Next Wave #1173: aimei 媚

Intoxicating alt-pop riser is welcoming growth...

It’s easy to recognise aimei 媚’s unique sound – the artist’s colourful blend of electro-tinged dream pop stands out amongst fellow newgen talent as something truly authentic. But now, seated opposite to CLASH, her fresh-faced alertness is in opposition to the other-worldly, afterhours nature of her growing discography. Sitting in a sun-filled nook of her London home, she smiles: “I’ve got a headline show in London tonight! So that’s really exciting. I feel like I’m finally in a place now where momentum is growing and I’m working towards my goals.” It’s a sentiment that – when looking at the year the young artist has had so far – can’t be contested. From appearing on Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist, to recently released debut EP ‘City’s Violent’, 2024 has seen aimei 媚 reach new heights, both as an artist and a creative.

CLASH wonders what inspires her songwriting, and she grins to herself. “I always write my music based on what I’m feeling at that time of my life,” she explains. “This EP reflects a certain period of time when I’d just moved to London. Being in a city can feel very messy and can also be lonely a lot of the time. I really struggled with that at first. But it meant that all the songs from the EP came very naturally, and did bounce off each other because they’re from the same place.” Jumping between brooding electronic beats and moments of synth induced ambience, a sporadic expanse so often found in the capital seems threaded in each track, guided by poetic vocal layers that seem taken directly from the artist’s stream of consciousness. 

As we continue to chat, it becomes evident that even weeks after the release, it seems the artist is still finding newness in the album and how it’s been received. “Being on Spotify’s Fresh Finds has been amazing,” she says giddily. “I’ve also loved seeing that the music has been added to a lot of Southeast Asian playlists. I’m half Chinese, and I really want to incorporate that into my music and the kind of world that I’m creating with it.” 

The sincerity reads on her face, as she goes deeper into her music making process. “This is what I feel like represents my sound and my world best,” she continues. “It’s not something that I feel like I have to put extra effort into doing because it is just me as a person. I was born speaking two languages. All my family do, so it’s like, just very naturally integrated into my music as well.” 

The intent was always to have this kind of sound,” she tells me. “But I do think I’ve grown a lot musically. Through collaborating with loads of people, It’s taught me to be open minded, be flexible and fall in love with different types of music and different scenes,” she signs softly. “It’s all about open mindedness.”

After delving into her past and present, the question of the future naturally comes to the forefront. ‘There’s so many people I’d dream of collaborating with,’ she says, before pondering carefully. “People that I really look up to, like James Blake, Mount Kimbie and of course, Charli xcx.” We laugh at the variety of the list before she continues. “But honestly, I just want to enjoy it. If I told my 12-year-old self that this is what I’d be doing now she wouldn’t believe it, so I just have to enjoy it to the maximum amount.” 

With so much passion, and the desire to create, it’s clear aimei 媚 can only continue to climb, a sentiment perfectly encapsulated by her final remark before we wrap up. “The music will keep getting better,” she affirms. “I’ll do bigger and bigger shows… and yeah, just basically grow.”

Words: Lily Blakeney-Edwards

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