London-based Punjabi trans artist, DJ and community builder Mya Mehmi is a true multi-hyphenate. Deeply “passionate about championing queer and trans talent of the Global Majority”, as co-producer of cult club night Pxssy Palace, she’s been instrumental in making London nightlife more progressive. She’s very much a DJ in her own right too, with her music championed on Radio 1, 1xtra and BBC Asian Network, a monthly radio show on Foundation FM.
This year she released her latest track, Parivaar (Interlude) which was written during the 2020 pandemic, that left Mya’s family changed forever, after the loss of her uncle, Thaya. She tells Clash music, “I made this song in 2020 for my cousin and my dad, after the passing of my beloved Thaya (uncle). I was drowning in emotions smoking a score of weed a day and feeling so helpless watching my family grieve a loss that we will without a doubt never truly recover from. This was my effort to console loved ones and immortalize someone that continues to be so influential in my life."
Mya began her transition in 2020. She says she felt privileged to be supported by family and friends, but wishes the British Asian community was more understanding and welcoming towards the LGBTQIA+ community, "Allyship to me looks like a willingness to be uncomfortable, honest with yourself and to give up your own privileges for the sake of equality. If you really love someone and they come out as trans, you need to do the work by researching and asking questions," she shares.
Mya became the first trans artist to be played on the BBC Asian Network music playlist, but was also surprised by the lack of representation in 2023. The artist has always believed music believes music to be a form of self-exploration and self-expression, a way to represent the unrepresented. She directed the video for her track paying homage to her heritage and B.R. Ambedkar, a social reformer who fought for the rights of lower castes, also which she and her family belongs to, honouring her family and identity.
If you enjoyed reading this, here's more from Homegrown: