"Pretty Lies," the first single off her second extended-play 'Drift,' offers the listeners a glimpse into Mimoza's mindset; she's discontent about the lies and injustices surrounding the business of entertainment. Here, "you know they're pretty lies," is the reoccurring mantra, dedicating the song to her effectuated anger over the wrongdoings and swindlers she's experienced in the business side of entertainment. "Our cries make them laugh, their lies make us cry," she sings, as the weight behind her introspection is counterbalanced by the steadfast euro glide of the accompanying instrumentals; an amalgamation of cinematic synth pads and a meandering of her many vocal harmonies, which alternately stretch and swell from side to side like the super-heated glue in a lava-lamp.
The accompanying music video plays like something out of every artist's nightmare. As fat-cat-business men lay splayed out watching a lit-up stage, an artist's walks on, but she's not there to sing; through brightly colored blue lights arches and a blackout backdrop, we realize she is posing as if to show the audience she's satisfactory in being monetized. Throughout this scene, as it unfolds, Mimoza's soloed panning-shots manifest in the set and tone as she can only be described with words like, tantalizing and mesmeric. It feels eerily peaceful, almost attractive enough to cloak the fraudulent misdoings and ominous metaphoric imageries that come next. It's a perfect illustration of the profound distress she feels in the state of our in-just climate. And although it presents unearthly in nature, it's only the surface level atop the iceberg of complexity and emotion in Mimoza H's catalogs.
What is your experience like performing as a euro-electro-pop artist based in Montreal, and what do you love most about living there?
My music is very eclectic and also my style is quite different from what we tend to hear I believe not just in Montreal but in general. This makes for it to stand out but at the same time, it is not a cup of tea for everyone’s taste. I have been told numerous times that my music is dark, intense and original and that my voice is unique, strong and full of emotion and perhaps this is all due to my ancient Albanian roots that define who and what I am and my need to express deeply what I have experienced and lived. Being the only Albanian performer in Montreal surely makes for an exotic event especially since I tend to also speak in my language during my performances which the crowd finds amusing :)
The Montreal music scene is quite diverse and interesting and when I moved here ten years ago I felt the urge to start my own solo project. I find that this place gives me the space needed to create. It is a beautiful city, vibrant but not stressful in comparison to New York City or other cities I lived before moving here. There is a better community sense and if you want to really feel a part of it you have to integrate into the French-speaking and way of being which in the beginning was a clash for me as a non-English, non-French person. The golden rule is that with time, acceptance, perseverance, hard work, and involvement one can live, create, and be who they are anywhere they choose to make a life.
Do you find your Kosovo influences have followed you to Canada and distilled in your music some of that "euro" vibe you're nailing?
I may write and sing in English as it came easier to me when I got started. My styles and sounds may be different from the traditional music of my roots but Kosovar blood runs through my veins therefore my essence of creations and what and how I express myself really come from my origin. Through my music pieces, I have let out that natural part of me so one can definitely feel the influence of my roots. If you listen closely to the way I perform and write the music it is obvious that the basis is there and the rest is my creative taste, fantasy, and playfulness.
You mention some names of artists you view as significant inspirations but did these influencers manifest themselves naturally in your life or through the gateway of a sibling or friend?
Some of my inspirations have manifested to me as discoveries through personal music quests and some I have fallen in love with through friends and family suggestions and their tastes. I have fond memories of my teenage years, the era when we were still listening to cassettes and used to make mix-tapes as gifts and I have received a few of those where I have discovered some great music that I still love and listen to today. We are talking about the time when music was a way of an escape and an entrance to another world. I used to spend uninterrupted hours locked in my room listening to some amazing long experimental pieces of music, absorbing and dissecting the process. This kind of music was a highlight as they really were journeys that slowly developed and ended into these culminating sounds of pleasure. This experience has been a big influence for me in the way I approach my own music and it is the foundation for my creativity.
What can we expect from your new releases later this year, and are you excited about anything coming up in 2020?
’’PRETTY LIES’’ is the first single that I released off of my second EP - DRIFT - which is set to come out early 2021. It is a 5-track EP and three of the five songs I wrote and produced in collaboration with Sébastien Schuller, a French musician well-known for his album ’Happiness’. DRIFT is a transformation, a turning point, and a step further into the process of allowing myself into different territories, into something more lightful, playful and even some naivety in an attempt to observe the process with an eye of an outsider to see how the outside world affects my inner-world and vice-versa, how my personal observation has an in impact on the outside world. Hence, the songs of the new record have more of an uplifting mood from the debut partly because Sebastien brought his pop structure and melodies onto the table and together with my free and euro-alternative approach in singing and production it turned into something very special and I look forward to sharing these songs. I’ll be releasing two more singles from this EP before the end of 2020. Also, in parallel, I am working on a new project which will have songs in Albanian language (some remakes as well as new songs) and am excited about this one as it will have yet a new sound to it.