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Interview with Magi Merlin

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Performing on September 30 as part of POP Montreal festival, we spoke with artist Magi Merlin to talk about their work, inspirations, and creative process.

1.How would you describe your work to our lstw audience?

I usually describe my music along the lines of neo-soul/alternative R&B but since I’ve been playing a lot more live shows I’ve realized that there are a lot of rock influences both in my music and how we perform!

2.What first got you into music?

I’ve always been into music actually! I started writing poetry before I knew how to write. When I was around 4 or 5 I would have dreams of poems and would ask my mom to write them down for me. As I grew up the idea of writing never really went away, I began to imagine “writing songs” for different artists that were popular at the time (Ke$ha and Gaga hehe). I finally learned how to play guitar in highschool so I could add some instrumentation to the songs I wrote. I think I always knew I wanted to do this and fortunately for me I’m rly stubborn 🙂

3.What/Who are your inspirations?

I’m very inspired by books I read and youtube video essays I watch. I’m very engaged in social issues, climate change and capitalism amongst others. I also find a lot of inspiration from topics like astrophysics. All these things influence my general perspective of life and therefore my writing.When it comes to artists i’m inspired by, i really love Frank Ocean, hiatus kaiyote, burna boy, Makala & varnish la piscine amongst many many many others!

4.What’s your favorite thing about Montreal?

I really love the calmness of the city, or rather the option to find calmness. There are various serene areas of Montreal one can retreat to and I think it’s quite lovely to have access to that. I really enjoy the European vibe some areas of Montreal have as well. Apart from that I really love the people here, I think there’s a great sense of community, especially in the musical circles i run in! I feel very lucky.

5.What is your creative process like?

My creative process usually happens at my long-time collaborator Funkywhat’s apartment. He’ll show me beats he’s been working on, it can be something fully realized, or just drums or occasionally just a verbal idea! I’ll freestyle on beats that are already made or work with funky to make a beat together and then freestyle on that! When it comes to writing, the process can go pretty quick if I have a topic in mind that I want to touch on or talk about in my music.

6.You’re going to be playing at POP Montréal, what does that mean for you?

It’s very exciting! This will be our biggest show yet in regards to show production. There will be a light show, stage props, and multiple musicians on stage! I’m excited to see what the show will look like with all these new elements added to the mix. This POP show will also be our last local live performance this year so we’ll really be going out with a bang, I’m stoked!

Magi Merlin + strange froots + Kaya Hoax
Théâtre Fairmount — Sept 30 2022
Doors: 8pm | Show: 9pm
More details here.

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