- Words Notion Staff
The Algerian musician heads to LA to capture the visuals for her latest release.
“My music is honest. I don’t have a genre,” says rising musician, Miraa May, “I make what I feel like making. I will never box myself in and will never allow anyone to box me in. Music is freedom.”
Born in Algeria and raised in Tottenham (where she still lives today), May has been an outspoken campaigner for immigration and women’s right, saying exactly what she thinks regardless of the consequences. Last year she released her second EP, the diverse and distinctive Care Package, which was an ode to her Algerian roots while still showcasing her upbringing in London, infusing both UK slang and the Algerian language. There’s no denying that she used her writing capabilities as an emotional outlet, with the EP touching upon heartbreak, confidence and hardships.
The most recent release from the EP is the soaring “Nobody”, which she filmed while recording new music in LA. For the video, she takes a trip across the sun-drenched State and belts out one of the EP’s standouts. We grabbed a moment with the musician to talk about her journey to success and unpick her latest release.
How did you first get into music?
When I was in secondary school, I joined literally every musical extra curricular activity from gospel choir to steel pans and rock band and jazz band. I also learned how to play the guitar. Then when I got to college I started writing my own songs.
What is your earliest musical memory?
Performing in my primary school play of the runaway children, I had a solo to perform and I remember everyone coming up to my mum and praising her daughter for doing so well. That was my first performance in life.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in north London, lived in various places from Islington to Wood Green to Broadwater Farm. I still live in Tottenham. I love it, it’s where I feel at home.
Who were your musical influences like growing up?
Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson as I was obsessed with dream girls. Also Algerian rai and Arabic music. As a teen I was heavily into emo rock like My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Paramore and Evanescence. Then I started listening to a lot of early Kendrick Lamar, and I was a massive fan of the black hippy movement which got me into hip hop. Then I started listening to Jhene aiko and loads of R&B. I still have loads of music to discover but it’s been a good journey.
Tell us a little bit about your new video?
I wanted the video to be extremely inclusive. My main goal was for people of all races and religions to feel represented and appreciated and to shed light on positivity because the world has been so dark recently. It was starting to suck the life out of me. I also wanted to showcase how beautiful happiness is. When I watch the video I feel happy.
Where did the inspiration come from / what is it about?
Nobody is about being fearless, taking a stand in what you believe in and love. Most importantly love. The love I have for allah, the love I have for my family and the love I have for the world, because at the end of the day we are all connected. We are all one big family and I wanted to be as simple as possible when trying to put that into a song/visual.
You spent some time in LA working on this. What was that like?
LA was a movie, I made so many amazing songs with amazing producers (a lot from the UK: SOS, P2J, Prgrshn) but also with LA – producers like Rance from 1500ornothin, Justus west, OBoy, and loads of others! Got to meet and vibe with some of my fave artists like Masego and Brent FaiyaZ and 4.am. And also linked up with my London homies out there like Octavian, Jevon, Daniel OG and made more incredible music. It was deffo a fucking movie. Big up my Peer Family!!