MUNYA: A little chat about her bittersweet synth-folk EP trilogy

MUNYA‘s EP trilogy is now complete and available via Luminelle. You can also order the full collection as a single vinyl there.

Last year, MUNYA enchanted us with “Des Bisous Partout“, a sweet and light-hearted song about budding love. In the wake of this release, the Montreal-based singer and producer then signed to Luminelle and announced three EPs, each named for a significant place in her life. After a series of dreamy and bilingual singles over the last 12 months, she unveils today Blue Pine, the final installment of this trilogy.

If bittersweet romance is at the heart of MUNYA‘s music, her ‘new synth folk’ universe relies on varied references, including sci-fi, real places and poetry. Simultaneously smooth and melancholic, her songwriting also brings with it many questions and leaves room for interpretation. We had the chance to have a little chat with the artist to discover a bit more about her inspirations and aspirations. Stream her 3 EPs and read our interview below.

HighClouds: Hi there. First, thanks so much for this little chat. Your real name is Josie Bovin but you go under the moniker MUNYA. Does it have a special meaning? How did you pick this artist name?

MUNYA: I picked the name MUNYA one night when I was hanging out with a friend and I was telling him I was looking for an artist name. We were throwing around ideas and somehow came across MUNYA which means “wish” or “desire”. It just felt right and deep down I knew that pursuing music full time was my real wish so I went with it.

You’re originally from the quiet town of Saguenay, Québec. You moved to Montréal and we can understand why. This city seems to be a real eldorado for musicians. Why is it so special and inspiring?

All of Quebec and Canada is an amazing place for an artist to explore and develop their craft. The amount of grants and and financial support that our Gov provides allows people to really focus and creates communities of artists that inspire and push each other. To answer your question around Montreal, it has a ridiculously low cost of living and inspiring nature and architecture everywhere but I personally believe long and cold winters are the key. You are forced to stay home, you don’t get too distracted and you work on your stuff because it’s too cold outside! Montreal just has a vibe and an energy that brings out something in people, it’s just an amazing place to create.

What is the best place and moment to write songs?

There is no best place or best moment to write songs. You just go do it! That’s my best advice.

Despite the fact that you want people to feel good while listening to your music, your songs sound bittersweet and hazy. Isn’t it a paradox?

Yes of course I want people to feel good, but maybe a better way to explain my goal is that I want people to feel comfort. In some instances that means lets just dance through the pain or in others I want people to not feel alone when dealing with certain emotions. We all share this world together and sometimes I know I forget I’m not alone: in the end I want people to remember we are all in this together and the human condition really is a complicated pain in the tush.

If you had to associate your songs to one season, which one would you pick?

“L’été des indiens” as we call in French. That means a sunny and warm Fall.

I know they’re probably all like your children but what is your favourite song on the album?

My favourite song is “Some More”. This song reminds me why I have to make music.

Amazing… That’s also my favourite.

A woman with a blue skin, aliens… Your dreamy songs often reference sci-fi. Are you a fan of this universe? Other musicians aside, what are your inspirations?

OMG! I love science-fiction! I’m a big fan of Star Wars, Independence Day, The Abyss, Aliens and more! My Mother is my biggest inspiration. When I was very young, she taught me how to express my emotions and my feelings through art and creation. I’ve said this before but people trying to change the world inspire me a lot, gotta give a huge shout out to Elon on successful Dragon Crew Docking this week! So yes I have some legit nerd tendencies =)!

In “Hotel Delmano”, you achieve to depict a very cinematographic atmosphere that appeals to all the senses. Which movie genre do you prefer and who are your favourite directors?

I’m a huge movie fan! Sci-Fi is my favourite genre and my favorite directors are Cameron, Korine, Kubrick and of course David Lynch!

Lastly, what can we expect from MUNYA in 2019, after the album release?

Hard work and more music!

MUNYA will also be playing a few concerts for her SXSW debut. Check her gigs below:

3/12: FloodFest – Cedar Street Courtyard – 12pm

3/12: All Are Welcome Day Party – Mohawk (Inside) – 4:45pm

3/13: Culture Collide Showcase – L’Estelle House – 7PM

3/14: Gorilla Vs. Bear / Luminelle Showcase – Seven Grand – 9:45pm

3/15: BIRP – The Parish – 3:30pm

3/15: M for Montreal – Swan Dive – 10pm

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