Meaghan Mullaly's solo debut album has been a long time coming.
First, the record was halted by a tragic loss, then complicated recording logistics, but Mullaly, better known as MC Lozen, is finally ready to release her first mixtape, Tragedy & Triumph, on Nov. 8. "Everything seems to take so much longer than expected and there were some roadblocks along the way," she says. "It was supposed to (be released) back in the summer, but you take the (obstacles) as they come."
The most significant setback was the death of her friend and longtime Whistler DJ, Mike Grefner, earlier this year. The 34-year-old was reported missing Jan. 16. His body was found in the woods near Whistler Secondary in March. Mullaly, who had been working on upbeat party tracks during that time, was deeply shaken. "When he went missing I felt like I had more important things to say. Music is there for having fun and releasing, but at the time, I was writing lighter songs that didn't have that much in depth content. I felt like I had to write something with a little more going on," she explains. "I ended up taking out a bunch of songs I was going to originally have (on the album). I wanted to scrap them."
So, she did. The result was darker, more introspective tracks that reflected her state. Self-producing and recording on her own in her apartment also added an intimate quality. "It was definitely a little more stressful being the person doing everything," she adds. "But at the same time, there was some comfort in the fact that it's actually in my home. In the studio, sometimes it's a little sterile with someone you don't know behind glass. Sometimes it takes away from the natural performing and I love performing."
Mullaly will have her first chance to perform the new songs at an album release party Nov. 8, held in conjunction with the release of a new video by her pals in Animal Nation. (The Whistler duo also makes a guest appearance on one of the record's tracks.) As she explains, in the male-dominated hip hop world it's nice to have allies. "I don't want to take a feminist standpoint, but it's hard to connect sometimes. A lot of times people will assume you're someone's girlfriend or you're doing press," she says. "(The guys in Animal Nation) have always been supportive. For me, I don't want people to look at me as a woman artist; I want them to look at me as an artist. "
But the scene is changing — in more ways than one. While Mullaly is releasing some physical copies of the new album, she's also posting it up for free download. "Before, (the music industry) was about album sales, but now it's not as much about album sales as it is about shows," she says. "Even artists from New York are not selling albums, but their shows sell out. It's all about performing."
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