Under the Influence: MIREI's 5 Most Influential Songs

Photo courtesy of Cool Japan Music

Photo courtesy of Cool Japan Music

Born in Osaka and based in Tokyo, 21-year-old artist MIREI is going global, bringing her magnetic vocal presence to Take Me Away, her English-language debut and the title track from her forthcoming EP. On the track, she speaks to the sometimes-painful push for authenticity in a deeply conformist culture. “‘Take Me Away’ is about how hard it is to feel like you belong, especially when you’re dealing with things like anxiety and depression,” she says. While the brightly textured track unfolds with a certain melancholy, MIREI offers some sweetly delivered encouragement to embrace your own truth, subtly turning “Take Me Away” into an undeniable anthem.

Already a song to make you get up and moving, the recently released remix with DJ Sliink is even more dance-worthy. MIREI also shows off some impressive dance moves in the video for the remix, shadowed the entire time by the video’s choreographer Misaki. Together they exemplify the light and shadow of the public and inner selves that form the central conflict in the lyrics.

We asked MIREI to share her most influential songs with us. Read on for her commentary and the complete playlist.

Mariah Carey - Emotions

My mother is a huge Mariah Carey fan, so growing up she always played her music in the house. There wasn't ever a time I wasn’t mouthing a Mariah song. I even remember the first time I heard “Emotions,” by far one of my favorites from Mariah because her vocal range is out of this world.

Smile.dk - Butterfly

Funny story, the music video game Dance Dance Revolution was my first exposure to electronic music. When I was younger, my parents and I always played it, and “Butterfly” was one of the songs that we'd dance to.

Britney Spears - Overprotected

This song is special because it was the first song I ever sang in English at a karaoke spot with my mom. I was pretty young, 4 or 5-years-old, but remember that day as if it were yesterday. It's kind of funny looking back at it now because of the song title — “overprotected.” Can relate to it even now.

Rihanna - Let Me

I danced to “Let Me” on stage and immediately fell in love with it. It's such a cool song.

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

I love this song so much! Aside from the fact that Lady Gaga is one of my musical inspirations, “Born This Way” is a beautiful song that empowers all of us to be our true, authentic selves.

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Music, PlaylistsLynn Roy