Q: How has growing up in Atlanta, Georgia affected your music?
MIA: Words that I keep close to my heart are when Outkast won Best New Artist at the 1995 Source Awards and Andre 3000 said “ The south got something to say”. Their group was getting booed because this was the thick of the East coast West coast beef and no one believed the south’s music was relevant. This coined a time when people began to listen and hear the sound of the South. Where I’m from plays a huge role in my music and how I dance. I grew up witnessing some of the greatest artists of all time turn out the charts and make some of the most iconic music videos. I hope to leave my own stamp on the city just like they did.
Q: Do you play any other instruments? What’s an instrument that you would like to learn?
MIA: Yes, I play piano and some drums. I would love to learn guitar but I can’t seem to keep my nails short for enough time to truly tap in. Lord willing I’ll become disciplined enough one day haha.
Q: Even the greatest writers can battle with creative blocks at times, how do you deal when there’s a lack of inspiration?
MIA: Whenever I hit writer’s block I embrace it. I close my songbook and go do something else. For me, I believe that if it’s not coming to me at this moment it means it’s not meant to be written at this time. Usually, when I return a few days later I can finish it or write something entirely new instead and keep whatever was partially written in my arsenal for later. Now, this method can be difficult if I’m running up against deadlines, but I’d rather step away to regroup than force it and write something subpar. If you have the gift of songwriting, it’s in you. You don’t have to force it. Eventually, the lyrics will come.
Q: You absolutely killed the choreography in the video! What was your favorite moment in making the music video?
MIA: Thank you! “Silly” was so fun to shoot and was actually the first music video I shot ever. Although, I dropped the video for my single “Cool” first “Silly” was actually filmed first. The energy on set was amazing. My favorite moments are the shots where I’m dancing in front of my Jeep. As a dancer, I love a good freestyle. My Jeep is also my pride and joy and anyone who’s close to me knows this so that was a moment of true authenticity. We just had so much fun and the choreography was amazing thanks to my good friend Jessica Christian who’s a super-talented choreographer out of Nashville.
Q: What has been one of the most significant moments of your musical journey so far?
MIA: I would have to say that it’s the simple fact that I’ve only been releasing music for a year. A year ago, I stepped off the cliff and never looked back. I’ve accomplished so much. I am so proud of myself and amazed at how much God has moved on my behalf just by doing my part and releasing my art to the world. I can only imagine the year 2023 will be for me. I know it’s going to be even bigger and better.
Q: What do you do when you AREN’T working on music?
MIA: Usually, I’m in acting class, taking dance class, submitting auditions, or teaching ballet. I also work in conservation. I work in all forms of the arts and take pride in building all of my talents/skills. I believe they are just as equally important. I also take breaks and make sure to take care of my mental and physical health. I love to spend time with my family and friends, try out new restaurants, and travel.
Interviewed by Alina Tran