Today, Magi Merlin makes her unabashedly loud debut with Free Grillz, her first single to be released via Bonsound (Canada only), with whom she signed in late 2021. After courting a cult following with her underground EPs Drug Music and On My Way to the Listening Party, the enigmatic Magi Merlin (pronounced MADGE-eye) is stepping into her moment with this new track, produced with longtime collaborator and beatsmith Funkywhat.
Free Grillz is available on all music services.
Menacing, icy, and above all, unconcerned with your approval, Free Grillz finds Magi Merlin showing off her vocal arsenal in a sensuous and confident rapping style paired with a wistful hook. Switching out some of those syrupy R&B flavors from her earlier releases to bring in 90’s house, drum and bass and acid-flecked hip-hop soundscapes, Merlin’s voice reminds you of a smoky after hours club. Her vocals glide over frostbitten hi-hats, techno snares and a shattering bass as she playfully embraces the tropes of rap fame Oh you like that, all cash Free grillz and real fat ass.
With Free Grillz the self-described “cheeky nihilist” makes herself clear : she wants to start a ruckus. Combining jazzy scats, raps, and breakbeats together in her musical cauldron to address issues like generational angst, fake friends, the casual racism of white suburbia, and the happy thrills of hedonism, she also uses the track to reflect on the mundanities of everyday life—like having your name misspelled or having to kick a clingy man out of your apartment. I had never written a rap track so it was a moment of exploration, explains Magi. It developed and became a track that I truly feel empowered by. I call out the people who constantly mispronounce my name and I brag about big butts and money I haven’t made yet.
Directed by Walid Jabri, the music video for Free Grillz shows Magi in an intimidating, cold and yet utterly captivating light. Proudly flaunting her grillz, she embodies the daring attitude of the song and mesmerizes viewers in an array of red hues and fast moving shots. From motorcycle rides, to blowing off a boring guy and mosh pitting, Magi keeps us on our toes as she references the dark fast-tracked fame lifestyle in the lyrics.
After landing major gigs last summer (Osheaga performance, opening for Lido Pimienta at Contre-Courant to name a few), Magi Merlin earns another milestone as she is set to make her festival debut in the United States with a series of showcases at SXSW next month. See below for all upcoming performances.
March 9 | Brooklyn, NY - Purgatory
March 16 | Austin, TX - SXSW - M for Montreal showcase at Swan Dive
March 17 | Austin, TX - SXSW - Range Magazine showcase at Lucille
March 18 | Austin, TX - SXSW - Space Agency showcase at Hotel Vegas
March 31 | Montréal, QC - Le Ritz - co-headline with Isabella Lovestory