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Standout Track: No. 2, “Cut Off,” a high-spirited, electronic number from Muhsinah’s new EP, M, out July 29. It’s buffered by faint wails, a moderate tempo, and looped, primal-sounding backing vocals. From there, Muhsinah brightens the scant melody with a rousing soprano that bolsters the song’s lovelorn premise. “I love you but I’ll never call, it’s true,” she sings on the chorus. “When I say ‘I’m done,’ I mean ‘that’s all.’”

Musical Motivation: Muhsinah says she envisioned the song before she created it. “Literally, I heard it in my head—the speed and everything,” says the Annandale, Va., singer/producer. “I wanted it to feel like we’re with a big group of people and we’re all bouncing together.” “Cut Off” riffs on Muhsinah’s zodiac sign, too. “[Cancers are] lovey-dovey,” she says, “but if you hurt us, we’ll cut you off. We won’t even talk to you.”

Alone Time: Muhsinah recorded M during a week of reflection in her home. She was finishing a new full-length album and wanted to release something else in time for her July 20 birthday. “I like to see what I can come up with in a short period of time,” says Muhsinah, who turns 31 next week. “I took the time to get to know myself, to appreciate myself and say, ‘These are the things I love about you.’ I want people to know that it’s OK to be themselves.”

Muhsinah performs Sunday, July 20 at LIV Nightclub. Stream “Cut Off” after the jump.

“Cut Off” by Muhsinah


This post has been updated with the EP’s new release date: It was originally set to drop July 21, but will now be released on July 29.