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

Jhere, there is nothing like finding yourself in your art. Self-expression and momentous clarity converge with unfamiliar and terrifying epiphanies until you finally find yourself in a space you never knew could exist for yourself – of individuality and pure insight. 25-year-old rapper Mirani knows the idea well, with her steamy relationship with music materializing in her 2018 debut track “blank,”

Independently made and unleashed in the boundless domination of SoundCloud, Mirani poured out her burdens into what seemed like a desolate abyss: “My future, my name, I can’t bear the weight of expectations / My ambitious ones are getting 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 a budding hip-hop musician and brave the unknown by releasing more to SoundCloud. Whether it was the somber “Say So” or her final outing as an independent musician of 2020 with “LA,” all tinged with varying degrees of introspection, it seemed like the rapper-songwriter still had plenty truths to discover about herself as an artist. .

Mirani. Credit: AREA

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

“At the time, I just wanted people to listen to my music,” she recalls, adding that this “strong will” was what prompted her to take that daunting first step. “I didn’t go there thinking my music and artistry was perfect or ready, but I kept going. show me the money just showing what I had to offer.

“It didn’t matter to me whether I got knocked out or not,” Mirani added. But yet, that relentless determination to give herself a platform she always seeks, coupled with an indifference to “playing the game”, so to speak, has managed to take her far into the competition and into semi- final. Although she failed to win the season, Mirani earned herself something even more rewarding.

She made history as one of the few female contestants on the show to go far on the show, especially in an industry, genre and show where female representation was – and still is – rare. and spaced out. “To be honest, there are a lot of male artists in the hip-hop scene in Korea and overseas,” she admits, as she begins to talk about the obstacles she had to overcome to be on. the path she finds now. walking herself.

“When I started with hip-hop, there weren’t many female hip-hop musicians out there, so I had some difficulty learning the ropes and establishing myself as one,” adds Mirani.

This is exactly what is appearing on show me the money so monumental, giving her the chance to be a trailblazer 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 female 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 an elevated platform and support.

Mirani interview downtown girl
Mirani. Credit: AREA

“When I was on show me the money, GroovyRoom actually worked with me to understand 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 at and what I was not so good at,” she reveals. “Because of that, they gave me a lot of valuable advice.”

“When I was an independent artist, I believed that actual music was most important, and everything I wanted to do was also most important,” she explains, talking about the growth GroovyRoom has taken on. had guided.

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

Her efforts – now refined and influenced by two veteran producers – have since crystallized into her first mini-album, “Uptown Girl,” released in November 2021. It’s a seven-track project that chronicles her journey so far, but who does not stray far from her 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 high will I climb?” she shamelessly brags about the “Lambo!” infused with trappings, before moving into candid vulnerability on the ballad track “I Wanna Be”: “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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKRRXTXtryM

Mirani clearly refuses to let the mini-album be defined by a single 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 have 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 about showing how I fleshed myself out artistically,” she shares. “I was thinking about the best way to post this, and I realized the most important thing to do was to include my story.” Despite the milestones she’s reached since her humble beginnings, there’s still plenty of room for Mirani to explore what she has to offer as one of the few up-and-coming 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 experiment with new things and experiences, to not be attached to a singular facet of what really defines who Mirani is. “I would like to try a lot of new sounds for the next [few] scrapbooks. I could talk about love or try something different,” she wonders aloud. Although she is currently relishing this new journey full of possibilities, she always chooses to take a direct approach: “I just have the sole objective of doing well [for myself]. ”

Mirani’s first mini-album “Uptown Girl” is out now.

Rebecca R. Santistevan