A self-proclaimed “Iranian princess”, London-based Imogen Mahdavi is due to be the silver lining that 2020 needs, by releasing her debut EP Staring at the Sun on the 11th of December. The EP revolves around death anxiety, and was a cathartic experience to create.
The singer and songwriter is known for her plaintive melodies, simple production and unique, falsetto vocals — all of which blend together to form a lovely, elegant sound.
In this conversation with Imogen, we discuss her relationship with death, her upcoming EP, and the safety net that religion can sometimes be.
Push up Daisies: What has your relationship with death always been like, and how do you view it now?
Imogen: Complicated and fearful, but I’ve been experiencing more acceptance this last year. It was never a secret in my family but I’ve also never had anyone extremely close to me pass, so I’m yet to experience that kind of grief.
Push up Daisies: Are you spiritual or religious? How do you think your culture affects your perception of death?
Imogen: I’m definitely spiritual and not religious, but religion provides a comfort around people with the way they believe death will be, so I am a little envious that I don’t have that safety net in my imagination.
Push up Daisies: As a creative, how does the thought or fear of death inspire you/does ever drive you to create more?
Imogen: I actually have my debut EP coming out this year and it is all about death anxiety, so everything I want to say will be there. It was really cathartic.
Push up Daisies: How would you like to be remembered?
Imogen: Hopefully for being kind and making people laugh during hard times.
Push up Daisies: What are you most proud of in your life?
Imogen: Having control over my exterior behaviour when I am mentally suffering. I’m not made of stone but I think I am patient and empathetic when faced with other people’s projections. I rarely let me ego guide my decisions.
Push up Daisies: How does the thought of death affect your everyday life?
Imogen: It forms an anxiety that I’m running out of time with the things I want to accomplish, which can also bring on sadness and sometimes shame.
Push up Daisies: In what ways can it be healthy to contemplate death?
Imogen: If it allows you to be present and know every moment will pass, I think then we enjoy the now.
Push up Daisies: Have you ever read a book revolving around death, that left its mark on you?
Imogen: Staring at the Sun by Irvin Yalom.
Push up Daisies: Is there something that you would be willing to die for? What would this be?
Imogen: Someone I love, especially if they have a big future ahead of them.
Push up Daisies: What are your ideal and worst ways to die?
Imogen: I’d like to die with no regrets. I don’t think it’s healthy to think of the worst way to die.