Award: Do it Differently Fund

Year: 2018

Genre: R&B/Soul

Instrument/voice type: Singer/Songwriter

Location: London


MEI, who Clash describes as a ‘multi-faceted artist’ has an accomplished sound which is a distinct blend of British R&B, afrobeat and jazz influences, and is already being backed by Brian Eno, Kojey Radical, Worldwide FM, gal-dem, Earmilk and BBC Introducing London - recently landing her a coveted spot on the FIFA 19 soundtrack alongside collaborators Husky Loops and Count Counsellor. 

The London-based vocalist, bassist and producer released her debut EP ‘Hurrygirl’, a celebration of black British talent. The title-track and lead single encapsulates the importance of Notting Hill Carnival’s cultural legacy, saturated with stormy synths and warm calypso inspired hooks. Second single ‘Afrowalk’ features the London jazz trumpeter and Blue Lab Beats collaborator Shelia Maurice-Grey - whose smooth brassy undertones effortlessly complement MEI’s warm vocals.

Mercy Welbeck was gifted the name MEI by her Mandarin teacher, simply translated as ‘beauty’, and was introduced to soul and gospel music at the age of eleven after joining her church choir. After performing alongside Brian Eno and Karl Hyde on Later...with Jools Holland, as well as supporting Little Simz at the Roundhouse Rising Festival with Bad Honey, MEI is now moving into the spotlight with her debut EP - a cross-genre project exploring themes of beauty, loss, identity and empowerment.