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Songs We Love: Mizan, '7 Billion'

Mizan's <em>Dark Blue</em> EP comes out Nov. 6.
Courtesy of the artist
Mizan's Dark Blue EP comes out Nov. 6.

If you backtrack through the few songs Mizan has on her SoundCloud page or YouTube profile, you get the sense that she's not in this to become famous, or a pop star, or an idol. She doesn't sing about money or lust. She doesn't lip sync in her videos, nor does she frolic in made-up alternate universes. And her latest offering, the contemplative "7 Billion," is no different.

Raised in Ethiopia and relocated to New York, Mizan Kidanu has been playing piano since she was seven; it and her voice are the only elements that make up "7 Billion." She hits the same somber keys time and time again, laying down a simple, chilling foundation so she can get something off her chest: "I'm the center of my world, but 7 billion have a say," she sings. "7 billion have a heart, 7 billion find a way."

Mizan aims to convey the magnitude of being one of many; the grand idea of never quite realizing how small we all are, and how our lives will always be intertwined with those around us, and vice versa. Nobody lives in a vacuum.

But in the video for "7 Billion," she's the only person that appears. And she's constantly traveling: Walking out of her house, riding a bus to and fro, walking through an open, endless field. Through it all, she's reflective, eyes often closed, head down, wrapped up in the fragility of humanity: "One day, a dawn will come, it won't be too long at all. If we win, we move along. If we lose, God save us all." The last thing we see is Mizan lost in her own thoughts, until she comes to in the final second and remembers that we're all here, watching.

Dark Blue EP is out on Nov. 6 on Terrible Records.

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Kiana Fitzgerald is a freelance music journalist, cultural critic, and DJ. She writes for the world from deep in the heart of Texas.