Haviah Mighty Builds Up the Underdog on '13th Floor'

Photo: Matt Barnes

BY Riley WallacePublished May 10, 2019

Brampton MC Haviah Mighty is on the cusp as she prepares the release of her latest, and most promising release yet, 13th Floor, dropping May 10.
Having dropped her first body of work in 2010, the self-produced No Studio, hosted by the infamous DJ Ill Will, she proved her ability as an artist out of the gate. She released three additional projects before 2015, but failed to break through and capitalize on her initial success. "It was almost like I accomplished nothing, but I had all this new knowledge," Haviah says, on the phone en route to the studio. "I had so many years of experience, but had nothing to show for it anymore."
Ultimately, a 2016 International Women's Day cypher put on by TeamBackpack, alongside Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis, and pHoenix Pagliacci — who subsequently became acclaimed collective the Sorority — thrust her brand into a newfound spotlight. "We were all wearing the same colour scheme, but we didn't know each other, and none of us knew who was going to show up. It was just a cool authentic thing," Mighty explains.
Though she rode the wave, releasing her seven-song EP, Flower City — a direct homage to Brampton — she put her solo endeavours on hold, as she could feel the importance of the Sorority movement. "I was working on my projects before [the Sorority] album was a thing," she admits. "I had gotten a grant for my album, and I asked for an extension, which was approved. I committed at least until we did our tour."
It's 13th Floor, though, that's poised to be her official entrance into mainstream consciousness. Straddling the signature sound she fully realized on Flower City, she's accented the body of work with extremely accessible bops, glossed with a tasteful radio-ready aesthetic.
It's through this fully realized accessibility that she hopes to get her message across. "I want to create impactful music that can create discussions and change," she notes. While her music is created to reflect her own marginalized experience as a woman of color, she insists that it is also channelling empathy she feels through collective experiences.
"It's meant to be inspirational for the underdog experience," she elaborates, citing her teen years. "Growing up who I am, what I looked like, the things that I choose to do, and the energy that I bring naturally, made some people uncomfortable." It was, later on, that she was able to find strength through her differences.
"Being different is a great thing. It builds a character," she says. "You want to be able to reach the point that you can look back and say that it's built you up as opposed to it broke me down."
It's this dialogue of self-love and togetherness that she hopes to spread through music. While a divide is inevitable, she insists that it's not the intention, adding that "You know that you're welcome to think outside of the box when you listen to my shit, and and you know it will evoke conversation. As long as that conversation results in positivity, I would be happy."
13th Floor is out now as an independent release.

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