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An Interview with Japanese Pop-R&B Sensation Mirei: “Take Me Away”

Mirei is a bold and strong voice who mixes pop and R&B, making her United States debut. She is all about focusing on creativity and self expression, while breaking from personal and professional restraints. I got the chance to catch up with Mirei about her single “Take Me Away” and what it means to her.

 

What style of music is “Take Me Away” – can you elaborate?
It combines many styles of music, but I would say it’s an electro-pop song overall. I felt something really special when I heard this intro. It starts off quiet but hides so many emotions that you understand when listening to the lyrics. I followed my first instinct when creating the sound then built up the rest of the song.

 

How does dance influence your music-making?

When I dance, I feel so many things around the entire song, not just the beat or the vocals. I love the vocal samples in the beat drop.

 

“Take Me Away” sounds very fun and upbeat in some parts, though the meaning is somewhat dark. Did you make the song with the intention of providing contrast between the meaning and sound?

I didn’t have that exact intention but I totally agree with what you said, it definitely turned out that way. I just started writing with Zak after talking about how lonely this world can be, even in a room full of people.  All the feelings I internalized came pouring out… I guess it affected my lyrics, vocals, and the beat in the end.

What prompted you to write “Take Me Away?”

I wrote this song in a session with Zak and Shiftee at Zak’s house in Brooklyn. I was traveling to and from Tokyo and New York, back and forth, but I was feeling like something was missing.I’ve lived in Tokyo for a while but I just felt like I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t going to speak up about this or tell anyone, but at some point we all just connected over that cloudy feeling. Luckily, they empathized with me and we decided to make a song about it.

 What messages are you trying to send with “Take Me Away?”

I’m not necessarily trying to send a message, it’s just my honest feelings coming across through the lyrics and music. The reason I made this song is to escape from the dark emotion that was hanging over me. Music has always helped me escape reality when I’m feeling some type of way. When writing this song, I wanted to say that you’re not alone. I hope this song will be a tool to get things off your mind for at least a moment. 

 

What has it been like for you being so involved with music from such an incredibly early age?

It feels so natural. I was dancing and singing ever since I can remember. Music is just a part of me as, even as just a fan. I couldn’t imagine how my life would be without music.

Image courtesy of Cool Japan Music & MIRI’s team at WMA

What was it like coming from Japan to New York in your younger years?

I was so extremely excited. Maybe I was too young to feel scared of the big jump at the time. Everything was new and stimulating to me, but so natural at the same time. I found so many true inspirations in New York City. Tokyo never really felt like home after living in New York City and that’s where I get most of my creativity now. 

 

What has it been like working with such a variety of established artists like Zak Leever and DJ Shiftee?

Each of us had different emotions and inspirations, but we weren’t afraid of expressing them to each other. We just clicked so well and bounced ideas of each other. Every time we discussed something, completely new, fresh ideas were made. It never felt like a writing session where I was working because it all came so naturally. I felt like we were just hanging out and really great songs came out of it.

 

What is the message of your EP?

The two sides of Tokyo, Japan. The first side – the emotions of a girl who lives here. The other side – the girl who experienced the other side of the world and wanted to speak up about all the things happening in Tokyo.

 

What is your main goal as an artist?

I want to sing what I could only sing. I’ve been called a weirdo and didn’t always fit it but in the music space, I could be myself. I feel like stage is the only place I could be the best version of myself that I want to be. I guess I want to be a hero to the weirdos.

 

You can stream “Take Me Away” everywhere.

 

Image courtesy of Cool Japan Music & MIRI’s team at WMA

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Written By

Helen Ehrlich is a writer who enjoys politics, activism and charity work, music, and all things literary. She lives in America where she attends school.

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