On Monday 18th July Sessions58 presents a special performance by pop artist byMia.
byMIA (also known as Mia Nicolaï) is a 22 y/o London based singer - songwriter. She has been very active in the scene since September last year and has ever since developed her distinctive attitude pop sound.
She has big plans and none of them involve quitting anytime soon.
We caught up for a chat to get to know her a bit more.
LookingGlass: Hi Mia, thank you for catching up with us. Can you briefly introduce yourself and your music journey?
byMia: Yes of course! So, I started playing violin and piano at age 4 but I was always way too stubborn to actually read the music sheet, so I would always just improvise rather than play existing songs - I think that’s where I got my songwriting skill from - but I actually only started to pursue my music career last September, when I moved to London.
I grew up in Amsterdam and had a dream to become an actress so I then went to theatre school but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. My favourite classes at the acting school where the choir, singing and music classes so that’s when I knew I should focus on music.
LG: What’s the main inspiration when you write a new song?
M: It's the most common answer but for me it's the day-to-day life. If I got hurt by something I'll write about it. It's like therapy for me! My favourite way of writing is by turning the situation around so I come out of it in a positive way. I like writing things that make me feel empowered and inspired!
LG: What was the toughest and the sweetest moment to date since you moved to London?
M: The toughest was the beginning. I was so overwhelmed with this big city and also so eager to get into it so I made myself too busy haha, when christmas came around I was just so tired of non-stop working and going to network events etc, I remember coming home to Amsterdam and I just fell asleep for 2 days straight!
The sweetest moment is every moment that I'm in the studio working on a song that I feel is true to me :)
LG: How much impact do you think personal image has on a young artist’s career nowadays?
M: From a personal point of view, I can say that I try really hard to work on my personal image - try to accept myself exactly how I am and to be myself a 100000% as an artist (whatever myself is, because what do you know about yourself at age 22?) - It’s tough though, because one scroll on Instagram can change your whole perspective on your own life when you see another 22 year old artist live the life you want to live when you're like nowhere near it yet. But I really try to put it in perspective and just see it like: hey, everybody has their own journey.
LG: With Streaming and social media, the industry has changed, it’s all a fast-paced game, with more exposure and loads of competition. How do you cope with that?
M: I'm so bad with it... all I want to do is post funny, stupid quotes or cat pictures or whatever... I really hope one day I can just post whatever I want to post and that my music will just say it all. I hate having to keep my "image" up on socials.. but the truth is that it does really help you, which I find very disturbing and sad but it’s kind of just part of doing what I do so I try and balance it out, sometimes I just post something that does not make any sense like there's a picture in there of a horse that I then compare myself to (?) yeah.. lol
LG: You have loads of talents, besides song-writing you snap photos as well.. How do you juggle those different facets and how does that ignite your creativity?
M: Wellll this really goes in phases!! Sometimes I have a week of just going out and about with my camera snapping shots of my friends on stage and sometimes I am sooo full with stress or things to do for my own "company" (aka my music bizz) that I can't think of anything else. But I try to stay as creative as I can everyday - I really believe creativity is a head space that you have to keep awake in order to get the good juices flowing :P
LG: What’s your favourite music festival around the globe? And which one would you aim to perform at?
M: To be honest I haven’t been to many festivals, I get a bit weirded out if I have to be around people for 3 days straight.. even though I'd love to see all the artists perform!
It would be a huge dream to stand on the big stage at Coachella or Glastonbury. Like, how dope would it be if the act before me would be something like The Arctic Monkeys or Dua Lipa?!
LG: At last, if your sound was a flavour, what would that be?
M: It would be sweet, sour and spicy. That’s like 3 flavours, but yeah haha sweet sour candy is by the way my favourite candy flavour, so I guess that’s why haha!