MERUNISA’S ‘NO LONGER’ FT ZUKA : Pre-release

As featured in the Tits Upon Tyne magazine, published August 2021; track was previously named ‘Joker’.

By Natalie Greener, Intarsia Records.

Merunisa describes herself as ‘a very chilled and optimistic individual’. Her music tends to encompass emotional lyrics that feed your sad emotions, despite her personality being quite the opposite.

“I like to think of myself as a subconscious writer. I can walk into a session happy as ever but come out writing the most depressive things [laughs]”.

From North West London, Merunisa grew up around a lot of people. Her parents were not from the United Kingdom so life could be hard at times, but her main influences in music helped her cope. Drawing inspiration from Jhene Aiko, The Weeknd, Drake, Kehlani and H.E.R, Merunisa likes to dabble between them all.

“My creative process is random. Sometimes I have melodies lurking in my mind whilst I’m doing something then all of a sudden, it’s a whole song. Sometimes it’s the feeling I get from someone playing chords on a piano or guitar. Sometimes it’s even colour or the image of something”.

With an urban infused aesthetic, Merunisa feels at home in the city. Growing up in a fast-paced environment, she has definitely been encouraged to stay alert and always be on the move. In terms of city-drawn influences, she focuses primarily on her surroundings and the people around her. Sometimes, social media can be her influence but either way, she says city life is full of little gems to be influenced by. She recounted her music as ‘good for the soul and a necessity like water, you have even more reason to fall in love with it’.

Merunisa has a release planned for later this year (2021) in collaboration with Intarsia Records; A forward-thinking, ambitious and innovative new label, steering artists through their work using a collaborative approach, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE Volume – an established but independent northern music blog, covered the collaboration between the new label and the R&B solo artist. They wrote; “At the centre of everything is our drive to make a difference.”

“Led by a team of creatives, we bring expertise from a variety of fields within the industry, facilitating artists to present the best possible version of themselves. Appreciative of all genres, we pay particular focus to those often underrepresented within the music industry, aiming to challenge the status quo through amplifying the voices of those often unheard” – Intarsia website.

‘Joker’ will be released later this year with the main inspiration of this project being the 2019 film, directed by Todd Phillips. “I really loved the film when I saw it for the first time and instantly felt the melancholy emotions portrayed.” Merunisa conveyed that the track aims to get the audience to feel as if they are in another reality whilst listening; “If I can take their mind off real life just for a moment then I know I’ve done a good job”. Reflecting on the sinister and mysterious vibe of the track, an original perspective depicts the feeling of insanity that was also intensely captured in the film.

“In terms of my writing approach, I’d usually freestyle a song and see if I can come up with anything that sticks in my mind. I don’t think about what I’m about to say too much, I just ask myself what I’m trying to say, then I begin. If I’ve run through the song a few times and built a solid chorus with lyrics and melodies then I begin to write the entire song. If this method doesn’t work then I build a song as I work through it. Either method works well for me”.

Merunisa recorded ‘Joker’ at Park Studios JQ in Birmingham, enlisting Brummy based ZUKA to produce the track. With him having BBC Introducing play and a substantial portfolio, excitement is rife around the release. After the production process, we asked Merunisa what her best advice would be to those going through the creative rollercoaster of a release. She simply replied saying: ‘take your time with it’. This appeared to be something so obvious yet so true. She went on to express that each song is a new product from your inner creative. Therefore, it needs to be dealt with delicately. This is because we take emotion that we may use in our music from many real-life situations. Heartbreaks, family, friends and even stories of others… but she says that’s another tale for another day.

In the past, Merunisa has felt misplaced with the R&B stereotype of an ‘Instagram singer’ despite her music being inclusive and for everyone. Armed with a new track, she wants to be appreciated and seen as an established artist, rather than someone who might not be taking it seriously. ‘Joker’ highlights a true work ethic, paving the way for other women in music wanting to step out of their comfort zone.

TRACK HAS NOW BEEN RENAMED: ‘NO LONGER’

Listen to MERUNISA’s recent release, ‘Jet’ here.

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