Njomza • Vacation
It’s still difficult to process the passing of Mac Miller. His ever-evolving music and constant pursuit of personal growth touched millions of people and foretold a bright future that was tragically cut short this past September. Yet, mourning has granted moments of solace as people continue to share their life-altering experiences with the Pittsburgh native. Some were grateful to open for Mac’s national tour as up-and-comer and others remembered fondly working extensively in his home studio. They all thanked him for nurturing their careers.
Njomza, perhaps better than anyone, can attest to Mac’s selflessness and loving spirit. She appeared on The Divine Feminine (Mac’s 2016 album) and released her debut EP, Sad For You, under his REMember label last year. By then he had become her mentor, collaborator, and arguably biggest supporter.
On the day of Mac’s death, Njomza tweeted out “i lost my best friend i will never be ok [sic],” a sentiment she repeated a few days later before adding on “but we gotta keep pushing and bringing each other up. spread love. smile through the pain. use creative outlets to let out the rage. [sic]”
For Njomza, her outlet led to the release of Vacation. Featuring video singles “Lonely Nights” and “Mania Is Temporary,” Vacation is seven tracks of subdued production and plush vocals. The songwriting here is mostly structured as one-on-one conversations filled with confessions, confrontations, and compromise. “One Foot In The Water,” placed as the tracklist’ centerpiece, is the standout track. In it, a breezy guitar strum guides her bruised voice in the verses into an enchanting tone as Njomza pleads “I’m waiting at the bottom, I need you to dive in” to a hesitating lover.
Mac left an immense void in a creative community that will probably never truly finish reeling, but his influence and legacy will continue to live on through the work of the people he loved. Vacation is the next chapter of Njomza’s evolving catalog and personal progression stemming from self-reflection and the teachings of Mac.