A meditation on reaching your highest self, “Mindful,” the latest single from Calgary alternative R&B artist Uyemi, calls for cutting cords with those who block your growth. The track, which appears on her upcoming Butterfly Effect EP, is out now with an accompanying video directed by Alimzhan Sabir (Mattiel, ToBi, Jon Vinyl), with creative direction from Uyemi and video production by fellow visionary artist Selci.
The video takes viewers into a bleary-eyed Uyemi’s dishevelled environment, a metaphor for her troubled world. Connecting to her higher self through a TV set in retro soul-infused sequences and euphoric soft-focus hallucinations, Uyemi’s journey from anguished to elevated state of mind is stylishly portrayed.
“There’s free will/You can do whatever you like…You can be yourself,” Uyemi intones to her turmoiled self from an alternate place. And it’s in this space between strength and vulnerability that she finds her groove. Paired with smooth-as-liquid melodies, her airy vocals waft like a long, calming exhale.
“’Mindful’ is a plea to protect your energy from unhealthy relationships and negative thinking,” Uyemi says. “You’ve got to be mindful of everything around you, so you can create the life that you want. The whole Butterfly Effect EP is about ridding toxic people from my life and finding my voice again after I lost it.”
Over the course of the four-track Butterfly Effect EP, Uyemi reveals her process of metamorphosis, shedding her cocoon to soar free from trauma and self-doubt and hold onto her power. The EP was recorded at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, using the organization’s historic gear and world-renowned studio spaces.
Born in Nigeria and raised in Canada, the enigmatic singer-songwriter’s sound draws from the outliers of neo-soul and contemporary R&B, from Erykah Badu and SZA to Frank Ocean and Jhené Aiko. Uyemi landed in the Top 100 of CBC’s Searchlight contest in 2020 for her self-empowering tune, “Don’t Get in Your Way.” Since then, she’s released a string of singles and collaborated with artists such as Jae Sterling and A.Y.E.
Uyemi’s Butterfly Effect EP is slated to arrive on December 8, 2021.
Butterfly Effect EP tracklist:
01. Inside of It All
02. Moving On
04. Moving Quietly