‘New Time RnB’ artist MEYY Talks Upcoming EP, Love, and UK music collaborations

Brussels born, London adopted artist MEYY is letting love lead her musical journey.

You might not have heard of MEYY just yet but she’s definitely been making waves. With her debut EP and a handful of singles out she won the Red Bull Elektropedia award for ‘Most Promising Artist of 2021’. This was no accident as the music had been years in the making and whilst she doesn’t have a concrete definition of what her sound is she has clarity of vision over what she creates – being involved in almost every aspect of the creative process from the music to the visuals. The multi-talented artist is gearing up to release her second EP Neon Angel so we caught up with her to find out a little bit more about the rising talent.

Shenell: Who is MEYY?

MEYY: Mmm [thinks for a moment] I’m already panicking and it’s the first question [laughs]. MEYY is a London based new time R&B artist.

Shenell: Unpack that, what does “new time R&B artist” mean?

MEYY: I really dont know. I feel like my music definitely has R&B influences but the production is [usually] more progressive. Especially the things I have coming up. So it’s kind of new time R&B or alternative R&B, I think [laughs].

Shenell: We’ll see then won’t we [both laugh]. When did you start making music seriously?

MEYY: Seriously?[pauses] I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember and I started making my own songs when I was 11, on guitar and piano, and then my first YouTube type beat song I made when I was 15 so I guess that’s when it started. Then it got picked up in Brussels pretty fast after that when I was around 16 but I only put out my first official single when I was 19 because that just took a while.

Shenell: what made you decide to spend more time in London?

MEYY: My team is here, well my management. Also I feel like the music scene here is more receptive, more reflective of the music that I make. It’s also just big city life, it feels better [for me] to be here, it feels like an obvious choice.

Shenell: What would you say are some of the differences between the music scene in Brussels and here?

MEYY: For starters, it’s way bigger here obviously. The music scene in Brussels is very cool and it’s starting to develop and become nicer and more varied but it’s just smaller – literally in numbers of people. To live off of music as a non-commercial or generic music maker, I feel like that’s more difficult [there]. But like I said the music scene is definitely super cool there, the artists are really supportive of each other and it’s just a really nice scene.

Shenell: What inspired you to make music?

MEYY: I think if I have to answer that rapidly – I think my personal love stories. All of my songs are about love or touch [on] that subject and I get all my inspiration from my own stories. I initially started writing songs [pauses] I’d hang out with a guy and there would be certain things I’d feel or think so I’d make a song about it and then send him the song. I’d be like “I made this new song what do you think about it?” and they’d be like “Yeah dope” [both laugh] and I’d ask “Yeah but did you listen to the lyrics?”. So it sounds cliche but I guess that’s one of the most powerful things music holds – being able to process thoughts and feelings.

Shenell: You said most of your songs are about love. Why do you think that is or why did you choose to write about love?

MEYY: Because I’m obsessed with love. I think it’s the one reason we’re here and I think it’s the most powerful thing there is. Theres so many layers to it that I can keep writing about it, thinking about it, and finding things out about it. Personally, I also listen to music to intensify my emotions so I talk about love in my music because I feel like I’m intesifying the most beautiful emotion. Then also the dimension of lust and sex, I think it’s important for me to have that and explore that in music and have it intesified in the music.

Shenell: You released your debut EP Spectrum last year, what’s the response to that been like?

MEYY: Oh yeah, that’s been really good! I’m so happy with how that went, it was my first project. Because Belgium is so small and I had a very good team it got received pretty well so I’m super grateful for it. But also it’s kind of double because like I said before, I made the songs on Spectrum when I was like 16 or 17 and it just took a long time to finish. So by the time they released I was kind of already in a different space creatively and then the music I put out after that was more progressive or used autotune had people asking me “Why don’t you just use your natural voice?” or “Why don’t you do more of this or that?”. In that sense it’s a little, I’m not going to say sad because I’m not going to talk badly about my first project, but people just put me in that box that I was in when I was 16 but I’m just not there anymore. I feel like as an artist though you never really just stay in one box, you’re not a genre playlist you’re a person.

Shenell: Despite having only released your debut single in 2019 you’ve already won a Red Bull Elektropedia award, how did it feel to get that recognition?

MEYY: That was so cool! I didn’t [laughs], I feel like I’m talking at a reception of an award [both giggle]. I just didn’t expect it. It just came totally out of the blue. I received the award when I hadn’t released anything in a year, because of covid I didn’t release anything. I think that was really the first time, receiveing that award, that I realised oh people actually listen to my music. Cognitively I always knew people listened to my music, but that form of appreciation and confirmation I hadn’t felt before – that it’s not just my friends and family other people really listen to my shit.

Shenell: You’re now in the run up to releasing you’re second EP Neon Angel, what can people expect on that?

MEYY: I’m going to say it’s my favourite project thus far but it’s also [only] my second project. I love every song on this project. I think it really beautifully reflects the type of music that I feel or that lives in my musical universe. That sounds whack [laughs]. Like I said it’s a little bit new time R&B. I just love it, it’s a very sensual, dreamy, lushy EP but because of the amazing production that’s been done on it, it also really has a kick to it. I love it, it’s textured but smooth at the same time.

Shenell: What’s one thing you’re looking forward to that’s coming up in the future other than the EP dropping?

MEYY: I’ve got some performances planned in Brussels over the next couple of months that I’m excited about. But I’m most excited that in February I’m going to be doing a release party in Brussels in Ancienne Belgique, which to me is the best concert venue there is. We’re going to do a whole night where friends of mine DJ and I’m going to perform, more like a party – so I’m super excited about that. Hopefully I’ll be able to play in London sometime soon, and we’re doing a release party in London too.

See Also

Oh and I have some really exciting collabs coming up soon including my next single which features a super cool, dreamgirl artist from Paris, Joanna, and then I also have a collab releasing with Jelani Blackman so I’m really excited for those.

CREDITS:

Creative Direction + Photography : Shenell Kennedy

Styling: Delenn Vaughan

Makeup: Betty Traore

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