Hi Miya, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! We’ve heard you’ve got some exciting things in the works, so it means a lot to us. Your video for “Oceans” recently came out, and it’s frighteningly beautiful. What were your inspirations to keep it so simple and complex at the same time, and to include yourself dancing in the video as well? (we heard about your theater background and wanted to know more!)
The simplicity was our answer to the overly-complicated, flashy music videos that I think are so easy to make and so dull to watch. It was interesting to make a video with just a space, bodies, and a camera. I wanted it to be a movement piece because I was somewhat obsessed with dancers at that point. The song is about the longing to feel comfortable in yourself, so I would feel strange hiring a professional dancer to perform in my place. My own imperfections were part of the performance.
Last year you mentioned that you only recently got interested in some of the newer music coming out, and had previously stuck to the classics. Going 8 months into Talking With Strangers being released (and more recently the Strange Darling EP), have you made any new musical discoveries? Who has influenced you over the months musically?
I love Death Grips.
Everything I read about seems to love mentioning that you’re from LA, but I don’t necessarily think you fit right into the LA indie mold necessarily. Especially with a track like “Oceans,” there’s so much more going on. What would you say was the message you wanted your listeners to take away from the piece, especially now that the visuals for the song have also been unleashed to the world.
I wrote the song more for myself than anyone else, but I hope it can bring people comfort when they are struggling or be the kind of song people can let their mind wander to.
What is your music making process? We’ve read that it’s about focusing on yourself and being in solitude, but I suppose I’m interested in diving in a bit further- Do you take a focus on the poetic nature of lyrics and focus on that first before the actual music, or is it different with each song?
The music and lyrics come at the same time. I never really think about poetry–I don’t know what poetry is. I focus more on trying to find the most precise way of capturing a situation or feeling, which usually requires that you use atypical descriptors.
You’ve been gaining the attention from serious heavyweights like NPR. Does that add anxiety as you continue to work in the studio? If so, how do you keep yourself mentally composed and focused on the music?
I’m naturally pretty good at ignoring people, but it does get to me sometimes. When I’m in the studio, I don’t think about it at all; I’m just completely focused on recording the song. It’s more distracting when I’m trying to write. I’ll go through bouts of crippling imposter syndrome where I can’t even look at my guitar or open up Ableton without feeling like a shitty idiot. The pressure to continuously deliver is both invigorating and terrifying. I do set intentions for how I’d like the music and live show to affect the audience. But the reality is that I can’t control how people will react to what I put out. So as long as I like it and it feels important to me, I try not to worry about anything else.