Hip-Hop Star Exmiranda: The Queen Who Won’t Quit
“They misgendered me.They told me I was ugly. They told me that I should just kill myself. They told me to forget it and give up…but I didn’t.”
In the last six months, up and coming hip-hop star, Exmiranda has blown up on TikTok. Her story and her music has inspired thousands of people and to be honest totally slaps. From a struggling poet and spoken word performer, to a soon to be super star rapper and singer songwriter, Exmiranda is finally turning heads and twitching ears across the globe. With now almost 60K followers on TikTok and over 13K followers on Spotify, it’s safe to say Exmiranda is most definitely a star on the rise.
It started in Toronto, Canada in 2013. Brittany ‘Exmiranda’ Manu was encouraged by her two brothers and friends to pursue music after hearing the potential from her hobby as a poet and spoken word performer. After dabbling in writing music for a few years she finally decided to use all of her savings and take the frightful plunge into the music industry. She hired photographers, videographers, studio space, producers and spent the rest on promoting her music. By early 2017 she released her first music video ‘Goose’ on YouTube. “It didn’t exactly do well.” Exmiranda admitted to me.
Although ‘Goose’ received a little attention, there were a lot of negative comments that came with the virality – not exactly the response Brittany was hoping for. “I didn’t realise at the time but when I started writing music, I was writing for other people, not for me.” In her desperation to make it work, she tried to create what she thought other people would want, rather than expressing her true self.
Several song releases later and the rest of her money gone, the beginning of 2020 was looking bleak for Exmiranda. She had spent the last of her money and energy creating and promoting a song that once again attracted a lot of negative attention. “People were commenting on my video on local music sharing platforms and they were misgendering me; they told me I was ugly and that I should kill myself. That was probably the most depressed I’ve ever felt.” Though the hate was coming in strong, with a little encouragement from her brothers and a couple self-help books later, Brittany was ready to try again. She told me: “They told me to forget it and give up…but I didn’t.”
2020 has seen the rise of popular social platform TikTok, with more and more people finding new fame and attention than ever before. Fortunately, this presented the perfect opportunity for Brittany to market her music.
At this point Brittany had experienced a lot of hate and a lot of obstacles, and she finally had enough. She decided to write a song for her. ‘Epiphany’ – a song dedicated to black empowerment. As a black woman, Brittany has experienced her fair share of injustice. In our interview she shared with me the inspiration behind the song that quite frankly is too wonderful to edit or cut down:
“‘Epiphany’ is actually something I wrote based on my personal experiences. I was always experiencing artists that I was working with not really valuing the work I was producing. A lot of time I would be called to produce or perform at shows, or do different gigs and people wouldn’t wanna work with me or pay me. So I would be travelling far distances, sometimes even taking the bus to get there and artists wouldn’t collaborate with me and venues wouldn’t pay me, just because I was a black woman. So that’s where epiphany came from. I had to start looking at myself as a commodity and not as a liability, and start elevating myself from that lense. Those experiences made me realise I have to have ownership over my art and I have to believe in my art to the point where I’m not afraid to push harder. And if someone doesn’t respect the value I bring, it’s okay to say no. And that’s not only something we need to learn as artists but as black women. ‘Epiphany’ was a way of elevating myself and my work and pointing out the great things about me; my culture; my skin; my hair and my community.”
‘Epiphany’ wasn’t just the first song to get the well-deserved attention that she had been waiting for on TikTok, but it is also a pivotal moment for her – as a person and as an artist – so it’s no surprise that it’s her favourite song that she has written to date. The song did incredible on TikTok and led her to write “Fresh Fro” – which by the way is our favourite song right now, so check that out!
Exmiranda now has 60K followers on TikTok and is rapidly climbing her way up in the music industry. Brittany admitted that since her TikTok fame she has had several offers to be signed but has boldly refused them: “I want to try and make it as an independent artist so that I have full artistic freedom.” (Can we just get a round of applause for that).
Exmiranda’s style and inspiration falls heavily on late nineties and noughties hip-hop, with a lot of influence from Lauryn Hill, Biggie Smalls and DMX. She perfectly combines a modern sound with classic hip-hop, while also using her music to empower black women and be an activist for body positive movements, and to be honest we just can’t get enough.
So what’s next for this up and coming star? “I have a lot of exciting projects on the go. I’ve just had a huge Billboard campaign with Spotify and I’m releasing my new song on December 4th.” We cannot wait for Exmiranda’s newest single “Ohemaa” – meaning queen in Twi. A song inspired by her roots and her experience living in Ghana about the authority advisors called “queen mothers”, who advise the kings in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Exmiranda’s journey is the perfect reminder to not give up on your dreams and to keep believing in yourself and your craft. It also shines an important light on women of colour in the music industry, so be sure to share, stream and support our fabulous queen who won’t quit – @SincerelyExmiranda.