“I want to be a model for other female artists who want to get into hip-hop”

There, nothing like finding oneself in his art. Self-expression and momentous clarity converge with unfamiliar and terrifying epiphanies until you finally find yourself in a space that you never thought could exist for yourself – of individuality and pure insight. Rapper Mirani, 25, is well acquainted with the idea, her steamy relationship with music materializing in her 2018 debut track, “blank.”

Created and released independently in the unlimited domain of SoundCloud, Mirani threw her burdens into what appeared to be a desolate abyss: “My future, my name, I can’t bear the weight of expectations / My ambitious people get ahead of my voice / I hate this kind of repetition of life, day after day”.

This internalized conflict was resolved by her love for bringing melodies to life, as she continued to hone her craft as an aspiring hip-hop musician and brave the unknown by posting more to SoundCloud. Whether it was the grim ‘Say So’ or her last outing as an independent musician in 2020 with ‘LA’, all tinged with varying degrees of introspection, it seemed like the rapper-songwriter had a lot more to do with it. truths to discover about herself as an artist.

Mirani. Credit: AREA

Although the pandemic has already reached the shores of South Korea in October 2020, it has done little to curb Mirani’s desire to move forward with her art. The ninth season of Show me the money, a prolific South Korean reality TV series where up-and-coming hip-hop musicians claim national recognition, was just on the horizon, and Mirani saw a unique opportunity for her voice to be heard by a wider audience. .

“Back then, I just wanted people to listen to my music,” she recalls, adding that this “strong will” was what made her take that intimidating first step. “I didn’t go into this believing my music and artistry was perfect or ready, but I kept going Show me the money just to show what I have to offer.

“I didn’t care whether I got knocked out or not,” Mirani added. But yet this relentless determination to give herself a platform she has always sought, coupled with an indifference to “playing the game”, so to speak, has managed to bring her far into the competition and all the way to the semi. -final. Even though she failed to win the season, Mirani has earned something even more rewarding.

She made history as one of the few contestants on the show to feature far down the program, especially in an industry, genre, and program where female portrayal was – and still is – scarce. “To be honest, there are a lot of male artists on the hip-hop scene in Korea and abroad,” she admits, as she begins to open up about the obstacles she has had to overcome. to be on the path she finds now. walks itself.

“When I started hip-hop, there weren’t a lot of female musicians in hip-hop, so there were difficulties in learning the ropes and establishing myself as such,” adds Mirani.

This is exactly what makes its appearance on Show me the money so monumental, giving her the chance to be a pioneer for others. “I want to be a role model for other female artists who want to get into hip-hop, and if [my achievements] gave me a chance to be something like that for other musicians, so I think that would be a meaningful message.

Following Show me the money, the prominent producer duo GroovyRoom, who had also mentored her on the show, immediately signed her to their new music label AREA. It unmistakably marked the dawn of a new era for her as an artist, especially with a raised platform and stand.

mirani interview girl from the upscale neighborhoods
Mirani. Credit: AREA

“When I was on Show me the money, GroovyRoom actually worked with me to determine my strengths and weaknesses [as a musician], so when we worked together again after signing with them, they already had prior knowledge of what I was good for and what I wasn’t so good at, ”she reveals. “Because of this, they gave me a lot of valuable advice. “

“When I was an independent artist, I believed that real music was the most important, and that everything I wanted to do was also the most important,” she explains, speaking of the growth towards which GroovyRoom the had guided.

“I have since learned that when an artist releases an album, the music always matters, but [we also have to think about] the story, the visuals that match the music and how these different aspects have to go together. I feel like I grew up [as a musician] In the process.”

Her efforts – now refined and influenced by two seasoned producers – have since crystallized in her debut mini album, “Uptown Girl”, released in November 2021. It’s a seven-track project that chronicles her journey so far, without however deviating from his original style as an independent artist.

“Mirani, who looked like a country girl / I’m a celebrity now / The girl who climbed from the bottom / How far will I go? “ she shamelessly brags about “Lambo!” “Where has all this time gone?” / There’s no way to know / Now the expectations are on me / I’m grateful, but sometimes it’s scary.

Mirani clearly refuses to let the mini-album be defined by one genre, instead shaping it around what felt right to her and the story she wanted to tell. “There were a lot of things I wanted to talk about that changed for me over the past year after Show me the money 9”, She says of the inspiration behind ‘Uptown Girl’.

“My first step as a Mirani artist was really to show how I have blossomed artistically,” she shares. “I was thinking about the best way to show this, and I realized that the most important thing to do was include my story.” Despite the milestones she has achieved since her humble beginnings, there is still plenty of room for Mirani to explore what she has to offer as one of the few rising hip-hop musicians.

The beauty of being in the first act of what is bound to be a very successful career is the ability to experience new things and experiences, not to be tied to a singular facet of what really defines who Mirani is. “I would like to try a lot of new sounds for the next one [few] albums. I could talk about love, or try something else that’s different, ”she wonders aloud. Although she is currently relishing this new journey which is full of possibilities, she always chooses to take a direct approach: “I have only one goal to do well. [for myself]. “

Mirani’s debut mini album ‘Uptown Girl’ is out now.

Rebecca R. Santistevan