Miso… is a queen. Point. Blank. Period. To completely expound upon this woman’s regal nature, however, would take entirely too long. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least comment on how truly elegant she is. Let me explain.
Miso came to me via one of my favorite Korean R&B artists, Crush. Last year’s Interlude showed the artist was moving away from producing saccharine-sweet love ballads and in a more music-centric direction. As a result, much of the EP was him showcasing his willingness to experiment, even going so far as to remove himself from the spotlight and lend his music to another voice. Enter Miso, the undisputed queen of music collective Club Eskimo, with her stripped-bare, simplistic vocal. Song “Castaway” suddenly became more than just a mellow groove tinged with a light island flare around the edges. In Miso’s care it became a piece of whimsy, a sweet melody that got caught in the brain and never left.
Having lived a huge part of her life in England (according to a rare interview with The Sound of Silencio, half her life), and spent time in Paris where she attended the Red Bull Music Academy in 2015, Miso’s English is flawless and is decorated with an accented drawl, slow and easy, that lulls a listener into a comfort and soothes whatever ails them. Her technique is impeccable, drawing on her training in flute, cello, and piano. She has an obvious ear for the technical, an aural vision that allows her to manifest entire landscapes in her compositions.
Miso hasn’t released a full-length album as of yet, but her collaborations and singles are a lesson in understatement. Her most recent release, debut track “Take Me,” is as colored in soft pink and red hues as the supporting MV. Her lyrics, as with her vocal delivery, are simple, getting straight to the heart of the matter.
However, Miso’s work as a producer and DJ ensures that the music she houses that voice in is elegantly complex. There’s not a space in her songs that isn’t covered in something magical. The influence of legendary producer Nujabes is obvious in the way she crafts her work, his album Hanaby admittedly one she never tires of no matter how often she listens to it. Just as with the mystic nature of the Japanese producer before her, one can absolutely get lost in her breaks and melodies, become elevated with the nuance. There’s something brilliant in the way she constructs a piece. No matter what direction you turn, however you lean into the song, you’re listening to something intricate, powerful. Every song she’s created or has been featured on informs her sophistication. She doesn’t insist upon herself, but no queen ever does.
Miso recently shared the stage with her Club Eskimo family in their first tour of the States. As she’s wont to do, she spent a great deal of her time behind the DJ table, mixing her songs as well as that of her members. She’s understated to the point that she can go unnoticed if you’re not paying attention. She doesn’t draw the eye to her with ostentation or an overbearing stage presence. She simply exists, creating sounds that at first listen trick the ear, then soothe. Though she has yet to release a collection of songs, she’s endlessly creative, exploring the concave edges of music and giving listeners something truly spectacular to dive into.
(Images via Miso’s Twitter page; Sound of Silencio; Red Bull Music Academy; YouTube.)