When I first met MiWi La Lupa, he told me the hilarious story of growing up as a kid in a black family in a very white town of Buffalo, NY. His favorite day of the year is March 17, aka St Patricks Day, and most important aka of all; my birthday.
Every year he and his family would go to the local St Patrick’s Day parade, and his mom would say they were “Black Irish.” I went home and listened to MiWi’s music from his debut album, New Way Home, released last year, and damn, MiWi. Dude can sing! Couldn’t get his voice out of my head. So, I asked him some questions after he’d had a few too many whiskeys and he tried to tell me he was 1/32nd Black German, too. Then he said he couldn’t write any music the next day until he cleaned his mirrors. Here he is trying to explain.
What do you clean your mirrors with?
For years I’ve been cleaning it with generic windex and paper towels. However, I’ve just learned that white vinegar works just as well. I think I may switch to that.
Are you happy with the man staring back?
Some days I can’t stand to look. If you see me with an unkempt beard, you’ll know there have been a string of those days… 2+ weeks, I’d say. However, when I’m writing regularly, and my diet consists of more than beans and rice, I’m happy with that person staring back.
What does family mean to you?
Some of my best friends. Forgiveness. Perseverance. Blood. Quirks you cannot escape.
Do you sing when you’re cooking?
A little bit. I generally listen to records. I enjoy flipping them over: it breaks up the stirring, staring, and starving.
What instrument do you play that makes you feel like a boss?
The Electric Bass Guitar. You have the whole world in your hands, in my opinion.
Who is fucking with you?
Currently? Myself, Politicians, and mainstream media.
You’re at the grocery store, and you see a pretty girl. What do you do next?
Admire her for the briefest of moments, hasten my shopping, head to the checkout… Unless I’m shopping while tipsy, which is rare. I might say hello and smile.
Do you fold your laundry straight after you dry it?
If there is room at the Laundromat, then yes. If not, I walk it home and fold it straight away. However, for some of my favorite pieces, the drying machine is an actual “no-go zone.”
How many times do you write a song that doesn’t work before you can it for good?
I’m an equal opportunity song employer. Though, I try not to dwell on the songs for very long. I don’t edit too too much. It’s kind of like saying a word, or reading a word repeatedly in that, it kind of loses it’s meaning. That being said, a song may get canned after my band plays it several times and the story or the music just doesn’t resonate with us. The goal is to be, at least, mildly psyched about every song on a set list. This question will now be in the back of my head as I’m writing for my next record… thanks.
Can you explain your 1/32nd Black German heritage?
My great great maternal grandfather was German, we believe. However, his surname was Langley. Sounds English to me, but we’ll leave that up to ancestry.com, or the wind. My Great maternal Grandma Edna (whom I was lucky to know for a short while) was Black and “German.” Not sure about too much on the paternal side, so, perhaps the math is a little off. That, or my 10th grade level math skills are deplorable.