Lozen isn’t much for boxes — which are commonplace in the music world — because “magic happens outside of your comfort zone” says the Quebecer (real name Meaghan Mullaly). The now BC-based singer-songwriter-bandleader goes way beyond classification with a mixed bag of genre-bending offerings from trippy R&B, and jazz-infused ballads, to golden-era style hip-hop and dirty electronic bass. Think Jessie Reyez and Lauryn Hill, with a dose of Santigold.
The seasoned impresario opted to stray from her usual creative process with this forthcoming record. “Before I even got down with rap, I’d write songs on my guitar,” says Lozen, “I went back to my roots with this one. In a sense, it was kind of like coming home.” That approach to composing laid the groundwork, while teaming up with JUNO, SOCAN, ASCAP and MUCH MUSIC award-winning beatmaker DJ Kemo (Producer/Audio Engineer — Kardinal Offishall, Akon, Rascalz, Swollen Members, K-OS, SNOW, Pitbull, Fito Blanko) allowed her to bring the project to life. The duo has been hunkering down together at the Vanguards Music studio for months, enlisting the talent of prominent feature artists and session musicians to collaborate on a new album. No official release date has been announced yet however, the first single is out now on Soul Path Records.
“Something Bout Chu” is a baddie meets goodie confession letter, fueled by unapologetic self-worth and a passionate, long-distance romance. From the jump, raspy, throaty vocals are paired with slow arpeggio stripped-back acoustic triplets which suddenly break into a reggae-infused rhythm. The pre-chorus builds up to a climactic chorus which brings a light-hearted summertime vibe that just screams freedom. This beat-changing style of simple arpeggio to reggae skank combination hooks the listener throughout the song.
In the dirty edit, she drops bombs, F-bombs that is. She knows what she wants, where she wants it and how she likes it. The sexual innuendo is palpable, with iconic lyrical references giving nods to rap heavy-weights Wu-Tang Clan and Busta Rhymes. She also makes her boundaries crystal clear: she’ll “never be your side bitch”. Don’t let the four-letter words and rugged edge fool you though, because her raw vulnerability shines though with true confessions “four chords and truth, yeah I’m falling for you.”
Lozen’s previous releases with Toronto, ON based label Urbnet Records have been well-received. Shake It Up reached No#6 on the National Hip Hop Charts and No#37 on CMJ USA Top 40 Hip Hop, Tragedy & Triumph Mixtape ranked No#10 on the National Hip Hop Charts.
Paying homage to the pioneer women in rap that paved the way, Lozen builds on this foundation while showcasing homegrown Canadian femcees raising the bar with “Ladies World (feat. Skulastic & Benzosa)”. Don’t get it twisted though. Yes, the sisterhood is real but so are its male allies. The songstress has opened for and toured with a roster of rap heavyweights including De La Soul, Blackalicious, Beatnuts, Alkaholiks, Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Classified, Choclair, Kyprios and Merkules to name a few.
A former battle rapper and Whistler FM radio host who left the resort’s party scene for the relative peace of Squamish, Lozen had to learn the hard way that burning the candle at both ends wasn’t productive for her music career or her personal life. Bouncing from gig to gig, reluctant to turn down any opportunity, she realized “I wasn’t honouring my body, essentially,” she recalls. “I was constantly losing my voice, getting vocal nodules, and having to get surgeries and stuff like that. So, I thought, ‘How do I not only sustain what I do but have that in balance with the rest of my life?”
There were several “aha moments” that served as a catalyst for transformation. “Dream journaling, meditation, ceremonies, tarot, and plant medicines are all tools I use to cultivate my intuitive gifts. I went through a dark night of the soul, but it brought me back to my sacred practices. On the real, I wouldn’t change a thing.”