Local musician builds her own mystery
An Eastern Panhandle-based recording artist likes to be shrouded in mystic, but the one thing about her that’s apparent, Mystery Woman Music has channeled heartache into art and created a sound all of her own.
Mystery Woman Music, also known as Lois Noel Laine, originally from Princeton, W.Va., now resides in Martinsburg, W.Va.
She said she moved to Martinsburg 12 years ago after her fiance was tragically murdered on Nov. 3, 2004.
“I moved up here to Martinsburg after my fiancé was murdered to start my life over because it was too hard living where I grew up there with all the memories,” she said. “We were together for 10 years from the time I was in eighth grade until I was 23. I was in the military and deployed and we had planned to get married after I came back. About a week before I came home, he was killed.”
She said she had never written or performed music prior to her fiance’s death. But after, she began to use songwriting as an escape. Her debut album, 2014’s “Find What You Think,” addressed that trauma.
“A couple of the songs I wrote in the beginning were about him and then I began to write more after that,” she said.
In 2007, Mystery Woman Music said she began dating a DJ, which led her to write even more songs.
“He made beats and I would just start listening to the beats and start writing,” she said.
Like the Phoenix who rose from the ashes, Mystery Woman Music, was able to shed some of her grief to finally find her voice on her 2015 sophomore release, “Time to Live.”
Her newest album, “Sexy in the Whip,” dropped this past June.
The new album was recorded at Echoes Recording Studio in Sharpsburg and produced by T.M. Smooth and Mystery Woman Music.
T.M. Smooth, also known as Todd Matthew Stotler, who is owner of Echoes Recording Studio, has produced all three of Mystery Woman Music’s albums.
He describes her music as Neo Soul, Modern and R&B.
“Many people have commented that she reminds them of Teena Marie,” T.M. Smooth said. “She is very innovative and not afraid to take chances with her music, but she always keeps it true to herself. A lot of what she writes deals with some traumatic events in her life and what she sings comes from the heart. She is one of the most truest, honest artists that I’ve ever worked with in my 29 years as a producer.”
Mystery Woman Music said her style is very different and said it leans toward R&B, Neo soul and rap, because that is what she always listened to.
“I can’t think of any other artist that sounds like my style. I combine all those styles in a unique way,” she said.
In “Sexy in the Whip,” Mystery Woman Music shows off her songwriting prowess in the styles of old school ’90s R&B, rap, Neo soul and hip-hop. The album features songs such as “Ice Cream Man,” “Flyer Than A Frisbee” and “Only Tuesday,” which features area rapper King Zully.
Shayne Williams of Hagerstown, is an entertainer and rap artist whose stage name is King Zully. He said the two met around 2014, when both artists were working with the same band.
“We had always talked about working together on music, but it really wasn’t until last year we were able to make it happen,” King Zully said.
He said Mystery Woman Music is very particular about her sound.
“I don’t blame her. Her sound is really good. There aren’t any singers that sound like her. She has this really sultry southern singer sound to her, almost like a 1950s singer over a modern beat,” King Zully said.
The duo is releasing a new song this fall called “Dance” that will be part of Mystery Woman Music’s fourth album, which is currently in production.
“It’s something we have never done before. It’s EDM Music, electronic dance music,” Mystery Woman Music said.
“The new one we are working on is pretty cool,” King Zully said.
Mystery Woman Music said she will be releasing three new songs this fall, including the one with King Zully. The other songs are “Sweetest Love” and ”Rashaad.“ She said “Rashaad” is named for and will be dedicated to her fiance who was murdered.
“I’m releasing ‘Rashaad’ on Nov. 3, which will be the 15th anniversary of his death,” she said. “I explain everything that happened in the song that I’m releasing.”
She said she took the moniker Mystery Woman Music so that she could stay in the shadows and let her music shine. She seldom performs, instead she wants the focus to be on her songwriting and her music. That’s the reason she likes to stay mysterious.
“In the beginning, I was never going to perform out so it was like I was just going to sing and write, but a few years ago, I decided to try performing. I don’t do shows all the time, only three to four a year,” she said.
Mystery Woman Music said she is working on a song right now to send to the artist Pink and also working on several other songs to send out to other major artists in the industry, including Alicia Keys and Madonna.
“My goal is to be a professional songwriter and just be low key with my own music. ... like underground. I don’t want to get famous or anything. I like being behind the scenes ... another reason I go by Mystery Woman Music,” she said.
She said so far in her career, the thing she is most proud of is her anti-racism anthem, “Human Race.” She co-wrote and performed the song with Halo and Left Leg Lopez. The song’s YouTube video went viral and received 130,000 views and more than 400 shares on Facebook.
“Sexy in the Whip,” as well as Mystery Woman Music’s other two albums, are available on all music platforms, including Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify and more.
For more information on her or her music, follow her on Facebook by liking Mystery Woman Music or visit her website, www.mysterywomanmusic.com.