Japanese electronic-pop and R&B songstress MIREI is ready to take on 2020 in preparation for her very first international full-length album Take Me Away due out January 31st via The Orchard / Cool Japan Music. With her new single “Lazy Boy” it’s clear she hasn’t missed a beat, remaining true to her soft R&B roots and delightfully blending butter smooth electronic production to her songs. In an interview with ATWOOD, she asserts that “Lazy Boy” – like many of the tracks on her album – is meant to be a girls’ anthem about knowing your worth.
Possessing full creative control over both her music and image – MIREI is ready to strip the layers and stand up for the unspoken, bringing awareness to issues that otherwise are taboo in Japan such as mental health, the pressures of living in a bustling city, and the objectification of women or their lifestyles (young students, popstars, Papakatsu women, etc.).
On “Take Me Away” for example, MIREI elaborates: “I wrote ‘Take Me Away’ with Zak Leever during one of our very first writing sessions in Brooklyn. The song, overall, is about loneliness so I wanted to film the video in Japan to show a different, dark side of the city and the people chasing their dreams in it. Sharing my experience with Zak was a huge relief since I grew up believing we should always keep these things to ourselves. This song represents exactly what I want to say and feel through the music, and that’s why I chose this song and video to introduce myself internationally. I used to hide my weaknesses but these days I’m realizing I don’t have to and we all have our own issues with anxiety and depression that we have to face.” On the video, she adds: “The video is about a girl who lost her way by herself in Tokyo. Tokyo is a big, beautiful city to chase dreams but we can’t do this forever, sadly. The girl is facing her ideal versus reality and it looks like she’s gone crazy, but she’s not alone – though not with the best company… This happens to so many women chasing their dreams in any big city. I also wanted to represent where I was born but not just the side that everyone glamorizes.”
Not only showcasing her fearless honesty, Take Me Away reveals the tremendous musical passion that MIREI has pursued for almost her entire life. In kindergarten she began taking dance lessons, which immediately sparked a fascination with pop divas like Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Soon enough, MIREI added singing to her repertoire and with the help of Garage Band began making music on her own when she was just 12-years-old. By age 13, MIREI had caught the attention of a major record label, her first step towards stardom. While spending her eighth-grade year in New York City, she performed in the prestigious choir Gospel For Teens, and took home the top prize at the legendary Amateur Night at the Apollo. After moving to Tokyo the following year, MIREI soon found success with several hit singles and album releases on her home turf.
For MIREI, the making of Take Me Away marks a thrilling new chapter in her growth as an artist – one that finds her facing the most difficult of emotions, then transforming those feelings into music that questions, challenges, and ultimately empowers. “I was so moved by the whole experience of making these songs,” says MIREI. “Sometimes it actually hurt to write them, but I think that’s a good thing. A lot of the time what we feel isn’t happy or perfect, but talking about it is what connects us. I hope that hearing these songs helps other people to feel more connected too.”