GETTING TO KNOW MIRRAH
Photos by Chris Woe
Hello, some may know me from the start from Kindergarten where I used to be named ‘Shorti’ and breakdance on Venice Beach for money with older Break dancers and Popper mentors.
I then moved to Sydney; Australia for primary school, where I joined a breakdance cipher, crazy enough on the first day of school with a group of Indigenous, Indian and an Islander all the way in the Eastern Suburbs of Vaucluse?!
Yes, Vaucluse Primary matter of fact. (Giggle) I brought my checkered rolled up linoleum tied to my backpack and this young Australian Indian walks up to me and asks “You break?!” I stood at aged 10 with ‘tude ‘ from L.A to Sydney like “yeah all day” I laugh out loud now, of my past lil’ age 10 hardness!
I then continued to live in Sydney to graduate high school due to parents feeling I needed a stable, safe and fun lifestyle, and that L.A wasn’t the best place at the time as a teenager.
Little did they know; being a teenager and learning our wits from all and any experience we go through is a world wide mishap, for some. I ended up being a rave, house party attendee that danced at every Hordern Pavilion, Oxford Street to Victoria Road dance party goer. Great times during the late 80’s and 90’s….. Yeah check those times out.. So now you’re reading this like (HOLD THE FRONT DOOR) she can’t be??? Anyway I continue..
I remember seeing SOUL 2 SOUL live and I knew right there amongst the rave lights and smoke machine and sweaty fellow dancers that I knew what I wanted to aim for.. An Afro jazz dancer and I was going to dance for Soul 2 Soul.
At 19, I travelled and moved to London, was it for my dreams?! Well it was first driven by a boyfriend, oh no you say, she didn’t go overseas for a dude… Yeah I did. But it was the greatest thing I did. I graduated high school and saved for a year to move to England to meet my boyfriend and be a dancer.
It actually worked out even though I had to go through major relationship mishap and being overseas broke, and once living homeless in an abandoned house full of poets, artists and dancers.Yet it brought me so much will and hustle. Hustle I mean resilience, humility and tenacity to be the best I can do I can achieve my dance goal. I went to audition for Soul 2 Soul in mind and that same year they broke up due to their own issues and challenges. Which in turn made me realise I wasn’t the only one who was going through change and let down.
Yet all changed for me as I danced in London clubs and met many dance crews and artists and they needed either a dancer for their gigs to then ended up dancing for Mark Morrison on his Album tour “Crazy” which also include his popular song “Return of the Mack” I then was on U.K local and 3T (Michael Jackson’s nephews group music videos and became a ‘Top of the Pops’ back up dancer. Which opened up some more ideas of what I aim for in the industry. Once I saw the set studio’s which was next door to U.K tv soap ‘East Enders’ set, it got me thinking and excited about what more can I do in this industry now at 21 years of age.
During these times, I met music producers who kept seeing me as a singing vocalist only. Although that was difficult at the time because I couldn’t sing, a lick then.
I wrote poetry though since age 8 that I can remember, and I would always keep a note pad with me. It actually was my best friend, I could write how I was feeling about anything with no judgements.
I met a wonderful local London emcee in a shop where I was working as retail who asked me on a date, to then having him and his friends who happened to hear my voice which was left on his old home answering machine. You know the ones with the little cassette tape, (hahaha) His friends and him called me up with excitement like “yo come to the studio babes and lay down some raps” now me being a bright eyed 21 year old with dreams of being a dance choreographer for the stars only, I was like “what?!!! Rap?! Bahahahahahaa you have got to be joking are you crazaaay?!”
This team of men believed in me, they were so kind and so helpful, my first experience as a female in the booth was far from the audition couch, ya get me?! They taught me how to change my poems into bars. That was probably the best lesson and wake up feeling to a whole new perception of vocal ability to me. I mean I have been a listener of Funk and HipHop as a dancer since 4 to then seeing and feeling what you can do with lyrics over a beat! Man, I got addicted fast!
The day when poetic rhyme changed to bars. That’s when ‘SHORTI -RV’ was born. ( name interpretation-‘describes my height and I’m all round vocally’ haha due to having a vocal flare as I used to rap over ‘Jungle’ and HipHop beats.
I had a ball and from then I was a loose cannon jumping into ciphers and onto stages learning the wrath of what an emcee endures to earn humble stripes at 21. I then moved back to Sydney as visa was up, and continued my aspirations to now become a Rhymer.
Mirrah’s introduction as Flavor Flav’s Hypeman
Touring with Rhyming Peers L-FRESH The LION & TALIB KWELI
Rhyming Peer- AKIL THE MC J5
mirrah feat. in RUTHEGIRL 2005 Reality TV series
I have been blissed to meet many pioneer Emcees & vocal Artists who have supported my positive tenacity with rhyming and have mentored me to be the best of self and continue to be my own style, and to learn it well. In 2005 I had a wonderful experience on a Reality TV series with T-Boz & Chilli of surviving talented group TLC. I proudly ended the tv show as runner up and will always treasure the meeting and fun with TLC.
Here is the link to view:
Fast forward; I have had such a wonderful time learning great musical experiences with local and overseas liked minded creative beings.
I also have featured in many music videos in the past.
I have learnt alot of who ‘not’ to become in this industry. Having more knowledge of what and how it is important to keep positive with a like minded foundation around you to have you stay grounded with personal achievements and to to stay resilient with passion towards my art process with what I write, share and post.
Creativity is a Blissing.
To have a dream is a precious thought, to have a goal aims for hard practice to sustain the movement as a solo artist and even more as a team player to become patient and have resilience together to score or tick through each goal.
Success to me is every chess game you have lost yet you keep trying to win and once you overstand the past mistakes, learn from them and move on, that to me shows one successful character. That saying Rome wasn’t built in a day.. But when it was built, its ruins are the foundations that still lay for all to still see for many years.
My new E.P is just like that, it has taken me years to come up with this amazing, heartfelt honest reflection of who is me, MIRRAH.
I also have gotten to work with my partner who produced and orchestrated the project, which truly has and continues to be a fun, loving journey together. It’s been also great being apart of L-FRESH THE LION’s band which I am continuing to be apart of as band member with 6 others.
I have been blissed to have so many of my talented peers support me with my first EP called LIFE from production, studio sessions, Turntabilism, film, visual arts, graphics and rehearsals.
And I look forward in each of you getting to know me, through my LIFE,LOVE & MUSICAL journeys.
Much peace and Thank you for each of your overwhelming positive belief.
– Respect from mirrah