Q: I find your story very inspiring. Can you summarize your musical journey with our readers?
MIKI: Sure thing! I didn’t realize I was a songwriter until the very end of high school and early college. At that point I was very secretive about my songs because they were simply ways for me to express all the hard emotions I was dealing with at the time. It wasn’t until recently that I was like, “You know… these songs might help people!” so that’s what brings us here today.
Q: Did any specific event and/or thought specifically inspire “Cold Dark Room?”
MIKI: For sure! Grief can be so ugly and isolating, it’s so permanent in the worst of ways. My mom passed away when I was 13 from cancer. I spent almost a decade trying to convince myself and the world that I was fine, but, obviously, I wasn’t. I wanted to write a song that taught others how to help grievers, but also hopefully inspire people who, like me, are naturally reluctant to want to let others in and share that pain with them.
Q: Speaking of inspirations, who are your musical influences?
MIKI: So many! I really love Colbie Caillat, Lauren Daigle, Taylor Swift, Ingrid Michaleson, and Lady Gaga.
Q: I enjoyed the vocals and instrumentation on “Cold Dark Room.” What is your professional musical background?
MIKI: You are so kind, thank you! So I am self-taught in regards to the piano and drums that you hear on the track, but I took a music production class here in Minneapolis back in 2020, so it has opened the world of electronic music production up to me and I am so grateful. For anyone out there who might think they can’t create a song like Cold Dark Room, I promise you that if I can do it, you can do it too!
Q: The whole world is slowly but surely coming out of a period of isolation and grief. How has music and/or songwriting helped you the pandemic?
MIKI: You are so right – as a world we are grieving not only the people lost from COVID (and the people who died of other causes), many of us are grieving that we weren’t able to be with our dying loved ones in their final hours or have a normal funeral. We are grieving job loss, opportunity loss, business loss, culture loss – the list goes on! Creating music that serves people hurting has helped me find meaning during these crazy months where nothing seemed normal. My prayer is that Cold Dark Room and my other songs help people know that they aren’t alone and that, above all else, it’s so important to lean into our many griefs.
Interviewed by Sarah Scott