With MIRI’s recent release of her raw, stripped-down version of Cyndi Lauper’s single ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun,’ we got the chance to catch up with and interview the singer, songwriter.
So, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into Music?
I’m a music artist & songwriter, curator of Diversity Platform. I also do various work with music and mental health. I got into music at 16 when the head of A&R at Peer Music Publishing heard my songs and was interested in signing me. For 8 years I co-promoted and co-hosted monthly live music night ‘Blue Monday’ created for LBTQ womxn and allies. Last year I performed in 3 male prisons followed by Q&A’s on music and being LGBT+.
For any of our readers that would like to get into music, what advice would you give to them?
Take your time developing and creating your artistry. Do as much as you can on your own before you start looking for a manager and putting together a team. Be entrepreneurial and creative. Treat people kindly. Follow your joy and be mindful that not everyone will be right for you to work with or has your best interests at heart. Work out what ‘success’ means to you and have good people in your world.
Did you consider a different career path at any point in your journey so far?
There’s been a few times where I’ve wondered whether to retire from music and do something else but I love it to much. I originally wanted to act and direct so you never know. A few years back I acted in an LGB web series called ‘She’s in London’. I’d love to explore more acting at some point.
Where do you find your inspiration for your work?
The challenges we face internally and externally. The political injustices. It inspires me to keep pushing forward and do what I can to cultivate positive and sustainable change through my work. I do some music mentoring for young people and that really inspires me to keep pushing myself as an artist.
An obvious question from a lesbian magazine, are you seeing anyone at the moment?
Haha I’m happily single
What’s your coming out story? Sorry, but everyone wants to know.. 🙂
I came out a few times. The first was when I was 22. I’d repressed my sexuality since I was 4. Literally since I was 4. It was a different time back then. That repression caused what felt like a lifetime of pain and yearning. When I first came out it was to one of my best friends and then to her sisters. They were kind and supportive. It was thanks to them that I ventured out onto the queer scene in soho a few years later.
Who are your role models and why?
Patti Smith is one. She follows her art. The first book I read of hers was ‘Just Kids’. I was very depressed at the time. The book inspired me and I decided to live like Patti for the year. This led me to gig in Berlin for the first time and see Patti Smith perform her whole album ‘Horses’ with her band at Field Day Festival.
East London or West London?
Out of all of your pieces of work, which piece did you enjoy the most?
I don’t feel like I’ve got there yet. Writing songs is cathartic and I do enjoy what I write but I don’t feel like there’s a piece I’ve enjoyed the most. I’m currently collaborating with a music publisher on some tracks. I’ve really enjoyed stepping out of what I usually do musically to express myself in an alternative way.
If you could use a magic telephone to call yourself at 15 years old what would you say?
I’d say there’s no such thing as perfection so try not to strive too hard for that because you’ll miss out on the beauty that life has to offer. I’d say you’re queer and that IS normal. Don’t listen to what society teaches you. I’d tell myself you won’t always be loved and valued by others so do your best to love and value yourself. It’s going to be a rocky road but life is worth it so don’t give up and don’t give in.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Metaphorically if someone’s going to run you over you can’t stop them but you can move yourself out of the way.
Who’s your favourite artist at the moment and why?
I was revisiting Dionne Farris’s album ‘Wild Seed Wild Flower‘. I listened to that album over and over in my teens. I recently shared one of my favourite songs from it, ‘Food For Thought’ on my Instagram stories tagging Dionne Farris and she replied. I couldn’t have imagined that ever happening when I was a kid listening to her. It felt wonderfully surreal.
What do you think of the Lesbian scene in London?
I haven’t been out on the lesbian scene for a while. When I first went on the scene I loved it but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found at times there can be a bit of a hierarchy. I’m grateful that we have a scene in this country and know how important that is. I’m definitely up for exploring new nights and events after lockdown.
Where can our readers listen to you?
They can find me on Spotify, bandcamp and the usual digital stores. Links are all on my website www.miriofficial.com.
Who’s your celebrity crush and why?
Logan Browning. She radiates light and beauty on every level.
Who’s the most memorable person you’ve worked with and why?
I’ve been fortunate to work with some phenomenal people over the years. Yolanda Charles played bass on two of my tracks for my Soundbites EP. We’ve known each other for a long time and she’s an absolute legend. Yolanda is musical royalty and to have her bless my tracks was very special.
Thanks for chatting to us MIRI, if you want to follow what she is up to why not check out her Instagram @MIRIofficialUK.
If you enjoyed reading this interview why not check out other interviews with inspiring women.
Love Team Nonchalant xx