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 Dub FX.
Lozen's Goal Digger album — out now on Soul Path Records — 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. “For me, relationships act as a mirror. They reflect pieces of ourselves. Grasping. Whatever we’re holding onto. You can only meet someone as far as they’ve met themselves, and at what point do you choose to just let go?”
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. Produced by Vago, funky guitar laden riffs meld together effortlessly with the unique rhyming flavour each artist brings to the table. The track is paired with an official music video where viewers are taken on a VHS style journey back to the 90s with a spoof of comedy cult classic "Wayne's World", shot and directed by Alivia Nadeau. Offbeat humor, awkward sentiment, snappy lyrics, and frequent hip hop culture references set the mood for this anthem.
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 groundwork, while teaming up with veteran beat maker Vago (Producer/Audio Engineer –– Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Akon, Swollen Members, Merkules, Joey Stylez) allowed her to bring the project to life.