Miya Folick is the eclectic singer-songwriter whose forthcoming debut album, Premonitions, is set to launch her on the road to cult stardom. Her vulnerable lyrics and ethereal sound might not be cut out for straight-forward chart success, but she’ll soon be winning the hearts of music enthusiasts all over the world. What Folick does share with today’s pop starlets is an innate versatility. However, Folick doesn’t use this mutability to adapt to the latest trends, but channels it into showcasing the full emotional spectrum in her work.
In the wake of the release of latest single “Thingamajig”, we sat down with the Los Angeles native to talk musical beginnings, touring with Kate Nash, and tackling abusive power structures through song.
How did you get started in music?
I’ve been singing since I was a child. I wasn’t in bands but I studied classical voice and was in a bunch of choirs. I think music was always incorporated in my life. I’d sing around the neighbourhood and in the car and in church. When I decided I wanted to play music professionally, I got involved in the music scene in Los Angeles by going to shows all the time and just talking to people.
Who are your main inspirations?
I’m inspired by the people I know, the stories I read, and the experiences I gather.
How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard it before?
Well, I would probably just tell them to listen to it. I’m not very good at describing it. It’s sometimes loud and sometimes soft. It has elements of pop, rock, hip hop. It’s honest.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
I’d be an actor or a doctor or working for a business I didn’t care about and really unhappy. I’m not sure. I think there are a lot of things I could do, but I don’t know if I’d want to do them.
You cover Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” on your second EP, what would you say is the secret to a good cover?
I think the reason I only have one cover is because I think covers are very difficult. So, maybe I’m not the right person to ask. I think the secret to the “Woodstock” cover is that it’s a song I’ve loved and lived with for a very long time. I knew it so well that I never referenced the original song in the making of our cover. So, the differences in my phrasing or melody were more accidental than deliberate. It was like painting a portrait from memory rather than having a subject right in front of you. I think that’s why that cover feels like we tapped into the soul of the song.
You have toured in support of Kate Nash, would you care to talk more about this experience?
That was one of the most fun tours we’ve done. Kate has a super kind and generous crew, and her fans are there to have an experience. I’m also very used to touring with mostly men, so this was a pleasant departure.
“Dead Body” explores abusive power structures — why do you think it’s important to talk about these social constructs?
I wouldn’t make a song about something if it just felt like an important conversation. I have to emotionally respond to it. I think this particular issue is vital to write about because it is so emotional and so heavy with the weight of millions of experiences. I felt overwhelmed by the media conversation surrounding this topic. It felt convoluted and impossible to approach. I needed something that felt direct and powerful.
Your single, “Stop Talking” was released in September — would you care to talk about this release?
Stop Talking is about stopping negative and useless thought and speech patterns. Just stop.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Well, the album comes out on October 26th. I’m very excited about that. Then we’ll be on tour for a couple months. More touring in the spring. I’m working on new music now, for the second album and just because i like to be writing. Videos video videos. Lots of videos. I also wanna start getting back into acting at some point in 2019. That’s it.
Miya’s debut album Premonitions is to be released on the 26th October. Find her latest single,’Thingamajig’, below.
Photos Jake Turney