Mirza's EP, "Highway to Heartbreak," is about reflecting on her journey to heartbreak and setting up for her album "Welcome to Heartbreak."
Mirza Gomez Villarini, professionally known as Mirza, loved singing growing up. She would sing karaoke in talent shows, solos in school programs, and even in the cafeteria at lunch. Learning about her songwriting abilities inspired her to transform her love for singing and music into a serious career choice.
"Besides it being an outlet, it gave me a voice, and I figured with a bigger platform I can really influence, help and inspire."
Unlike many others who choose a stage name as if to create an alternate persona, Mirza prioritized authenticity by choosing her birth name.
"With my music, I stay true to who I am, and I felt like my [stage] name should too."
Similarly, her chosen genres of music came just as naturally as her name did. Mirza focuses on R&B, soul, alternative, and hip-hop.
"It's what played around me growing up; it's what my sister passed down through her old mp3's. In the world I built around music, it's what stuck."
Artists like Kanye West, Frank Ocean, J Cole, Amy Winehouse, and Adele inspire her. Her personal experiences inspire her creativity.
"Life. The ups and downs. The pretty and the painful. What I know and what I don't. It could be as small as a leaf that fell on the floor to a moment that I'll never forget."
She takes a break from music for a while if she feels creatively blocked. However, even away from music, she's still concocting ideas and jotting them down, inadvertently prepping for inspiration to strike.
Inspiration like the one that resulted in her EP, "Highway to Heartbreak."
This EP is only the beginning of the story Mirza wants to tell. "Highway to Heartbreak" shows awareness of everything that led her down the wrong road, explaining how she ended up with a broken heart. Her story of heartbreak will continue into her album "Welcome to Heartbreak." The album will show acceptance and explain how heartbreak may have been the best thing to happen to her.
Frankly, she's probably right, considering this heartbreak was the inspiration for the creative projects that will be the catalysts to her success.
Like her career, creating the EP started with a name.
The title "Highway to Heartbreak" comes from a love of alliteration and the need for a metaphorical representation of Mirza's healing journey.
"I wanted something that flowed well into 'I've already hit a couple bumps but still got a long road ahead of me.'"
Then came the actual work, figuring out how to tell her story.
Despite loving all the songs on the EP, her favorite one to work on is entitled "Summer's Over." This song is a collaboration with her friend Zoi.
"She's been a part of the EP process since day 1, so for her to sing on that song with me means a lot. [The song] touches up on a lot of the things that I overcame and things I am still fighting through."
The most challenging song to work on was the intro, "Daisy Dukes and Photoshoots." The song is different stylistically and challenged her but ultimately came out worthy of the first slot on the EP.
Mirza describes the EPs' song selection process as a nightmare.
"The tracklist has changed so many times, and honestly [it] might still change before [it] drops."
Despite the tumultuous nature of the creation process of the EP, Mirza is proud that others will finally get to hear her work. There is one lyric that she is particularly proud of.
"My mind stays open. My heart is hopin, that she could fix the record that's been beaten and then broken."
She hopes to remind people that dreams are achievable as long there is belief. Her music and album aim to "convince anyone hurting that it's what breaks you that makes you beautiful."
Music is not Mirza's only dream. She and Zoi have created the label MTS Worldwide and are building it from the ground up. MTS stands for Menace to Society.
"Our goal is to inspire others to satisfy their soul, and not the standards society has pushed on us. As two women making their way through an industry and society where our gender isn't respected, we want to leave a mark and send a message. A true menace doesn't back down but steps up and doesn't break the rules but bends them."
They aim to help serve their communities and are working on various projects. Lifting up women in this industry is something Mirza is passionate about. She is advising herself and other women of color to know their power.
"They target you because they know the power you really possess. They fear you because they know you're resilient. They wouldn't be trying to tear you down if you weren't already on top."
Although she encourages others to know their power, Mirza sometimes struggles to lift herself up. She occasionally questions her ability to succeed and strive in this industry and lifestyle. It's an internal war she must fight with herself daily and hope she wins.
Despite any struggles she may be having, Mirza constantly impresses with her creativity, music, and performances. She's been performing all over Jersey this past summer, dominating the stage and captivating her audience each time. She practices before every show to "get the jitters out" and loosen up.
Mirza's confidence and ambition greatly override any nerves she may have. She undoubtedly believes she will win a Grammy and sell-out world tours.
"My music will break barriers, start riots and save lives . . . and MTS is going to inspire dreamers all around the world. My voice and my brand [will hold] enough power and intent to move mountains and change lives."
"Highway to Heartbreak" is coming soon.
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Keep up with all Mirza's work here.