R&B singer-songwriter Miiesha is known for music that “captures the complexity of the individual Indigenous experience through universally appealing songs” (ABC Australia) and today, she returns with “Damaged”, an unabashedly vulnerable take on intergenerational trauma and grief.
Produced by LUCIANBLOMKAMP (6lack) with vocal production from Simon Cohen (Justin Beiber), “Damaged” showcases the depth of Miiesha’s soulful vocals and ability to convey the intricacies of the human experience, taking listeners on a deep dive into the pain and disconnect that accompanies familial loss.
“’Damaged’ is my most personal song yet, and the most painful for me. It is a song about the broken relationship I have with my mother, and how much I have wanted it to heal, and how much I have tried to fix it, only to find myself hurting more.” – Miiesha
Released alongside the single, is the stunningly cinematic visual for “Damaged”. Featuring images of Miiesha’s real family (her brothers, sister, and aunt), viewers are given an intimate look into a family’s struggle as they wrestle with feelings of grief, each member doing so in their own unique way.
In the visual project, Miiesha is faced with the difficulty of letting go after losing her grandmother, who is symbolically represented as the car she’s sitting in–damaged itself and unable to help carry the family forward. Despite the turbulence of the family’s mourning and each of their individual struggles, when the chorus hits, the conflict ends and dancing begins. Miiesha explains this shift “shows that you cannot break away from your family, your bloodline, your connection, no matter how much pain lies between you.” Ultimately realizing that despite this she must overcome, reclaim her power and find her own way to move forward for herself.
Through her songwriting, Miiesha hopes to offer encouragement and expand perspectives, motivating her listeners to not only be strong but to also be compassionate. She shares “I hope it will bring strength and comfort to anyone who has gone through what I’ve gone through, and what I’m still going through. Black people around the world have seen so much trauma that people need to understand that, even though we might be damaged from it, it has made us strong. Respect our stories, and try to understand.”
Miiesha’s much anticipated release follows a breakout year for the rising, 22-year old artist. In 2020, Miiesha released her debut collection of songs, “Nyaaringu”, sharing the stories and strength Miiesha inherited from her late Grandmother, whose interludes narrate the project.
The FADER praised the project and called it “one of the more indelible pieces of pop to come out of Australia this year, its generosity and scope continuing to reveal itself over time”. “Nyaaringu” went on to be nominated for 5 ARIAs, receiving the 2020 ARIA for Best Soul/R&B Release, as well as winning 4 x QLD Music Awards, a NIMA, and was voted Australian Album of the Year by NME, as well as Best Album of 2020 by The Music. She has also been nominated for APRA/AMCOS Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year and was selected as part of the current YouTube Black Voices campaign.
Watch “Damaged” on YouTube here.