Hometown: South London
Listen to: ‘Bones’, ‘Sweet Relief’, ‘Heartbeat’
As the worthy first winner of the Ivor Novello Rising Star Award, Mysie is certainly one to watch for the latter part of 2020 and beyond. It’s only a matter of time before Mysie’s bold, immersive music explodes in popularity.
Her latest single ‘Bones’ is a seamlessly produced, bass-heavy anthem that showcases rich vocals and an aptitude for haunting melodies – the layers build and build until you’re consumed by Mysie’s mantra about running out of time. In ‘Gift’, released in June, the Londoner sings about someone who can easily read her : “I don’t know where you’ve been digging under my skin / Ain’t it rough, ain’t it rough, haven’t you had enough?”
Her music videos are an experience in themselves, from the dance-led pastel palette of ‘Sweet Relief’ to the raw home-video style of ‘Bones’ and the sun-soaked fish-eye aesthetic of ‘Gift’, filmed during the coronavirus lockdown.
While her 2020 releases cement Mysie’s status as a razor-sharp lyricist and vocalist, her 2019 discography including the Chapter 11 EP and standalone tracks ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Sweet Relief’ are all as equally strong. The latter is particularly special, with ‘Sweet Relief’ being born out of a love for the world around us. “I was inspired by three birds sitting together in a tree in Somerset,” Mysie says of the track. Her piano-driven ballad ‘Rocking Chair’ and the acoustic version of ‘Take Your Love’ proves that while her new offerings are elevated by production, her talent can shine with just a few chords, a drum beat and the occasional harmony.
While Mysie is quickly carving a place for herself in the industry, the alias breaks the 23-year-old away from the music she was creating from the age of 16 under the name Lizbet Sempa . Speaking to Euphoria magazine earlier this month, she said she was being put in the ‘box’ of being a soul singer-songwriter: “I’m so much more than that. I just didn’t want to be put in a box.”
It’s safe to say her reinvention has seen her achieve this aim – Mysie’s style is definitely hard to put a label on, often defying the constraints of genre, and remains unique without being try-hard. “It’s important for me that each song I release is different from the last,” she said to Wickedd Child in 2019.
Mysie is yet to announce an upcoming album, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll be hoping for a full-length record from one of the most exciting up-and-coming British artists. For now, she’s got plenty of music to enjoy:
Words by Kat Smith