A Brief Interview with Mitski

By Claudia D. Cardona

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Your music always gives me a certain sense of nostalgia and longing. Do you prefer writing about universal themes or about little but meaningful moments or experiences?

All of life’s little tiny moments are representations of the vast universe and all of its abstract ideas – the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

How important is it for you as a musician to integrate culture or specific Asian-American experiences, feelings, etc. into your music?

I never write with the purpose of “integrating my asian culture,” I just write what I know and what I’ve lived, and what I’ve lived is a unique multicultural existence.

Who are some musicians, specifically women of color, who have inspired you? 

M.I.A. all the way.

How important do you think it is to be a musician of color in a predominately white male dominated space?

I never got into music with a mission in diversity, or because I want to change how the business works. I don’t think my existence is more important in the music business today because of where I come from, or how I identify. I simply got into this business in order to make music, because making music is what I’m here on earth to do. Then as I entered this business, or attempted to, I realized I am a minority in many ways and have a lot more obstacles to overcome than the majority in power. So it became important for me to stick up for myself and make sure I was heard regardless of my identity, and for other people in the minority to also come up with me, so I or they weren’t alone in this.

Since our issue is focused on memories, I’d like to ask you: What is one of your favorite memories? 

Playing tennis in Malaysia, where I lived for some time as a kid.

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