Interview: ‘The Last Time’ With Mimi Bailey

Words/Interview by Emily Hollitt {Malina Claire} {Emily Hollitt – Content Writer}

Mimi Bailey has had a fantastic year establishing herself as a Pop musician and putting her name on the local radar. With her debut release Last December having amassed almost 3,000 Spotify Streams, the young artist is well on the way on shaping her place in the industry. A few months ago, she released her sophomore single The Last Time, an atmospheric and delicate take on traditional Pop. Delicate guitar and soft piano sit below her airy, intimate vocals. Likened to Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ aesthetic and BANKS’ softer ballads, The Last Time is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings in the most beautiful, comforting way.

We were lucky enough to have a chat with Mimi between her busy schedule of pop making. 

I really love your track The Last Time. Can you walk me through what the song’s about and what it means to you?

“Thank you so much. The song follows a toxic relationship and going back and forth with someone you love, without really knowing why. You love that person even though they ‘paint you blue’ and disappoint you.”  

How did you go about writing the song? Do you have a usual process for writing, or does it change from song to song?

The Last Time was actually co-written with a good friend of mine – singer/songwriter Ethan Hill. We were set a song-writing task for a university assignment and brainstormed some goals before beginning the creative process. We aimed to write a typical pop ballad with an expressive vocal performance, sentimental or romantic lyrics, a slow tempo, verse-chorus structure and lush-sounding instrumental accompaniment with soft timbres and sustained chords.

My song-writing process varies from song to song, often I start with piecing together a rough storyline and potential accompanying lyrics – which often come to me with a majorly developed melody. Or depending on the co-writer I’m working with, we’ll start with chords, structure, a reference song, a genre – it varies every time which I enjoy. No song-writing experience has ever been the same which keeps the process interesting.” 

I love the way the song is produced. The dreamy atmosphere of the track is so beautiful! Who were your main references and inspiration for the sound of the recording?

“Thank you. Local producer and multi-instrumentalist, Nicky Muir, is to thank for the production/engineering on this one! Well, at first Nicky and I didn’t have a defined group of reference songs. Our production process was more about harnessing my pervious song-writing intentions of a ‘dreamy-pop ballad’ and experiencing trial and error. However, halfway through our creative process Taylor Swift’s Folklore was released – and coincidently The Last Time held soft sonic similarities to Swift’s Mirrorball – with warm toned keys, layered vocals and washed percussion. So, we decided to create a track which would match that standard of polished production.” 

What are some of your favourite parts of the production process? And do you have the final product in mind when you write the song?

“The most rewarding element of the production process is probably watching our scattered ideas become a reality and being able to build a something that didn’t exist before we came together and created it. I hope that makes sense! Sometimes I do have the final product in mind, other times it’s more of a trial and error process.” 

You have a really defined sound coming through with your last two releases. Who are 3 of your biggest musical inspirations that have helped shape this sound? 

“I started off as a country musician. But for my first two official releases I really wanted to establish myself in the pop genre as it can be so versatile. After this I hope to dabble again in country-pop, and folk – I really want my brand to be a continued crossover of the three genres. Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s Meant to Be played a huge part in the sonic inspiration for Last December, and Taylor Swift’s Mirrorball for The Last Time – so definitely those three artists so far.” 

And what are some of your favourite albums of all time

“This is such a tough question… Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ is probably one of my favourite albums of all time…but I also love Coldplay’s ‘Parachutes’, Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’, ‘Barricades & Brickwalls’ by Kasey Chambers, Mumford and Son’s ‘Babel’, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Goby Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey’s NFR’, ‘Gaslighter’ by The Chicks…”

Music has really heavily been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. How has this affected your musical career and your releases personally both positively and negatively?

“The pandemic has definitely given me time to practice my lyric writing without pre-conceived ideas of success – which is a positive thing. However, I would have liked to venture more into live performance this year and COVID 19 definitely impacted the local live music scene.”  

What are some of your favourite things about being a musician on the Gold Coast?

“The sense of community for sure. Most local musicians I have met and spent time with have been extremely open, generous and supportive individuals – who happily shared their knowledge and experiences with me which I am super grateful for.” 

And what are some of your favourite local Gold Coast and Brisbane artists around you?

“My favourite local act is a band a pop-rock band called These Four Walls. But other favourite artists around me include Robbie James, Josh King, Malina Claire, Audrey and Jake, Phoebe Sinclair, Jamie-Rose and Lucalion.” 

And finally, what has inspired you to keep your head up over the past few months in the pandemic, both musically and personally?

“Musically, having the time to listen to my favourite songs throughout the day. Personally, probably being able to consistently keep in contact with friends and family, even if only via online communication. Also knowing that everyone is in this situation together – and together we’ll get through it.” 

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