On the Scene with MiMi
Born and raised in Makaha, 18-year-old island/pop recording artist MiMi grew up singing at home, but it wasn’t until she was 15 that she started thinking of it as a career.
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Born and raised in Makaha, 18-year-old island/pop recording artist MiMi grew up singing at home, but it wasn’t until she was 15 that she started thinking of it as a career. She took her first steps toward stardom with encouragement from George “Fiji” Veikoso, took a break to concentrate on school, and then made her debut as a mainstream pop recording artist last June with the release of “Miss Me,” a download-only single. Three more download-only singles — officially the four songs are a digital download EP titled “The Life of MiMi” — showed that she had national potential.
A concert tour of mainland high schools, and a spot as an opening act at the Snoop Dogg/Cardi B/Sublime with Rome concert at Aloha Stadium in December, gave her plenty of momentum at year’s end. Now, two months into 2019, MiMi and songwriter/record producer Avyon “AV” Ndlovu have several projects on the way for release this spring.
Where should we start with all those projects?
One is a single featuring DJ Khaled that’s called “Mahalo,” and I’m excited to be working with him. I’m also recording a single with (the reggae band) Common Kings — a song that AV and I wrote. It’s called “Magic” and the song is magical — really! Not many people outside of Hawaii have heard music from Hawaii so I’m (also) excited to be releasing an island EP where people can have an insight on the music that we have out here. Hopefully it will open doors for other artists as well. This is another layer to my musicality that people haven’t seen yet outside (Hawaii), we’re bringing island music and more mainstream stuff and putting it together.
In general terms, how do you approach the music business?
Everything is a learning experience. Whoever I get to work with, whoever I get to meet, whoever I get to talk to, I like to pick up and watch the things that they do and learn what I can do to grow, and what I can build off of.
What did you learn from Cardi B?
She has a really great stage presence and she speaks her mind, and she’s a very hard worker. She just had her baby (in July 2018), and she’s been working the whole time during her pregnancy and when her baby was a newborn.
What do you like to do that is not related to your career?
If I’m not in the studio or traveling for work, I’m back in Makaha chillin’ with the same people (from before), going to the beach a lot and we do a lot of hikes. Being away from the islands makes you realize how much you miss it and what you don’t have (when you’re not there).
What is something about you that might surprise people who’ve seen your videos?
I like skateboarding. I can’t do tricks and stuff but I can ride in my driveway. And I think it might surprise them to see how regular I am in my home environment.
So if J.Lo is “Jenny from the Block,” are you “MiMi from the West Side?”
Yes, definitely! Follow me on Instagram: @mimimusichawaii.
What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
I want to tour in Europe and Asia, do a headlining tour and bring other artists along to open up for me — hopefully (artists) from Hawaii, just to show people the music that we have out here. And, just continue to make music, to produce music, to release music and to share my gift.