Review: UBC alum Missy D's new album

Diane Mutabaruka, otherwise known as Missy D, recently released her first studio album under Go Getters Entertainment, titled When Music Hits You Feel No Pain. Missy D is a recent graduate from UBC who had been active in the cultural music scene on campus and in Vancouver as a performer and female MC. The album is a fusion of old school hip-hop, neo-soul and RnB — inspired by artists such as Missy Elliott and Lauren Hill. Missy D considers the album to be her story told in music.

“My album is sort of the answer to this question I've been asking myself — ‘What does music mean to me?’ Why has it been a part of my life for so long? When you think about an album, you think about the title [and] when music hits, you feel no pain. That's … music in my life,” said Missy D.

“It's not always just a student life, but being a woman, being a female MC, being black, being African [and] all these different labels that people put on you. I'm trying to sort out my own identity as a person and people viewing it. Music has allowed me to express that.”

When Music Hits You Feel No Pain features 13 tracks, including her first single “Too Many Feelings” — a bilingual mix of French and English rap verses featuring collaborations with local Vancouver artists such as Kimmortal, Cogeta and Laydy Jams.

“A lot of my music when I was younger was very Missy Elliott inspired — very much an imitation of her. It was very much into her style and now it has become like her style, but with my story. I'm adding Erykah Badu to [my style], adding local artists that I know.”

Missy D comments that her album has been well-received within her friend circle, and that she feels accomplished when individuals can relate to her music.

“I was so happy that they had one track they could relate to, because they didn't just like it because it sounded good and the rhymes were cool or whatever. They liked it because somehow they felt an emotion in the song.”

She continues to state that upcoming artists should not feel daunted to begin their career in music and take the chance.

In early 2017, Missy D hopes to go on a small tour, starting in Vancouver and moving to Montreal to expand her horizons.

When Music Hits You Feel No Pain can be streamed and purchased at the Bandcamp website and is also available on Spotify.