It’s hard to describe the sheer delight of stumbling across an artist who’s all-around talented. Enter Mizan, a singer/songwriter from New York we came across by chance, on the internet. Fortunately so; the girl has a killer voice, and an uncanny ability to wrap her vocals around intricate beat-heavy production and bare acoustics alike. If you’re not impressed yet, watch her play the piano, or sift through her lyrics, all of which she writes herself, and which have an honesty that tends to catch you off guard. So far her trajectory has been slow but steady. We’ve seen a few songs unveiled from her Dark Blue EP, and a handful of acoustic performances posted on YouTube. It’s a deliberate performance: each month Mizan releases one song and one video off of her Deep Blue EP. It’s a way to maintain a constant buzz amongst fans and steadily garner feedback.
The quality that stands out on Mizan’s EP is her voice. It’s equally compelling laid bare over a few simple piano chords, like on her song “No Fool (Freestyle),” as it is on the heavier, beat-driven production of “Anxious”. The lyrics on either are layered and multi-dimensional, a quality that’s increasingly uncommon in modern R ‘n’ B. Mizan’s songs stray away from usual themes of lust and love. An attention to lyricism distinguishes her EP from a recent wave of production-heavy R ‘n’ B albums in the past year released by singers like Kelela or Banks. It could be because she insists on handling each process of creating, starting at song-writing and carrying through all the way to video production. Her fingerprints are all over each song, fashioning an honesty and simplicity that separates her from the current pack of female R ‘n’ B vocalists. It’s a refreshing approach, and makes her one to watch in the coming year.
“Anxious” is a standout track off of Deep Blue. Moody, introspective, and soulful, it underlines Mizan’s song-writing abilities. It works well as a tribute to the sheer pressure of living in New York, hosting a buzzing talk-box-sounding beat behind her sweeter murmuring vocals. “No Fool” is also worth a listen for its sincere and straightforward sound. It’s simply a piano and her voice, an unvarnished testament to Mizan’s commitment to “opt out of frivolity.” So far, the EP is a little slow, and the songs are definitely on the darker, more introspective side. Still, Mizan has a distinctive style, and we look forward to hearing what she releases next. Keep up with Mizan on Facebook, Soundcloud, or YouTube to follow her next releases and performances. She plans to release her next video, which will document her “new obsession with flowers on film” very soon.