Originally drawn to music due to its ability to provide a space to combine emotion and intellect, emerging indie-rock singer-songwriter, Miya Folick, uses her powerful vocals to capture the most poignant moments from day to day life. Dropping out of university to pursue a career in music, Miya taught herself the guitar and self-produced her first EP Strange Darling, her passion undeniable.
Having already toured with Kate Nash, and set to support Pale Waves and Sunflower Beams on their forthcoming tours, Miya is an exciting one to watch! Ahead of her debut album ‘Premonitions’ release on 26th Oct, we chat to her about her route into music, how she used Tinder to find her band and what is next.
How and when did you get into singing and song writing?
I’ve been singing my whole life. I started playing guitar when I was 20 and songwriting came naturally to me. The process of putting words and music together is just really stimulating, emotionally and intellectually. It’s one of my absolute favourite things to do.
We’ve heard you used Tinder to go about finding your band, how did that work out for you?
Well everyone on bumble was too nice and everyone on Raya was too cool. Tinder was just right!
What was the inspiration behind ‘Stock Image’?
I was in a place in my life where I felt like I wasn’t taking very good care of my mind, body or spirit. I knew I needed to make a change, but it felt really difficult. Giving up felt almost easier. This song is about that moment where you talk yourself into trying again. Get your head in the game. Eyes on the prize. That kind of thing.
What about ‘Stop Talking’?
My friend was pretty deep in with this dude who I did not like. But, she kept talking about him. Constantly. And, I felt that he was infiltrating all parts of her mind because of this constant focus of her speech and attention on him. It isn’t just her that does that though. I’ve done it and have witnessed countless others do it too. And it’s not just about crushes, I think we need to stop giving our conversations over to negative or useless topics. There are endless options when it comes to what we choose to talk about with our friends. Let’s choose things that are enriching.
You often talk about important topics such as mental health and immigration, both in your songs and on social media, is it important to you to use your platform to talk about social issues?
Yes. Human issues should matter to artists. I think making music requires a deep amount of empathy.
To you, what are the best aspects about being a musician?
I get to choose who I work with, and I get to have intimate, intense experiences with them. Both fun and difficult experiences! I have the freedom to be both emotional and strong – I can cry in front of my team and will still be respected by them. That’s really cool. Also, making music is the best thing ever. It’s the best job.
You’ve toured with a lot of great bands and you’re about to go on tour again (with Pale Waves in the US and then Sunflower Bean in the UK), what’s your best story from on the road?
Hm, I don’t think I have a ‘best’ story, because I tend not to like ranking things. But, the first one that comes to mind is a show towards the end of our run with Foster the People. We played two songs and then I said something like, “I’m sorry, guys. I just need to say that I’m really homesick today”. And then I preceded to cry uncontrollably for the rest of the set! I wasn’t sobbing, it was just water flowing out of my eyes. So, I could sing fine, but I couldn’t stop crying! I got so many hugs that night.
You incorporate a lot of different forms of art into your work from the dance and beautiful videography in your music videos, to your single art work… how involved are you in the creative processes for these?
I am very involved. For music videos I usually come up with the concept and then reach out to my friends to help me develop and execute them. Every once in a while I like to allow someone else to have more control over the creative. For example, the video for ‘Give It To Me’, I just showed up on set ready to go. The director Eva Michon had everything figured out without me. But, usually, I am overseeing everything. I love making videos and working with filmmakers, it’s very fun for me.
I am also very hands on with the creative process for single and album artwork. The ‘Strange Darling’ artwork was a self-portrait I took in my bathroom. The Give It To Me artwork was a photoshop assembly that I made using photos that my friend Waverly Mandel shot. The single artwork for ‘Pet Body’ and ‘God Is a Woman’ was another photoshop edit that I made in collaboration with Teddy Guerrero using a photo of me by Arvida Byström. The Premonitions album artwork was shot by Maxime Imbert based on a concept I developed with Molly Hawkins.
What’s next for you, are you working on any new projects?
I’m working on music for the second album and rehearsing with the band to tour the first album. We’re also making more videos! But the project I really need to work on is cleaning my apartment because it’s getting pretty crazy in there.