London based Japanese singer/songwriter, composer and producer Mieko Shimizu with several diverse and accomplished albums already under her belt.
She erupted onto the scene with the searing alter ego Apache 61, fusing layers of cross-woven breaks battling shards of sub-bass within stateless melodies drawn from the fringes of the avant-garde. Her last album, ‘My Tentacles’ released as Mico saw her return to a deeper more reflective state in the cavernous depth of sumptuous symphonic songs that oscillated with glitchy electronica.
Much of my music consists of ‘found sound’ like people singing in the hospital or the bin-man outside my door, combined with Neo-classical, Electronica and Japanese folk. I would hope that it evokes the same things it does in me, which is a mixture of memories from every part of my life, the surreality of my dreams, the darkness of my nightmares and the momentary realisation that I am alive, now.
Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?
Experimentation of Meredith Monk
Inventiveness of Laurie Anderson
and Surreal World of my brother, Yasuaki Shimizu
How did you discover your particular sound?
Constant exploration & experimentation as well as having the strength to be true to my self as an individual without trying to compromise my vision
What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?
Firstly it got to be my voice, then I would say the acoustic piano in my living room along with a Moog synthesiser, Akai MPC drum machine and samplers like Roland SP-404
What outside of music inspires you to create?
From ordinary to extraordinary stories of every living thing
Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far that you will take with you forever?
Supporting Meredith Monk at a festival in Berlin, Performing my song ‘ Think like swarm’ with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall and my recent Solo performance for the release of “I Bloom’ at Japan House (The cultural HQ of the Japanese Embassy in the UK).
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?
Agnes Verda, my heroine and doyenne of the French New Wave Film movement, Nam June Paik, the legendary founder of video art, Naomi Kawase contemporary female Japanese film director, and Bjork if she let me wear whatever I want (lol)!
Most artists say that if they weren’t artists they would be mailmen/women… what would you be?
A Super Vet and open an animal sanctuary to help old and sick animals.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I started a live stream called ‘Mieko Monday’ on Instagram. It happens at 5 PM every Monday. I play my own songs along with some cover songs occasionally for fun.
As soon as this strange situation is over, I am planning to play live gigs around the UK
Follow Mieko Shimizu online