Lozen isn’t much for boxes — which are commonplace in the music world — because “magic happens outside”, says Ontario born Quebecer, real name Meaghan Mullaly. The British Columbia based singer-songwriter and bandleader goes way beyond classification with a mixed bag of genre-bending offerings from trippy R&B, jazz-infused ballads, to golden era style hip-hop and dirty electronic bass. Think Jessie Reyez meets A Tribe Called Quest with a dose of A Skillz.
Her forthcoming album Goal Digger — due out this fall 2020 — is a declaration of faith. A covenant to freedom. A seven-track ode to the soul. It’s a record of awakening through convergence: Between the hard-rock and the gem, between Lozen as a collaborator and Lozen as a woman on her own, between unleashing the inner child and aligning with the higher self, between living a life in peace and love with all things, but also not taking bullshit from any oppressor lying down. It’s “dancing with the cosmos, sensing the rhythm,” musically delivered with classic 808 boom bap, doo-wop harmonies, and warm vintage vinyl flavour.
The first track released off Goal Digger is the hard-hitting “Rumors”, calling out certain people in the industry and their politics for being downright skeezy, albeit cryptically. The song does everything short of naming names because diss-tracks ain’t really her style. You see, Lozen is more about building bridges than burning them. The tone set is full-on battle-rap mode — a scene that once propelled her career on Canada’s West Coast that she consciously chose to step away from — still the message is clear.
Singing about finding grace within grief by surrendering and giving listeners a taste of her French heritage, this bilingual mover-and-shaker offers a softer, more vulnerable side on the low-fi downtempo love letter “Body Gold”, the album’s second single. Acknowledging that she comes at her art with plenty of baggage in tow, Lozen parallels this to “grasping in life”. “For me, relationships act as a mirror. They reflect pieces of our past, whatever we’re holding on to…and you can only meet someone as far as they’ve met themselves. Together it’s this continuous unfolding of who you are as human beings, and at what point do you choose to let go?”
Lozen likened producer vetting for this project to “dating again”, reaffirming that technical skills were only one part of the puzzle whereas “real connection and vulnerability” also played a pivotal role. “I know it may sound kind of woo-woo, but I’ve grown to trust the power of brain and heart coherence. Just because something seems to make sense on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for us. Deep down, I feel we all have this inner knowing,” she says.
The seasoned impresario opted to stray from her usual creative process with this record. “Before I even got down with rap, I’d write songs on my acoustic,” says Lozen, “I went back to my roots with this one. In a sense, it was kind of like coming home.” This approach to composing laid the foundation, while teaming up with veteran beat maker Vago (Producer/Audio Engineer –– Kardinall Offishall, Choclair, Akon, Swollen Members, Merkules, Joey Stylez) allowed her to bring the songs to life.