New Yorker Mizan dropped her long awaited EP “Dark Blue” on November 6/2015, a project that was in the works for no less than two years. The project is a consolidation of some of her already released projects like “Anxious” and “Thru” and some new songs.
Ethiopian-born and New York-made Mizan blends hip hop, soul, jazz and indie rock into an EP as intriguing and dark as it sounds. Dark Blue manages to capture the singer-songwriter’s lyrical brilliance and expert production. Mizan has a sound and artistry that is quite difficult to describe, which frankly is a relief given the commercialization and corporatization of music today. It is a breath of fresh air to find something that sounds so entirely different to anything I’ve heard recently. Her rich voice, the wonderful production and the expressive lyrics that evoke images of urban desolation are offset against the hopeful feel of her songs and expertly self-directed videos. If nothing else, Mizan’s artistry is an enigmatic work of art that will make you nostalgic, wistful and maybe a little less alone in the world
Her songs deal with more substance than we are used to in popular music, which could be her making or her undoing. The 26 year old’s assertion that she doesn’t make music “to entertain people” but rather to “uplift people and let them know they are not alone” is a bold statement for someone in the music industry today. Fortunately, this message shines through in this new EP. Dark Blue focuses on our shared experiences in this world, the peculiar sense of loneliness that comes from living in big cities (no doubt shaped in part by her time in New York) and carries the message that darkness is an ordinary part of life.
The EP starts with the mellow beats of “Thru” and transitions on to the somewhat more morose “7 Billion” before segwaying on to my personal favourite “Anxious”. In the almost ethereal sounds of this song lie encapsulated most of our early 20’s fears: the daunting task of becoming adults, the engulfing loneliness of a big city, the unquenchable thirst for success and dreams that seem beyond what we can achieve in a lifetime. After the “No Fool” freestyle and the more upbeat “Looking For” the EP concludes with “Awe”, the musical personification of Dark Blue.
All in all, Dark Blue promises that we can expect big things from Mizan.
You can listen to the full EP here: