Milahroy describes the introspective pop/rock track (featuring theLMNOP & rapper KTLYN) as “a West Coast inspired ode to our best intentions and the facade of perfection, because no one lies better than we do to ourselves.”
The indie artist thoughtfully explains the song exists “somewhere between hubris and doubt.”
The track is a pop music ear worm that lands right at the sonic corner of ‘current’ and ‘now’ with pensive lyrics in search of our hero’s questioning psyche.
Tangled up in my excuses, Trippin on my shadow
Gettin used to feeling useless, Shadows grow when light’s low
Instinct Magazine chatted with the indie artist in advance of the new release, confronting doubts and inner demons, and remembering to let life happen.
Instinct Magazine: Congratulations on the new single and music video, “Cool.” Dark, edgy and mysterious – you had me at go. What was the inspiration behind the song?
Milahroy: Thank you! I used to beat myself up a lot, mentally. It wasn’t a healthy coping mechanism and I’ve been trying to be more gentle with myself. This song captures the backlash of working on and with yourself. Sometimes, you betray yourself and it hurts. It’s a trip & will probably last a life time but I take pride in coming this far.
“COOL” embodies one confronting their doubts and inner demons.
IM: In translating the track to video, where did the concept come from? What do you want folks to take away from the musical journey?
Milahroy: A new friend of mine, Patrick McPheron (Interior State), who directed the video, really helped capture the vibe of this tune and where I wanted it to go visually. The concept reflects the inspiration of this track: being held hostage by one’s own insecurities and doubts.
I want folks to understand we all fall victim to lying to ourselves and for what? The facade of perfection? With today’s standards of how we “should be”, we start to lose focus on who we want to be or even simply who we truly are.
IM: In August, you released “D.F.O” which rocks a very different vibe. It’s totally catchy and sounds like the Monkees made a hit record with the B-52s in the year 2020. In other words, it’s awesome. Tell me about it.
Milahroy: Thank you so much for the compliment. I’m a huge fan of those artists. “Love Shack” is one of my favorite tunes off my summer playlist. so I love that reference!
“D.F.O.,” short for Don’t Freak Out (it’s been wild to hear what people think it stands for), is a song I wrote with Jessie Shapiro & Rob Shore (theLMNOP). Creating problems is a common theme I’ve seen in myself and friends, this song is a good wave of joy taking you out and reminding you sometimes you just need to let life happen and trust the universe.
IM: In 2018, you released an EP titled ‘Thoughts in Sound’ under the artist name RØY – what does the shift to Milahroy mean for you? Change in sound? Change in perspective?
Milahroy: Ah! Yes! 2020 has really warped my sense of time so two years ago feels like a lifetime away.
I was thinking of a new name to represent this new image and new shift in my life and while a friend and I were walking down Hollywood Blvd., I had a spark of inspiration…and Milahroy came to fruition.
Milahroy is my birth name flipped on its head. The first half is my Muslim surname spelled in reverse which butts up against my first name. This all represents my internal reflection on my family’s spiritual history, my own personal truth and the internal changes I’ve had to make in order to accept them both into my heart with love and honesty.
The shift feels massive – it created this identity for me. It’s almost as if I was able to take the reins of this alter ego that’s still myself, leaving a small town to pursue my dreams. It was like a new part of my self was born. I sometimes want to be a diva and introduce myself as Myla! Ha!
IM: What do you do outside of music that contributes to your creativity?
Milahroy: I don’t think there’s an easy way to answer this question, everything contributes to my creativity including all of my travels across the country, the people and friends I interact with on a daily basis, the beautiful imagery I see around me everyday to the dark corners of of my inner and outer world but on a personal level I’m a very introspective person so I’ve been practicing having gratitude for the little things in life. A lot of my practice has to do with sitting in stillness, journaling, and doing my best to live in the present moment. Allowing for me to really channel my thoughts & emotions into my music.
IM: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Milahroy: Great question. When moving to LA the best advice I’ve received was to stay persistent and to get comfortable hearing “no.” It’s so easy to get distracted in this big city, so reminding myself to stay focused and to remember where I came from has really helped me. If you were to tell me 10 years ago I would be moving to LA to pursue music, I would’ve laughed and whipped my Bieber Fever locks in your face. Lol.
IM: What’s next?
Milahroy: A similar sounding EP, then another completely different sounding EP, and followed by a studio album. I’m sitting on a lot of beautiful music with different characters and plots, different emotions, ideas and themes. I’m just trying to hear and feel what works and I’m beginning to realize I’m the kind of artist who wants to connect with people and have the people take the time to process and reflect on themselves with these sounds.