With a studio view overlooking Manhattan, Miesa’s creative team was busy readying the necessary components for a successful photo shoot, taking advantage of a rare day off from her rigorous touring schedule.
While the rising R&B and pop singer’s energy brightened the entire room during our interview, it became clear that her vision has been strengthened by her passionate focus on her artistry, her attention to detail and by her curation to work with the right people to help her execute her music the way she envisions. As exemplified in her music, Miesa comes alive when she is singing and her enthusiasm for her craft makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable for those becoming captivated by her powerful voice.
Born to a Haitian mother and a Filipino father, Miesa was raised in a household that encouraged her creativity, exposing her to a wide variety of music and art at a young age. The 24-year-old has since been drawn to funk, soul, gospel, R&B, pop, rock, country and more, taking elements from the different genres of music she grew up with to sculpt her own sound. In turn, she is leading a new movement within R&B, one inspired by bringing in other elements while also honoring the pulse of the genre.
As Miesa is putting the finishing touches on an album anticipated to be released via Siri Music Group later this summer, as well as an EP of covers featuring collaborations from Deborah Cox and Stacy Barthe, she took a moment to reflect on leaving the office world behind to pursue music full-time and how while her new music has themes of heartbreak woven in, it’s really about celebrating getting through those difficult times.
BET: Did you have a moment of recognition as an artist that you were meant to go down a creative path?
Miesa: Because I grew up in a musical household, I really didn't see myself doing anything else because that's what I was raised to do. When I was little, I was going to casting calls, talent shows and so on. I was always winning every pageant to the point where one day my dad had to sit me down and let me know that even if I don’t win, he’d still be proud of me. My mom would also remind me to smile in Creole French and I kept on winning. [Laughs]
When it became time for me to get a job, it hit me when I was I was typing, and my co-worker drew attention to my big, curly hair, calling me out and it just made me realize that I didn’t fit there. I didn’t let their comments get to me because it was like, this isn’t where I want to be anyway. I always knew that. It wasn’t my passion to be behind a desk or to be doing something that I'm not really into. I wanted to sing, I wanted to act. Do what I was born to do, because that’s how I was raised. I really feel like I’m where I belong now.
How has your music changed as you've gotten older?
Even though I am still searching for different sounds and everything always inspires me, I think it's a little bit more refined now. For example, I love painting because you have this freedom. I can do what I want, use whatever colors, it's my piece. It’s the same thing with music. It's my story. I can say what I want but now I understand how to direct my music to reach certain people. I would say it’s less all over the place and I can hone the direction of my music to attract the audiences that I hope to attract.
I attribute my taste in music to my parents. My father is a musician and he’s actually starting a music program in the school that he works at now. I’ve always called him the human jukebox and that’s the reason why I’m able to pull from a variety of artists. I like certain sounds and I can turn it into how I want. A little R&B, a little pop.
Do you think that R&B needs a comeback in 2016?
To me, I feel like the genre is still going strong. You even have artists now like Justin Bieber, who are drawing from R&B influences and adapting it into their own style. I will always love the heart of R&B and where it comes from. I try to stay in that lane, but I want to add pop into the mix also to even it out.
What would you like your listeners to walk away with?
I want my listeners to feel what I'm feeling. Whatever I'm going through I want them to feel it also. I want them to feel that I was heartbroken, or that I felt insecure, or vulnerable, but at the end of it, I'm OK. We're all going to make it through.
What are you most excited about for 2016?
Everything feels like a blessing to me. It's a lot of work but I'm really excited for my Covers EP to come out, and my new album, of course. I love performing, that's my favorite part of what I do. Everything. I'm looking forward to whatever comes my way this year.
Check out Miesa’s new music video for her track “Too Bad for You” below.
(Photo: Courtesy of Siri Music Group)