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You can argue and scream in the middle of a party to get people to notice you. Or just play “Party Trick.” Then you’ll not only get their attention, you’ll get them moving.
West Coast multi-instrumentalist Rebecca Mimiaga, aka Louiza, gets sarcastic and sassy in her newest track “Party Trick.” (Premiering below.) She tells BTRtoday that the song emerged from a need to vent about a friend who turns into a completely different person when at a party—a person who craves attention more than quality social interactions.
“It was born from an angry feeling,” she says. “There was someone I knew well, yet from whom I felt excluded, especially in front of other people.” The song describes a type of partygoer who interrupts stories, leaves midway through conversations and ignores their date, as though it was their party trick.
As the pop song’s beat bubbles and bounces, the vocals grow in aggression. Listeners will naturally take Louiza’s side of the argument. If you’ve ever gotten into a shouting match in the middle of a party (or just seen one), you know this song perfectly describes that situation.
Be the first to listen to the song below, followed by an interview with Mimiaga herself, and keep an eye out for the release of the full Party Trick LP, out this October.
BTRtoday(BTR): Why the name Louiza?
Rebecca Mimiaga (RM): I created Louiza to explore another side of me, vocally and musically. The music under my name Rebecca Mimiaga has a more introspective, dreamy quality. When I recorded my last EP, Words in the Dark, it was deeply personal, drawn from purely inner experiences. At the same time there was a part of me that wanted to be bolder, less careful, a sort of pushy persona I wanted to write for and perform as. Louiza came out of that desire. Musically it’s materialized in “Party Trick” as matching hard electric bass and guitar lines, chromatic melodies, punk rock drum hits, thicker vocals and aggressive lyrics. Rebecca and Louiza are two sides of the same coin, but I want to keep them separate. I want to see where both voices can go.
BTR: So would you say this music is more of an alter-ego?
RM: It’s both a reflection of myself and an alter-ego. I don’t act like Louiza in day-to- day life, but there is a certain honesty I can reach through her.
BTR: You’ve been doing music for a long time, what initially got you into it?
RM: I don’t know. I’ve always known and always done it. When I was younger, I sang all the time, so often my whole family called me “Bird.” Which of course became “Bird-Turd” if I didn’t stop. I’ve just always felt like there’s a radio on in my head.
Music has always been my passion, the most meaningful way I could express or understand my experiences. I will say that I wasn’t always sure I wanted to pursue music full-time. I had considered being a nonfiction writer or naturalist. But the more I moved in those directions, the more I missed music.
BTR: Tell me about this new track “Party Trick.” What was the creative process like? What inspirations went into it?
RM: It was born from an angry feeling. There was someone I knew well, yet from whom I felt excluded, especially in front of other people. I thought, ‘how can I confront this person musically and lyrically?’ I sat at the piano and visualized laying into this person at a party, in front of everyone. I started with bass lines, feeling for the right rhythmic punch and melodic agitation and worked up from there.
We did a lot of cool stuff in the studio to flesh out the aggressive sound I was looking for. My engineer/producer, James Riotto, had his own studio tricks. He manipulated the attack and release settings on a noise gate to create an exaggerated pop sound on the kick drum. He thought we should double the bass line on acoustic piano and Minimoog. We also doubled my vocal line and added crashy percussion on the verse and thunder-stick on the instrumental section. It all started to work.
BTR: What are you listening to these days?
RM: Oh, man, where to begin? I do a lot of running and moving while listening to West African music, namely Bassekou Kouyate and Oumou Sangare. I’m taking Hindustani Northern Classical Indian singing lessons and listening to Kaushiki Chakraborty. I could drink her voice up.
For contemporary music, I’ve been checking out a lot of local artists to hear what the community has to say: Waterstrider, Madeline Kenney, The Tambo Rays, tUnE-YarDs, Kacey Johansing, The Range of Light Wilderness. I could go on forever—there are so many amazing artists in the Bay Area.
BTR: What more should we be expecting from Louiza?
RM: I’m going to do some shows in NYC for the new Party Trick LP. I’m recording another album this February and having a blast writing it. I feel many music worlds coming together in a pop way and I can’t wait to figure it out with a band. The full Party Trick LP is coming out this October 2017. The release show will be on Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Cornerstone in Berkeley, CA. And I can’t wait to make the next record at Tiny Telephone.