Remix of MIREI's second single, "Let Me Be"features the Queens, NY native, Dai Burger, who combines the unapologetic bite of 2000's Hip Hop with the lighthearted fun of '70's Gogo.
Japanese singer/songwriter MIREI possesses a truly transcendent voice, delicate and ethereal yet supremely skilled at channeling complex emotion. Born in Osaka and based in Tokyo, the 21-year-old artist now brings her magnetic vocal presence to Take Me Away— her forthcoming album which instantly affirms her rare talent for making dance-pop music with both heartfelt sensitivity and unapologetic power.
Arriving as her English-language debut, Take Me Away finds MIREI collaborating with producer/songwriters Zak Leever (a classically trained musician who’s earned support from industry heavyweights like Diplo) and DJ Shiftee (a two-time DMC World Champion). With its hypnotic melodies and otherworldly beats, the album artfully merges elements of R&B-pop and post-EDM, dreaming up a boldly original sound but never distracting from MIREI’s captivating vocals. And in crafting her intimate lyrics, MIREI carefully drew from personal experience as a young woman in Japan’s capital city. “There’s a light side and a shadow side to Tokyo, and I’ve seen a lot of the shadow,” MIREI notes. “I wanted to write songs that let people know about both sides.”
All throughout the album, MIREI’s kaleidoscopic sound provides a potent backdrop to her lyrical reflection, which listeners will soon know as releases single by single ahead of the album’s official US release in 2020. On the album’s title track, for instance, she speaks to the sometimes-painful push for authenticity in a deeply conformist culture. “‘Take Me Away’ is about how hard it is to feel like you belong, especially when you’re dealing with things like anxiety and depression,” she says. And while the brightly textured track unfolds with a certain melancholy, MIREI offers some sweetly delivered encouragement to embrace your own truth, subtly turning “Take Me Away” into an undeniable anthem.
All throughout the album, MIREI’s kaleidoscopic sound provides a potent backdrop to her lyrical reflection. The groove-heavy “Let Me Be” turns intensely soulful as she muses on power imbalances between genders, while “Lonely in Tokyo” contrasts its shiny disco beat with an up-close portrait of the struggles of two former classmates: a Papa-katsu companion and an aspiring idol singer. “Idol girls are very popular within my culture,” MIREI explains. “They sing and dance but are often objectified by fans. They’re expected to always look like dolls (cute, lovable), or be oversexualized in media.” And on “Not a Number,” with its gently dizzying rhythm and achingly tender vocals, MIREI pays poignant tribute to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements as she shares the story of Shiori Itō—a Japanese journalist/filmmaker who suffered severe backlash upon accusing a prominent TV journalist of rape.
Not only showcasing her fearless honesty, Take Me Away endlessly reveals the tremendous musical passion that Mirei has pursued for almost her entire life. “When I was really young, like three-years-old, my parents used to bring me to karaoke and sing all night long,” she recalls. 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 toward global 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. Eventually teaming up with Zak Leever and DJ Shiftee, she began the process of bringing Take Me Away to life in 2018.
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.”