Interviews

Q&A: MEI

London-based artist and producer MEI releases her double single “No Dim Lights” today – the second project in her seasonal Antonio Vivaldi-inspired series. Before the release, we sat down with MEI to discuss the latest project, her amazing collaborations and what’s in store for 2020.

Hey MEI, thanks for chatting to us. ‘No Dim Lights’ is the second project in your seasonal trilogy, tell us more about what inspired the double single.

No Dim Lights is reminder to myself and everyone that connects to it, that nothing and no one can stop your light from shining, career wise, personally, every aspect of life is going to keep improving and growing. We have to trust our journey. The title is inspired by the queen Maya Angelou who said, “Nothing can dim the light from within.” That’s never left me. Autumn always feels like the start of the year for me too, kind of like going back to school and that’s when I start re-analysing then doubting everything I’m doing and whether I’m making an impact. The darker, colder days doesn’t help my mood either, so yeah NDL is basically an antidote for this.

Is this a new direction for your music? It definitely sounds a lot different from your previous work?

Yes and no which is not really an answer! The seasonal trilogy is a way for me to interpret periods of time sonically and use that as a base to experiment with my own sound in a way that people can relate to. In a way that hopefully takes you on a journey through the different styles and genres my music is inspired by. I often hear that my music is hard to define and I’m really proud of that, because I challenge myself to create music that’s fluid and reactive to my growth, my experiences and the experiences of people around me.

What was the writing and recording process like?

For this project the two tracks were created quite differently. For ‘I’m Certain’ Joy Anonymous, Danio (Husky Loops) and I were in a home studio just vibing off each other. All the elements of the beat came together so easily, we were gassed! Then the lyrics and melodies just flooded out. It was written and produced in a couple of hours. For DIM Jaleesa (Lady Groove) Gemerts sent me a beat and I knew it was what the project needed, I wrote a couple of versions and didn’t like them. Then one day I was on the northern line and got walked into multiple times. Someone hit the hook into me! I literally stopped in the middle of the platform and voice noted it. The next day the bars came while I worked on the track with Joy Anonymous. Everything happens for a reason!

What can we expect in the final, third installment? A new project? An EP? Perhaps even an album?

Nice try! I can’t tell you that but yes definitely a new project.

You’ve been very busy this year, and even found time to work with Husky Loops on their new album – how did that come about?

It’s actually funny you say that because we were so busy that my contribution to the album, ‘The Reasonable Thing’ was written over Whatsapp! Danio sent me a voice note of some chords and parts of a melody while he was in Bologna late one night, as I was about to sleep. I listened to it and I was suddenly wide awake with the first verse written in my head already, the hook came immediately afterwards. So yeah big up Whatsapp for one of my favourite songs I’ve co-written.

Could we see more MEI collaborations soon?

Well I actually have two very exciting collabs released in the new year and hopefully many more. I might get in trouble for saying that so don’t tell anyone!

What female artists are you listening to at the moment? Any one we should add to our playlists?

To be extremely accurate with this, I’m going to check my playlist of music that I’m listening to now. In order of the playlist we have: Rapsody, Little Simz, Bad Honey, Kamille, Londynn B, Sans Soucis, Rosalia, Victoria Monet, Eyelar, Mayra Andrade, Missy Elliot the list goes on and on. They should all be on your playlist really. In fact I’ve just made you one!

What’s your plans for 2020?

My plans are to give you the third instalment in the trilogy which I’m very excited about! Play some festivals, gig as much as possible, I’d love to do a support tour and write for other artists because I absolutely love it. I’ll also be working on something special for later in the year if all goes to plan. I can’t tell you about that either!

Thanks so much for chatting to us!

Thanks for chatting to me, I feel loved.

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Q&A: MEI
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