Photo Credit: Hannah Isakowitz (@hannisak)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // July 28, 2020
Growing up on the sounds of Congolese Gospel, Rumba, and Opera, Murielle isn’t your typical musician. Whether it’s her self-image or her experiences as a Black woman, the remarkable 23-year-old channels practically everything in her life into her music. With more honesty than ever before, Murielle is ready to share her deepest fears and emotions with her enchanting new self-produced mixtape, Cancer Moon Child.
On Cancer Moon Child, Murielle reflected,
“One of the scariest feelings in the world is knowing that you care for someone more than they may care for you. All too often, it is a feeling so many women, especially Black women, experience. The feeling takes on many forms. It robs you of sleep, shortens your breath, fills you with the deepest hue of red rage and finally, forces you to let go. Yet still, we care. ‘Cancer Moon Child’ explores the complexities of that feeling.”
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with Murielle about heartbreak, Black Lives Matter, and of course, Cancer Moon Child.
HH: You have such a captivating aura that we’ve absolutely fallen in love with. How did you first get into music?
M: Thank you so much, that’s such a sweet compliment! I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a Congolese household with a family who loves music. It came naturally. Whether it was singing along to Destiny’s Child, Ashanti, Luther Vandross, Papa Wemba, or so many more, music was such a source of joy. I was on stage by the age of six, and now here I am.
HH: Cancer Moon Child is an impressive collection of five songs that explore what it means to love. Is there a particular track that was the most difficult to write?
M: Wow. It’s so crazy because the words flew out of me but that didn’t make the project particularly easy to write. Honesty is hard. I just had a lot to get off my chest. I journal a lot, so many of the lyrics were taken from literal morning entries; some of the first thoughts that came to my mind when I reached consciousness. “What If…” was the hardest to complete for many reasons. It took a lot of self work for me to reach a point where I could say (and believe) that someone had taken me for granted. That I was worth more than how I was treated. The production of the song also fought me so hard, but there was an afternoon in my basement where it clicked and I thought to myself, “This one is important.”
HH: Do you have any advice for people currently experiencing heartbreak?
M: Never invalidate your feelings. Feel them all. Ask yourself if you’re settling. Don’t be afraid to hold yourself (and others) accountable. Think about how you can be better for you. Then think about what you deserve. It’s the only way you’ll grow. Finally, remember that people are put into your life to teach you things, but they’re not always meant to stay.
HH: What inspires your eclectic soundscape?
M: Before anything, I’m a fan of music. So many different kinds of music. And so much of this music has seeped into me and comes through in my art. Combine that with chaotic, early 20s emotions (and my mood at the given moment) and see what comes out. You may get a lovesong, you may get a diss track. It’s the most exciting part about making music.
HH: What was your favorite memory from the “SO MUCH!” video shoot?
M: I shot the video with two of my childhood best friends, Hannah and Olivia. These women know the dance uniform, heat damaged hair version of me. Pre-pre glow up. We ran around my childhood neighborhood one day, then drove to a beach to shoot some more scenes the next day. Had a little bit too much tequila and cried real tears over some pizza, then drove home the day after. The entire shoot is one of my favorite memories ever. Those are my sisters.
HH: You’ve been extremely vocal and supportive throughout the Black Lives Matter movement. What would you like to remind our readers of as we continue to bring important matters to light?
M: This fight is a long one. We were born into some very ugly systems. It’s overwhelming, but the first place we can start is within ourselves and our own communities. Never stay silent and always do what you can. And read. Read, read, read.
HH: If you could have anyone in the music industry as a mentor, who would you pick?
M: Because I’m indecisive, I’m going to pretend that this question is asking for my top five and I’ll answer with Beyonce, Solange, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, and Jay-Z. Pioneers. Period.
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
M: Bree Runway – “All Night.” Bree Runway is the future.
Kenzie – “Dark July.” This song is two years old and I still have it on repeat.
Flo Milli – “Like That B*tch.” Flo Milli sh*t !! b*tch!