Meet Miji: The Intern Pharmacist Behind Viral ‘Escapism’ Cover

Meet Miji: The Intern Pharmacist Behind Viral ‘Escapism’ Cover
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It was the late hours of Tuesday, April 16, 2024, when I came across a cover of Raye’s Escapism that intrigued the music head in me. After weeks of finding the perfect schedule, I interviewed Miji, a budding act whose cover of Raye’s ‘Escapisim’ has endeared her to many music lovers.

Meet Miji: The Intern Pharmacist Behind Viral ‘Escapism’ Cover

There are artistes whose melody and lyricism articulate indescribable feelings for their listeners. For Olamiji Kaska, being that artiste is her ultimate goal. In between releasing covers of songs that speak to her soul and juggling a 9-5 as an intern at the teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Lagos College of Medicine, LUTH, Miji, has become known for her ingenious and Nigerian twist to famous pop songs.

As with many budding acts navigating the intriguing path of starting a musical career while juggling it with other pursuits to make a living, Miji told me she misses her emails, not out of volition, but because of her tight schedule.

“I try my best not to miss emails. There was one time I applied for Sarz Academy, and I missed the mail. I just did not believe in myself enough that I’d be picked,” she chuckled in disbelief. “One week after the acceptance mail was sent, I saw it. It taught me a lesson sha.”

Unlike the typical artistic story, Miji never had both formal or informal training with music. Aside from listening to her father play classics from Destiny’s Child and reading through her sister’s lyrical notes, the budding artiste has simply enjoyed the comfort music brought. That is until one day when her result as a 300 Level University of Lagos (Unilag) student was released.

“At the time, there was (ASUU) strike, and we just finished our 1st semester. I checked my result and had a lot of C’s. I was like, ‘All I’m doing in this school is reading. Let me divert and do something else, so it’ll not be that I’m doing nothing and still getting C’s.’ So I started posting singing videos online because I knew I could sing.”

@themijii This song is turning into an obsession for me 😩 #escapism #raye #escapismraye #themiji #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – Brighto ☯

That moment will propel her to start releasing covers, one of which was the way she came under Netng’s radar as her Nigerian twist to Raye’s ‘Escapism’ – a song off the British artistes’ debut studio album, ‘My 21st Century Blues’ that centres around alcoholism, drugs and sex – became a viral track on TikTok.

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“I’ve loved Raye’s album for a year, and I really love Escapism. Recently, because of my work, I’ve not really had time, but there are songs that I feel the need to cover.” With a YouTube beat from producer Da Sound, a recording aided by Bandlab and a quick edit, Miji created a viral cover that has since garnered over 3 million views, 400,000 likes and 70,000 shares across social media platforms.

When I asked her about releasing an official version, she revealed that it’s in the works and slated to be released before the end of next month – If her team reaches an agreement with Raye’s team – since it’s a song by Raye. For Miji, beyond the visibility the cover has given her, she revealed that it’s an honour to cover the song.

“Nobody is a Raye but Raye,” she said. Even while working on Escapism the budding act made sure to bring her style into recreating it as “it’s easy to get swallowed up by her (Raye).” Miji added that although her cover has garnered interest, she believes no one can ever make Raye’s music theirs. “It’s not possible,” she reiterated.

@themijii Replying to @La$t kįd😇 the plentiest request won🥲 #elasticheart #elasticheartsia #miji_dsinger #fyp #viral #voiceeffects ♬ original sound – the_miji

This is why the British artiste is on Miji’s succinct list of artistes who vocally inspire her. Raye’s breathtaking vocals and how well she tells her stories, with elements of theatre, all inspire Miji. In the same vein, Birdy, the British singer behind viral tracks such as ‘Wings,’ ‘Not About Angels’ and more – who became famous through her covers of popular songs like ‘Skinny Love,’ ‘Walking In The Air’ – also inspires her.

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The lyrical dissonance and storytelling depth continuously represented across her music influences Miji’s songwriting. For the budding star, Birdy’s songs are spiritual, they make her feel seen, the emotive nature of her lyricism resonates with her soul, and that’s exactly how she intends to take over the music industry – by releasing songs that give her listeners a sense of purpose. 

 

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“I want people to feel seen. I want people to listen to my songs and feel like I’m touching their souls. I also write songs to make people feel good about themselves. I really want to do that,” she expressed. In the same way, she opines Taylor Swift has mastered this element – of describing scenarios in a way that resonates. “When I became intentional about building myself as a songwriter, I tried to understand their process, and emulate it in a lot of my songs,” she added. 

Still without a debut solo single, while working with producers such as The Beatsmith, the budding star has released an EP, Liars and Thieves, that explores themes of love and betrayal. With this project, she shows the greatness she’s capable of and is committed to experimenting with her music, with focus on releasing a debut single before the end of the year. 

The message has to be right, though. “I realised that immediately after I chose it that I had a purpose. I felt more alive and then I became happier, and it reflected in every aspect of my life. Music is my saving grace. I should have known it for a while,” she recalls as relates to how far she has come from not singing in public at all to getting ousted to her parents at her secondary school graduation in 2015, for her talent.

@themijii I promise to open my eyes more in the next video🥲 #Anotherlove #anotherlovetomodell #miji_dsinger #fyp #viral #voiceeffects ♬ original sound – the_miji

“We were more of ‘omo get inside,” amidst nursing her talent on the low and barely being home at a young age because she attended boarding school, she had formed a bond with music, listening to icons and vocal powerhouses like Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, D’banj, and Mariah Carey. She found happiness, but it wasn’t until 2019 did she pursue her dreams.

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“When I was in 300 level, my parents were trying to convince me, you don’t want to study, you don’t want to finish school, don’t you know that you’ll fail? I told them no. The funny thing is that when I started singing and making videos, My CGPA started improving.” That moment led her to her first concert venue, her parent’s house in Ijegun, where she sang Beyonce’s ‘Listen’ to convince her parents she had what it takes. “From then on they just left me alone,” she said.

Whether it was the vocal dexterity or the song itself touching their hearts, Miji has used the same method to capture the hearts of hundreds of listeners across her social media platforms with her covers and addictive melodies. Her goal?

“I want to be able to touch as many lives as I can in the world with my music. I want people to remember that they listen to my music, and it connects with them emotionally.”

 

The post Meet Miji: The Intern Pharmacist Behind Viral ‘Escapism’ Cover appeared first on Nigerian Entertainment Today.

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