An interview with Songstress Natasha Mira
by Tina Hall
Natasha Mira is an up-and-coming vocalist who has performed at The House of Blues, MGM Grand among others. Her work tends towards the medieval pop genre. Her latest single, ¨Chasing Fire¨ produced by Patrick Reza, has been getting rave reviews.
Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What would you like the world to know about you?
Natasha Mira:I grew up in a small town but I have always been surrounded by music, recording studios, and artists. I sometimes appear shy when you first meet me but I get this whole other persona the second I walk on to a stage. It’s empowering and is a wonderful way to express myself. I’m definitely a perfectionist when it comes to projects I’m involved with! I really love to have creative control and a hands-on approach over my ideas so that the visions in my head are translated across to the music you hear.
MI: Do you think your upbringing has had a positive influence on you when it comes to your career ambitions?
NM:Absolutely. I often wonder if I was never exposed to music throughout my life if I would have ended up on this same path. I know my upbringing made a huge impact on my decisions and career aspirations. The music industry is all I’ve ever known thanks to my mother, Ilona Europa, who is also a singer, songwriter, and the creator of her own talk show Accent On! on LA Talk Radio. She has always inspired me, and to this day I try to be as outgoing as she is! She’s a natural with meeting new people and collaborating. Maybe one-day I’ll have even half of her people-skills!
MI: Who were some of your earliest influences?
NM: I have a really wide variety of influences. It’s funny, I tend to stick with one artist or one album for a really long time and then move on to the next. I go through phases and I think my music and writing adapts accordingly. When I was thirteen a friend introduced me to Tokio Hotel, a glam/rock band from Germany. They definitely kicked my dreams into gear and their influence came across in songs of mine like “Go Now and Tell Her”. I was tentative about pursuing singing as a career when I was young but after going to one of Tokio’s concerts – it just clicked. I just remember crying and breaking down out of nowhere knowing that performing is what I truly wanted to do. Right now I’m obsessed with Imogen Heap, and Ellie Goulding’s newest album Halcyon. I’ve been listening to it when I drive to and from school for the past six months. A lot of the new material I have been writing is absolutely influenced from that album; I just can’t get enough of it. I find it interesting that most of my inspirations are artists signed to Interscope – a label I hope to one day work for - or be signed by. It’s a funny coincidence; or maybe it’s fate! Besides musical influences I have FINALLY found a brand and image that clicks for me personally. I have always been obsessed with Medieval Times, knights, castles, and all things associated with that time period. I have such a strong emotional connection to that era that once I finally recognized that this influence is what I want to portray in my music - it all clicked for me. It was a very fascinating revelation. I had always been searching for a “persona” and never quite felt comfortable in my own skin on stage because I was trying to be like someone else. I think I’ve finally found my comfort zone and I can’t believe it but I finally feel like I’ve developed my own musical influence that is so different from every artist around me. It feels fantastic and extremely freeing. I no longer have to try to create a product, something niche that will sell, I’m just creating music that feels like me. It must be the European influence from my mother combined with my obsession with shows like Reign on the CW, Game of Thrones, and various games that depict that time period!
MI: What do you love most about being a vocalist?
NM: It just sort of came naturally to me. I was always singing around the house but mostly to myself. I was very introverted about singing when I was younger. My mother had many vocal students coming in and out of the house and I could hear them singing from the room next door. I was shy when I was little, so I started singing the same songs in my room. When I realized I couldn’t hear myself over my mother’s students I just naturally started singing the harmonies to EVERY single song to differentiate my voice from theirs. I definitely think singing harmonies non-stop when I was younger is the main reason why I am addicted to harmonies in my music.
MI: How would you describe your sound to those yet to hear it?
NM: If you had asked me this question about a few months ago I would have had an extremely difficult time answering. I feel like I have finally defined my own sound, my own genre, and I’m labeling it as “Medieval-Pop”. I’m obsessed with minor chord progressions and eccentric melodies that are still commercial and easy to sing along to. I strive for a full orchestrated sound, lots of strings, lots of instrumentation, making my songs bigger than life and my producer Jerry Jones (Lthrboots) is the mastermind behind my instrumentals. You’ll just have to check out my music to really get the full experience! I also collaborate with many artists and write in various genres so it really depends on who I’m working with. For example, I just collaborated on a track with an incredible Dubstep producer and artist named Patrick Reza. He has such a unique sound that’s unlike any form of Dubstep I’ve heard before. When he asked me to collaborate on a track with him I was thrilled to get the opportunity to work on a genre I normally wouldn’t have associated myself with and the track “Chasing Fire” has been getting ridiculously great feedback. I’m also working with another amazing songwriter/producer, Kidd Genius, who is also a Music Business student at USC. Our writing styles completely flowed effortlessly and we have multiple tracks coming out in the near future. Be sure to look out for them!
MI: Your mother Ilona Europa is a singer as well. Do you find her an inspiration during the hard times?
NM: Where to begin! Absolutely. My mother is my rock and biggest inspiration all the time, not just the hard times. She is the epitome of willpower, drive, passion, and love. My mom has that push that keeps me on track – it’s never too much to feel forced but just enough to make me realize my dreams when I’m feeling insecure. I’m so lucky to have her as my role model.
MI: I understand you are also continuing your college. Why do you think education is important now, more than ever?
NM: The University of Southern California (USC) is like my second home. Not only do I think the connections that I’ve made so far are lifelong and powerful, but a B.S. in Music Industry is a very specialized major. USC is the only University in California that has such a prestigious program in this field. I sort of put all my eggs in one basket when I applied to this school. I walked on campus and just melted and felt like I belonged. I was on cloud nine when I got accepted into this program I think it was the affirmation that I had been searching for that I’m following the right path. It also helps to feel like you belong when you have such an extensive list of inspirational professors. Learning from Presidents and Executives of record labels and companies such as Warner Music Group, Universal, Blue Note Records, JBL, and BMG Chrysalis have given me real-world experiences I couldn’t have received anywhere else. The “Trojan Family” has already become a huge part of my life, reaching out to help me in my times of need in ways I had never expected. I’m so honored to be a part of this school.
MI: You have also worked with several charities. Do you feel it is important to help those in need whenever possible?
NM: I’ve had a lot of recent changes in my life that have made me more aware of those around me and those in need. I think sometimes we all get so caught up in our own lives and troubles that it’s difficult to see the bigger picture. Most of the charities I’ve worked with involved music or dance in some way or another. I especially love helping children in need because it really puts your life into perspective.
MI: You have also worked as a dance instructor I understand? What do you enjoy most about teaching?
NM: I started dancing when I was really young, probably around three years old. I took Hip Hop, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, you name it I tried it. Hip Hop always stuck out to me though. I appreciated the discipline of the other styles and how you truly have to be an athlete to perfect the art form of dance, but I loved how easy going Hip Hop could be. I started teaching my own dance class at a community center nearby my high school when I was thirteen. I found that it was the most relatable style of dance to teach since there technically doesn’t have to be any structure whatsoever. It’s really liberating and extremely exciting watching what the little kids come up with on the spot. I’ve definitely stolen a few moves from them – they’re great! Just balls of energy wanting to do their thing. I’m still teaching today almost six years later in the same community center. I’ve even taught some of the same kids over all those years which was an amazing progression to watch too.
MI: What projects are you most excited to bring your fans next?
Nm: I’m days away from letting my fans know about my Medieval-Pop project. I did an incredible photo shoot with photographer Waiz Rahim and I’m beyond excited to finally release this project to the world! I think these songs, this genre, and this project is the best thing I’ve created musically my entire life and I can’t wait to get feedback and really build my brand. For updates please like my facebook page.
CD: Chasing Fire Record Label: PatrickReza
• Purchase Chasing Fire on Amazon
• Download Chasing Fire on Amazon