Musician Mitski’s Dedication to TCK Honesty

Musician Mitski poses at Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 16, 2017. Courtesy of Valerie Macon/Getty Images.

Japanese-American musician Mitski has resisted a single definition throughout her career. 

Mitski, Performance
Mitski performs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on September 26, 2018 in London, England. Photo by Lorne Thomson/Getty Images.

Moving her way through genres and eras, Mitski has experimented with orchestral strings, punk, pop and indie rock. Her sonic variety may be a representation of her growth and ambition as a Third Culture Kid. Due to a parent’s career, Mitski lived in multiple different countries throughout her childhood. She spent significant time in Turkey, Malaysia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Brooklyn. While spending her formative years living across the world, Mitski found it difficult to really connect with people. In an interview with Pitchfork, she commented how people found it uncomfortable to try to identify her:

I just didn’t make sense to anybody.

Much of Mitski’s music centers around cultural fluidity. She focuses on the idea of loneliness and feeling like she doesn’t belong in any one place. Her video for “Your Best American Girl” depicts Mitski vying for the affection of someone who prefers the hegemonic standard. “Nobody” represents feeling isolated in a very stylized environment, where all she has is fragments of other people. 

Mitski ultimately isn’t concerned with how critics and fans alike perceive her; she is an honest artist. Such artistry cannot be simply defined — Mitski’s work is a multi-faceted expression. 

Mitski, Be The Cowboy
Mitski’s 2018 album “Be The Cowboy”

Mitski is currently touring her unapologetic album “Be the Cowboy.”

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