We spoke to Breakthrough 2022 artist Mimi Webb about TikTok fame, calling the shots and plans for the year ahead.
The star of Mimi Webb has quickly been on the rise in recent years since she began sharing her powerhouse vocals and catchy break-up anthems on TikTok. Featuring on our very own Breakthrough 2022 list, which highlights some of the most exciting new artists of right now, Mimi has built a substantial fanbase online, and this year will get to enjoy the scope of that support as she heads on her first tour.
After wrapping a day of rehearsals for the tour, Mimi sat down with us to discuss a rollercoaster few years, the importance of TikTok and why she’s ready to take things to the next level in 2022.
It’s been an incredible few years for you and now, as you head into a very exciting year, you can really feel a momentum behind you. Firstly, how have the last two years been for you? It must have been so bizarre to be at this point in your career and to still not have really experienced a visual representation of your success so far.
You know what, it’s been so crazy. I think just looking back, even at last year, and seeing how fast I felt the year went, it really is just amazing. I’m just so ready this year to go even harder, even bigger, and just get those things, you know, get those things I want.
You’ve obviously been working towards this and putting in the groundwork the last few years and now you get to get out there and perform. Are you excited or is there a sense of nervousness about how different things will be this year?
Yeah, 100%. I think when I look back, I just see everything I’ve done so far and then I think about everything that’s also coming up on the schedule this year – all the exciting, new opportunities.
I definitely think it’s kind of just like, you’re just so excited to get going and then it all of a sudden, it’s just there and it’s all happening.
It feels like there is a lot of hype around you right now and I imagine as a result, this year is going to be a big one for you. Do you think the distance from the fans and a live audience has stopped it all from sinking in?
I think when it started, we were all in lockdown so it didn’t feel as real… you see the numbers on social media and then all of a sudden as we started to come out of lockdown, it all started to hit me and I was like, “Wow, this is amazing!”
Now, it’s different. I think I’ve had a lot of time now to get used to it so I think it definitely has sunk in now. I just needed that time to have that transition.
With regards to live performing, this year will likely be a big change for you – can you remember your first live performance and what that experience was like?
So I did a socially distanced show to about 50 people and it was just me and my MD on a piano. It was very stripped back and that was the first time I performed my own music that was out. I was very excited and I remember just thinking, “Oh my god, this is so amazing,” and just hearing everyone singing those lyrics back to me.
… it makes you think about how much has changed in just a few months…
To go from there to then playing shows like Jingle Bell Ball and, you know, all these other really incredible big shows, it makes you think about how much has changed in just a few months. I started my tour this month, my first tour of this year, and even looking at the rooms that I’m going to be playing next year, it’s just incredible.
Social media and especially TikTok has been an incredibly important tool for you as a new artist and is an increasingly popular one for musicians in an ever-changing music landscape. Along with that comes some criticism – what do you make of that criticism and the role social media now plays in the music industry?
I think the industry has just completely changed with platforms like TikTok. There’s new artists being found everyday on social media and TikTok followers can now determine what deal they get. It’s just so crazy to see how that works now.
The industry has completely changed… artists are now in control of their careers from the very beginning.
I think it’s just such a great platform for artists, allowing them to open the app and get their music out there without help from anyone else. They don’t need a team, they don’t need a label, and they don’t need a budget. Artists can control their careers at this point so it’s really amazing to be able to have that control.
Your name is featured on every “one to watch” list out there and TikTok has helped you get there. Other more seasoned artists have spoken about not having access to their social media profiles, often hiring teams to manage that side of things – do you see yourself following suit or do you want to keep that direct connection with fans?
I think for me, just being able to read the messages, share my content, use those platforms just keeps me really connected and it is just a part of my career.
Finally, I can only imagine if I had the career trajectory you’ve had over the last few years, I know my friends would be doing their best to keep me humble by poking fun at it all – what have your closest friends made of the fact that you’re now one of the biggest up-and-coming names in British pop music?
They love it. They still see me as the girl they just go and have fun with. Yeah, but they do definitely love it and they’re all so supportive. I’ve got a very small circle of friends that I trust completely and have known since I was two years old so for me, it’s just so nice to have them with me throughout this. They’ve always known I’ve had such a passion for music and have wanted to be a singer – that’s always been my biggest dream. So I think for them to see me living it is just so exciting for us all.
And now as I look ahead to 2022, it’s just going to be lots of touring, new music and just bigger and better than before and I’m thankful to have them with me for all of that.
Mimi Webb finishes her current tour on 28 February. Remaining tickets for her Birmingham, Bristol and London shows are available here.