Mitski’s rise to fame with her hit “My Love Mine All Mine” might seem like a sudden success story, but this singer-songwriter has been on a journey filled with untold truths, from her almost unconventional birth to her diverse cultural upbringing, nomadic childhood, and complex relationship with fame and social media.
Born Mitsuki Laycock, her mother went to great lengths for her to obtain Japanese citizenship, almost giving birth to her on a plane traveling from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Japan. While she acknowledges her Japanese heritage, Mitski identifies herself primarily as American, avoiding the term “Japanese American” due to historical connotations.
Her nomadic childhood spanned various countries due to her father’s diplomatic position, causing her to experience constant moves and resulting in a sense of isolation. Despite this, joining school choirs was her way of integrating into new communities.
Surprisingly, she once participated in a high school talent show with a Whitney Houston song, which didn’t turn out as grand as she envisioned. This experience taught her about connecting with audiences through emotions rather than traditional techniques.
Before pursuing a career in music, Mitski briefly considered film direction but realized her passion lay in music. She appreciates the concise storytelling aspect of songs over the expansive nature of movies.
Her journey in the public eye hasn’t been without challenges. Mitski faced traumatic experiences during a European press trip and was once falsely accused of child trafficking. Additionally, she’s been open about her discomfort with excessive filming at her shows and how she has to portray a composed persona in a male-dominated industry.
Mitski’s songs, often short in duration, stem from her fear of overstaying her welcome and a lack of confidence in lengthy compositions. Despite being averse to some aspects of social media, she acknowledges its role in portraying her as a public figure.
Her relationship history reveals a difficulty in maintaining connections, leading her to channel her emotions primarily into her music. She moved to Nashville not for its musical heritage but for its idiosyncrasies and found solace in simple domestic activities during the pandemic.
While known for her indie music, Mitski holds a soft spot for mainstream pop and pop culture, having grown up with limited exposure to American culture, finding solace in mainstream music despite perceiving it as inaccessible for her as an artist.
Throughout her journey, music became a lifeline, rescuing her from dark thoughts and offering a sense of purpose. Her experiences, cultural fusion, and personal struggles deeply influence her artistry, making Mitski’s music resonate deeply with her audience.