Swings and Music

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Dreamer on a swing

Once upon a time there was a little girl, relentlessly listening to music on her walkman, going back and forth on her garden swing. This was her safe place – away from the bullies at school.

I believe the act of listening to music, combined with the pendulum-movement of swinging, whilst simultaneously taking in the stunning views of the fields in Dithmarschen, northern Germany, was what started shaping the kind of ethereal- escapism I would wind up creating later in life.

According to my mother, I started singing at 8 months. I’d sit in the car and hum along to childrens’ songs, knowing the melodies perfectly before even being able to pronounce the lyrics.
I don’t remember this but I do know that the desire to sing and be a musician has always been present in me. If I hadn’t been bullied at school so much, I would have had the confidence to pursue singing much sooner. In the meantime I would sing in secret, as much as I could. Whether it was in the middle of the fields or quietly in my room, singing along to Michael Jackson.

Fast forward to 14 year old me – as the teenage hormones kicked in, they knocked out the fear of following my dreams. At this point I just didn’t care about other people’s opinions of me. Fascinated and consumed by the gothic subculture, I found myself sporting raven black hair, listening to all kinds of dark wave and rock/metal bands. I dreamt of being in a rock band but the sad reality was that no one in my area was into the same kind of music as me. So instead I spent some time writing lyrics and composing songs just with my voice.

A few years later – almost out of my teens, I relocated to Hamburg, took vocal lessons and landed a job at a recording studio. I figured in order to meet other musicians, I’d have to be around them. Although my job at the studio was just basic office work, I felt so proud to be part of it all.  Sadly after a few years of an amazing apprenticeship, the studio was forced to close its doors (as were countless others, due to the increase of home studios). So I moved away again – this time to a small seaside town in the UK, called Clevedon (why is a bit of a long story).

Here I formed my first band and we started gigging pretty much right away. After a lot of fun and hard work, I thought I’d try my luck and posted our demos to record labels. Out of the 40+ people I contacted,  I received one reply. You can probably imagine my excitement – jumping around like a bouncing ball! The feedback was very good overall, yet there were a few changes we were asked to make, regarding sound and arrangement. We were told that provided we can make those adjustments, we’d get signed.

There was a lot of pressure on us. Many sacrifices to be made, in order to focus on this possible deal. To my disappointment, some members didn’t fully share this dream, after realising how much time they would have to give up. So eventually my band split up and I was back to square one.
I called Douglas Mew, the A&R of the label I had been in touch with and explained that I just can’t find musicians in my area, who are willing to give this their everything as much as I am. What happened next really shaped me into the artist I am today.

Douglas told me that not having a band is actually less complicated and I should simply be a solo artist. I told him I didn’t know how, I had never played an instrument other than my voice!
He told me to just get a keyboard, put my hands on it and play, convinced that something good would come out of this.

I was skeptical but decided to give it a go. To my amazement, it worked! Finally, I could translate melodies from my head to the keyboard. All I had to do was trust my ears, play and let go. I felt so free and drifted into a hypnotic zone, very much like I used to on my garden swing. Creating ethereal sound worlds and blending in all my past influences, I went on to write my first album.  During this time, the music industry went through many changes and so I decided to be an indie artist, in order to stay my most authentic, musical self.

Today I still like to swing (and no, not that kind! ;)). Usually at night, gazing at the stars, often checking in with my new songs and mixes, accompanied by my best friend and fellow musician expLOHR.

My musical journey has been full of ups and downs, many tears shed and constant sacrifices but it’s so worth it. YOU, the listener, are what makes all of this matter.

I look forward to many more experiences along this musical journey. Some days will feel like floating on clouds, on the back of a pegasus. On others, I’m swimming against the current. Here’s to hoping that you are part of that journey.

If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone of that journey, click here to listen to my album REALM OF THE UNICORNS. 

Thank you for being a listener and making all this matter!

Love and Unicorns,
Mira xxx