Montreal alt-R&B singer Magi Merlin – that’s pronounced “madge-eye,” like the Ancient Greek term for a sorcerer priest, as she’ll emphatically let you know – comes equipped with a sound that’s just as entrancing as her mystical moniker suggests. With a sensual and hypnotic vocal style that acts to guide the listener through her typically cosmic sound palates, Merlin isn’t afraid to address some supercharged topics – whether it’s her tumultuous relationships or the discrimination she faces in suburban neighbourhoods.
That being said, you can trust an artist who describes herself as a “cheeky nihilist” to offer something unexpected right when she’s on the cusp of breaking out. Merlin’s recently released debut video for the track “Free Grillz” is her first stab at writing a hip-hop song. The track sees her take a more direct but undeniably fun approach, crafting a trap anthem full of club-ready flexes, a bridge where her smoky vocals return, and side-eyed takedowns of those who don’t understand her power — her vocals dripping with gleeful sarcasm. Merlin’s flashy visuals and ease jumping between genres and topics — both poignant and danceable — are reminiscent of what might have happened if FKA Twigs had grown up in the Great White North.
RANGE is excited to add Magi Merlin to the mix at our official SXSW showcase at this year on Thursday, March 17 alongside Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Haviah Mighty, Cartel Madras, Just John, and Mauvey.
By Glenn Alderson
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