaching herself from early versions of a song as she advanced in her career.
For joyride the guitar came first, then a drum beat, and “very out-of-tune vocals” were added to a demo that Mysie listened to over and over: “the first ever thing you make is so important, because that’s coming from the gut, it’s the artist’s natural instinct.”
The single became then the foundation of new projects she is working on. In 2020, Ivor Novello named Mysie their new Rising Star, which propelled her into a new stage in her artist career. She started her collaboration with producer Fraser T. Smith, and last year she signed to his label, 70Hz. She speaks very highly of her mentor, who has become a close friend of Mysie as well. “The greatest thing is to have someone who is making music with me and he’s there throughout the whole process. He’s not just the producer, he’s an artist, so he gets it, he understands the dynamics and how to move through it. It’s good to be on the same level with him.”
The collaboration elevates Mysie’s writing process for the lyrics as well: she feels more confident now and developed a strong ability to look even deeper in the meaning of the lyrics. Everything has been very intentional for her next EP, even more so than her last release. Joyride is the result of joint work ethic: bigger and bolder goals that she and Fraser set together. “It was a great process, we had a big whiteboard where we were writing: ‘How do we make good songs great?’, which is an amazing intention to have behind”.
One of Mysie’s ambitions is to really grow as an artist, and not fall into the monotony of releasing similar music over and over. She wants to constantly push herself and see music from a different perspective. “You’re developing, and pushing, and going further, and that’s what it should be about.” She mentioned Rosalia as an artist that she really admires for elevating her flamenco influences, making her music become modern, pop and unique.
During her show at MOMO Festival will showcase unreleased tracks from her new EP joyride, co-written and produced by Fraser T. Smith. Her latest single, Birthstones, is a meditative chapter of the story: Mysie’s voice is floating over warm electronic beats, contemplating a relationship that’s going through a lot of pressure.
Interview: Bianca Raicu, Luca Dattisi
Photos: Luca Strano
Mysie will perform at MOMO Festival 2022 on Saturday, 23 April, along with Billy Nomates, Yaya Bey, Gita Buhari and many more.