A Conversation With Fast-Rising Canadian Artist MINOE

Fast-rising Canadian artist MINOE talks upbringing, latest single “Cut Me Loose”, and more

At the end of May, Montréal-based singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist MINOE made a triumphant return with “CHERRY”— a captivating track accompanied by a powerful music video that instantly caught our attention and turned us all into fans of her music, as well as her personality.

The single gained press support from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, Variance Magazine and more. She also bagged numerous editorial support on Spotify— being added to playlists such as Fresh Finds, Fresh Finds: Pop, It’s a Bop and much more.

Her latest offering “Cut Me Loose”, solidifies her place as one of the most exciting emerging pop acts in the world. Laced with gorgeous melodies throughout, and built over a stunning production by Kevin Figs, the hypnotic disco-infused track is written for anyone who has ever been their own bully. The music video directed by Andres Estrada and edited by Walid Jabri is a disco-inspired visual that sees MINOE switch between two versions of herself. There’s the glamorous, done-up MINOE who dances with her friends and embodies confidence, and the other who is a tired and overwhelmed version of MINOE, who appears to be holding back to tears.

With another brilliant single under her belt and more music on the way, it was only right to get to know her before she becomes a household name. Read our conversation below:

Hi MINOE, how are you doing?

Hey! I’m super busy but also very excited, so happy to do an interview with you!

Nice! So happy to have you! Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you start your career in music?

Well, I was born in Halifax, NS and I started writing songs in my bedroom at around 7-8 years old! I think it kind of surprised my mom, nobody knew where it came from— I’d just come out with songs in different coloured sharpies with all the words spelled incorrectly. As I got older I’d form bands, perform in musicals, anything I could do to be around music – until I moved to Montreal at 18! That’s when I started releasing as “MINOE” but I always knew I wanted to do music.

Amazing! Who were your favourite artists growing up? Who are your favourite artists now?

Growing up I was obsessed with Beyoncé for sure, Britney too, but I also love a lot of Canadian music. I definitely grew up on Sam Roberts and I’m a massive Mother Mother fan (when I was 14 I stood outside a bar they were playing at to hear them through the wall, embarrassing but very true). 

You were born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and now live in Montreal, a predominantly French speaking city, were there any struggles or challenges adapting to a new city with a different culture?

I did French immersion from the time I started school so I am bilingual! BUT I’m still shy about using my French, and the culture is for sure different. Even just being in a bigger city was an adjustment, but I fell in love with it very quickly. Especially the nightlife <3

If you had all the money in the world, where would you live and why?

If I had all the money in the world I’d have three houses and I’d go between Montreal, LA, and London, UK! That way I can zoom around and work with a bunch of artists all over the place, that’s the dream. 

You’ve taken the blogosphere by the storm with “Cherry”— one of the best and most powerful songs we’ve heard this year. Are you surprised at how well the single is doing?

Oh wow thank you! I’m very surprised. I mean, I went from 250 monthly listeners on Spotify to I think over 50k now! My team is amazing and we’ve all worked really hard on the project, so I definitely think it’s the result of the love we put in. I’m so grateful and so happy the song is finding people who connect with it, that’s all i could ever ask for really.

You’ve just released your new single “Cut Me Loose”, another empowering track with replay value. Please talk us through the creative process. 

Thank you, yes, “Cut Me Loose” is a song I wrote with one of my favourite producers of all time — Kevin Figs! This was our first session working on “MINOE” stuff, and we came up with another one on the project that day too, it was an absolute pleasure to work on, I think we probably spent 20 minutes on it total. When the vibe is right it’s just a blast and it definitely was!

Your songs are catchy, but they all have substance which makes it an even better listen. What message are you trying to convey with this song?

Cut Me Loose is all about my experience dealing with my “inner saboteur” as Rupaul would say. I had gone through an intense bout of depression during the pandemic and I felt like I had become someone else, and I couldn’t retrieve the person I used to be. In the song you can hear the “two versions” of me fighting as I struggle to remember who I am, which is also represented in the music video coming soon! With this song, I really hope it can help other people remember that they’re always deserving of self love and compassion, no matter where they’re at in life. Getting mad at yourself for feeling upset or not being on top of the world will only make it worse, being gentle with yourself is so important – and I’m still learning!

Love that! So, now that you’ve released 2 brilliant singles, do you plan on performing live any time soon?

I’m scheduling some European shows for fall right now, really really excited about that! Most of my upcoming gigs are around September but I may announce some surprise ones before then on my Insta/Facebook soon. 😉

Amazing, London’s ready! What’s next?

I just submitted one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written to my distribution, so we have another single coming soon and then the EP in late summer. Stay tuned, and thank you so much!

Stream “Cut Me Loose” below:

Connect with MINOE

Photo Credit: Eric Lamothe

Ghostly Kisses — Darkroom