London-based vocalist, songwriter and bassist MEI releases her debut EP ‘Hurrygirl’ – just in time for her London launch party at the Queen of Hoxton on 24th October.
MEI’s sound is an accomplished blend of British R&B, afrobeat and jazz influences, and is already being backed by Brian Eno, Kojey Radical, gal-dem, Reprezent Radio and Worldwide FM – recently landing her a coveted spot on the FIFA 19 soundtrack alongside collaborators Husky Loops and Count Counsellor.
The ‘Hurrygirl’ EP is a celebration of black British talent, with the title-track and lead single encapsulating the importance of Notting Hill Carnival’s cultural legacy, saturated with stormy synths and warm calypso inspired hooks. Second single ‘Afrowalk’ features the London jazz trumpeter and Blue Lab Beats collaborator Shelia Maurice-Grey – whose smooth brassy undertones effortlessly complement MEI’s warm vocals.
Elaborating on its themes, MEI states: “‘Hurrygirl’ is the flawed superhero we can all relate to. A character that shares the same struggles we all go through in life. Struggles with identity, confidence, loss, finding our purpose to name a few. It’s through this character that I have been able to explore these things within myself and create my first body of work with some incredible musicians, producers and visual artists who I consider family.”
Mercy Welbeck was gifted the name MEI by her Mandarin teacher, simply translated as ‘beauty’, and was introduced to soul and gospel music at the age of eleven after joining her church choir. After performing alongside Brian Eno and Karl Hyde on Later…with Jools Holland, as well as supporting Little Simz at the Roundhouse Rising Festival, Mercy is now moving into the spotlight with her debut ‘Hurrygirl’ EP – a cross-genre project exploring beauty, loss, identity and empowerment.