LA.MIMI‘S tryst with music started with folders of lyrics, echoing bathrooms, and hesitant performances for their sister. The singer and musician, based in Karachi, has wanted to perform since they were eight, and recently released their debut solo EP M.BRYO, after being a part of the music group SUNRAZ.
With dreamy synthpop and R&B influences, M.BRYO is a bold creation, making space for both empowerment and healing. It is reminiscent of the very artists that inspire LA.MIMI’s sound: Arca, Raveena, and Björk. Expertly produced with vulnerable lyrics and divine vocals, the EP is an exceptional debut record – reflecting the nuances of identity, love, and restoration. LA.MIMI’s passion for what they create is evident, shining through the EP with immaculate results.
Q: When and how did you first realise you wanted to create music? How has your taste in music evolved since then?
I [have] wanted to sing since I was eight. I even tried to start a band with my classmates as the lead singer, but we obviously did not have resources to do this. I was pretty obsessed with singing but I was so shy! I had a cute little folder of lyrics I’d print out in colorful Comic Sans. I practised everyday, but in the bathroom or sometimes in front of my sister. It wasn’t until I graduated in 2019 that my friends pushed me to join SUNRAZ as a vocalist. There were days I felt so scared of it I’d cry, but with the help of some vocal classes, I overcame my fear. I was determined to start producing and composing my own music so I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone and so I started learning the keys and production in Ableton. It’s been a year and a half, almost, since then and now I’m learning to play guitar and bass. Bass is my favorite instrument; I hope to get good at it one day! I used to listen to a lot of mainstream pop as a kid and then I had a huge rock phase. Now I’m into electronic, hip-hop, R&B, soul, blues, jazz, funk, and variations of pop like synth pop, dream pop, avant pop and art pop.
Q: What is the origin story of your alias LA.MIMI?
La is the feminine object pronoun in Spanish. I studied in Spain and my friends would call me Mimi and sometimes La Mimi, so it just stuck with me. I didn’t want to be Minelle all the time, I wanted an alter ego. LA.MIMI just felt badass yet soft to me which was perfect. Even after coming out as non-binary and only using gender neutral pronouns and language for myself I didn’t want to change my stage name. A part of my journey has been to embrace my feminity and especially as LA.MIMI, I feel most connected to my feminine side. This, of course, doesn’t change how I choose to be addressed and address myself: using gender neutral language only.
Q: M.BRYO is a super interesting title for your debut EP! Where does it come from?
I have an obsession with fetuses and embryos, and birth in general. I [have] wanted a baby literally since I was a baby myself. I’d cry and beg my parents to adopt one for me. I’m a Cancer moon, so nurturing is such a big part of my being. Over time though, I’ve learnt to nurture and parent myself and my inner child, which is so important! This EP is the embryo for my being because I made it through a very special time of growth and healing in my life, after getting sober and finally being present and connected [enough] to heal from traumas and work on letting go of behaviours that stand in my way. It’s my spiritual rebirth. Similarly, it’s also the embryo for my music journey!
Q: How has your music been influenced by your identity?
A big part of my identity is to be vulnerable and honest and exist however I please. This way of being pushed me to make music in the first place and then make it in the way I felt was most real and honest about who I am and where I am at in my life, both emotionally and in terms of my skill. Being queer has taught me to be bold and fearless and to create however my heart desires.
Q. Who are some inspirations for you, musically or otherwise?
Björk is my absolute favorite artist. Her music pushed me to put myself out there in terms of performance art at first and then eventually create my own music. I definitely am influenced by her sound as well as artists like Arca, Grimes, FKA Twigs, Slowspin, Raveena, Beach House, Broadcast and our band SUNRAZ to name a few. I’ve also always been a hardcore Radiohead and Pink Floyd fan and will never get sick of their music.
Q. Sonically, what were the influences that shaped M.BRYO?
Nature, the sea primarily. I think my own watery nature attracted me to ethereal and spacey, but dreamy sounds.
Q. What do you hope people get when they listen to the EP?
I hope people can get lost in the sound and feel like they’re floating, as well as relate to the lyrics and emotional themes. I hope the music can hold them and comfort them.
Q. What are your intentions for the near future, and your journey as a musician?
I just want to keep creating and experimenting and learning and collaborating with other artists. I also hope to expand our label GRUV.COAST RECORDS and help and inspire other artists to put themselves out there.