• The Record Press

Rap, Poetry & Spoken Word with Exmiranda

Written by Jack Barton


Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds’ playlist is a powerful collection of some of the industry's most exciting newcomers, aiming to provide a platform to independent artists who are ‘making a noise in their corners of the world’. Toronto artist, Exmiranda and her hit single ‘Steam’ headlined the playlist as a funky sound on top of her poetically informed hip-hop performance. I got a chance to catch up with her over Zoom, to talk tiktok, culture and navigating the music industry as an non-conforming independent artist.


Walkin' in with the fro fresh 'n fluff


Got that arch round thick

Let 'em look but never touch

With the dark brown tint, with the melanin and such

Got them dumbfounded

Wishin' they could roll with us

-Exmiranda, Fresh Fro


We caught up back in January, where discussion fell to her excitement with Gamestop shares and the stock market, where she could be part artist, part day trader stock enthusiast. Exmiranda’s mother played a big part in her musical upbringing through her love for new-jazz funk and old school r&b. “She really made me love a lot of the 80s and 90s vibes songs, things like New addition, and Boys to men”. West African music also became a big part of her life, through family ties. However it comes back to her mum as an integral influence of Exmiranda’s music, “she’s always been in love with music”. Her brothers have also been supportive, helping out with her career, “I would love to have them talking on my album”.

Hailing from Canada, Exmiranda noted how “often times people don’t really look to Canada, especially for women in hip-hop”. She recently launched an experience with myseum of Toronto after the interview to create a visual experience “as black women in hip-hop are rarely celebrated, and I want to ensure this changes”. When asked about the issue of representation in the industry, Exmiranda replied that “there needs to be more opportunities for artists to remain independent, the stakeholders voice is put to the forefront: focused on profits and the market, the main focus needs to be on people and artists being their authentic selves, something that doesn’t always generate profit.”. Canada's government support for the arts is something Exmiranda admires, “if there are more opportunities to pump money into artists so they can live and create authentically without pressure to conform to the norms of society.”. Kanye West's infamous ‘peeing on his grammys’ also came into conversation, “I see where he is coming from, he has probably seen things behind the scenes worst that we imagine.”


Clearly no stranger to collaborating to build exciting new projects in Canada, however when it comes to music, “I’m kind of an artist who likes working on their own and doing things independently, when I have done features in the past, because I am so picky it would end up turning up differently from what I hoped it would be”. Her goal for her debut album is not to have any features. Her methods have definitely been paying off, with her popularity continuing to grow stronger, “2020 was a real spike for me as an artist, initially when I started making music around 2016 it was tough to gain recognition. I didn't look like what an artist is expected to look like.”. A large part of her success has been the social media platform, tiktok, something I am sure we have all found comfort in during the pandemic. Her account now sits with over two million likes, with a consistent push and various viral videos, Exmiranda has undoubtedly found how artists can utilise the power of the social media algorithm and viral videos to spread her sound. “After starting in April 2020, everything took off, I have now had so many people approaching me, I have had complex reach out to me, I have soundcloud in my emails now!” this has given her a newfound sense of confidence to keep on going and not to give up.

Her newfound fame was illustrated when she appeared on the large Toronto billboard by Spotify, “that was one of the things I had on my vision board, it was crazy”. At the same time as appearing across other playlists such as the aforementioned ‘Fresh finds’, another thing she put on her vision board.


With an origin in poetry and spoken word, Exmiranda continues to focus on the intricacies of rhyme schemes. “One thing that inspired me to take on rapping and song writing was Tupac, he started off writing poetry.”. Possibly described as ‘musical poetry’, “my main focus is on the rhymepattern, I never really have a concept in mind.”


Self-identity, confidence and culture are ongoing themes throughout Exmiranda's discography, her thoughts about navigating the industry as someone who doesn't conform to industry standards.


Walkin' in with the fro fresh 'n fluff

Got that arch round thick

Let 'em look but never touch

With the dark brown tint, with the melanin and such

Got them dumbfounded

Wishin' they could roll with us

-Exmiranda, Fresh Fro


Epiphany was noted as one of her favourite songs. The core message comes to being a black woman in society and “navigating both patriarchy and capitalism”. When asked about feminism, Exmiranda mentioned that although she does consider herself a feminist “to some degree”, the lack of intersectionality and the exclusion of black women in western feminism. African culture is a demonstrably core part of Exmiranda, with her single ‘Oheema’ which translates to Queen in Ghanian.


What would you say to independent artists, struggling with their creative identity?

-You can do and be, and live however you want. You are only limited by what you decide to accept, whatever someone's opinion of you is, those opinions are based on their own limitations and self-perceptions.You don’t need everyone, you only need the people who want to work and create with you. Independent artists often try to work their way up, when it is also great to work laterally - work with the people around you!

What is the next big step for Exmiranda?

-I want to focus on the business side, but I am also super excited about dropping my debut album. I would also love to continue to grow my fanbase, expand and make my presence known and maintain my identity. I cannot wait to start performing live once the pandemic is over.


You can find Exmiranda on Spotify and tiktok

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