What is your name?Michelle Miears aka MIEARS
What is your genre of music?
Can you give us a little bio?
I am a producer/singer/songwriter from Houston, TX. I have been singing, playing keyboard, and writing songs since I was 10 years old. My genre of choice is electronic pop music, and I love producing and writing sad-but-dancy songs. I am a member of a band called BLSHS and have a solo project called MIEARS. MIEARS is my fully self-written/produced/performed/recorded project, and I have an EP releasing on 2/17/17.
What made you get into music?
My grandparents were both musicians: my Papa was in a band called The Sparkles and my Papa and Nana both performed together in a country band called The Branded Four. My grandparents were very influential in my love for music: I think it’s in my genes. I started playing piano by ear and writing and recording songs into a karaoke machine when I was 10 years old. I was just naturally very drawn to singing and songwriting.
Are you signed?
I am currently working with an independent label called Loose Narrative the release of Who Will Save You?
You just released ‘Reaching’ as a single from your debut EP, Who Will Save You?. Tell us more about it.
A lot of my writing comes from feeling caught in the past, kind of like the butterfly effect. I have had a really hard time moving forward from my past for many reasons, so I reaching is kind of an analogy to that. Reaching is a desperate yet wishful song. Still caring about someone and wanting to be there for them, even though time, experiences, and distance has separated you, is challenging. I feel like the care never really goes away. But it’s hard because there’s this wall between you, and you don’t have any guarantee that they will ever let you in again when you are no longer in the close role that you once held in their life.
What can we expect from the EP?
This EP is very emotionally driven. It is my constant inner dialogue in the form of a musical narrative, essentially exploring the ups and downs of my relationship patterns. I love epic, emotive chord progressions and vocal melodies, so those are typically the drivers behind my songwriting. Who Will Save You? is a synthy, melodic soundscape, filled with emotional question-marks, epiphanies, and the cycles between both.
Can you describe each track in three words?
Directional: Emotional, pleading, hopeful.
Reaching: Longing, nostalgic, captive.
Who Will Save You?: Epiphany, grace, strength.
Echoes: Desperation, empty, sorrow.
He Never Loved Me: Scorned, cynical, realism.
Cycle: Insanity, weakness, succumb.
Will you be heading out on tour in support of the EP?
My EP release show is on 3/3/17 at White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX with Tee Vee and Pearl Crush. I am currently booking for 2017 and hope to add more dates ASAP!
Who was the first person you showed your EP to once completed?
My mom 🙂
You are the frontwoman for BLSHS as well– How is it different from sharing a stage to going solo?
The biggest difference is that BLSHS is a collaboration between people from a creative perspective. I wrote the vocals and dabbled in the instrumental production with BLSHS, but MIEARS was a true solo-effort from a creative perspective. Each track was written, composed, produced, performed, and recorded by me from my home studio. I wanted to be the only musician on the EP. It gave me total creative autonomy, which was a lot of fun. For females in the electronic music space, it is often assumed that we did not produce the track… I’ve seen it happen to the best of the best. Bjork and Grimes have talked about it in interviews. Since releasing Reaching, I have already had a few people assume that I did not produce the track…so unfortunately I have already seen it happening. From a live perspective, MIEARS is a bit different than BLSHS in that I wanted to add a bit of a “live” element to the set, so I have a drummer who will be translating my drum parts in a live setting. I will still be playing my keytar though, just like I do with BLSHS.
What was it like working with John Griffin? Did he give you any advice?
John is an amazing engineer. I decided to have the EP mixed by someone other than myself because I wanted a fresh set of ears on the mix. John’s ears are the best!! He really polished everything off. I sat in with John on and off throughout the mixing process, so it’s always a learning experience to sit with an engineer and experience working through the process in real-time.
Do you play any instruments?
I play piano, flute, and drums (mostly rudimental snare drum from my experience in marching band).
Who are your influences?
Imogen Heap, Enya, Ji Nilsson, Ellie Goulding, Lights, Grimes
How do you get inspiration when writing songs?
All of my songs are inspired by real-life experiences and emotions. Sometimes I am living a real-life experience and am instantly inspired to sit down at a piano and write about how I am feeling, and other times I am in a super nostalgic mood or brooding about the past or the future, and it puts me in a state of mind to write. Usually I start with a chord progression and work the song out from there, so a chord progression alone can draw out a particular emotion in me and then ultimately a song.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully in 5 years I will have majorly developed my production and songwriting skills and released a few more EPs or LPs. Maybe I will help compose or produce a movie-score (this is on my mental to-do list). I know that I will still be making music in some form or fashion, because I am obsessed with it.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I spend time with my 11 year old rescue toy poodle, Bootsy, and I volunteer at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter each Sunday walking dogs. I also love spending time with my family; my favorite thing is visiting my mom and going shopping with her or grabbing a bite to eat. I do have a day job as well, so I spend at least 40 hours a week as an Account Manager.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
I’ve had my handful of times where I wanted to give up because I didn’t feel like I was good enough or would ever be good enough. During one of these episodes, a wise person once said: “Just don’t do that”. Seriously, this phrase repeats in my head when I have these negative thoughts. “Don’t do that” is the most simple, yet practical advice I have ever been given, when I am doubting myself (which is often).
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians– not about the industry, just as an artist?
You have to start somewhere, and you have to put yourself out there. Even if you’re scared and even if you don’t think your music or your skill level is “good enough”, just go for it – your music will develop and your skill level will develop and improve. If you don’t actively practice your passion, you will be stuck in your bedroom daydreaming about it (like I did for many years). It’s scary, but you have to just go for it!! Meet other musicians, go to their shows, talk shop, swap contact information, join a band, write a song, create a SoundCloud – whatever step is your first step, take it…and then take another and another! Each day, you will grow as an artist if you keep taking steps.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“To have your family and loved ones around until the very end, that’s true love, my friend. That’s as real as it gets” – My Papa.
Where is your dream venue to perform?
Anywhere in NYC!!! Probably some cool small club in the Lower East Side… I played in NYC once for CMJ with BLSHS, and I fell in love with the city, so I would love to go back and experience it again and again!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My lucky jewelry, my lucky penny, my keytar (and the rest of my gear), a blazer, and throat coat tea.
You just come back off tour to your hometown;
1/ Where do you visit first?
The animal shelter if it’s a Sunday, then my dad’s for dinner.
2/ Where do you eat first? Benjy’s on Washington
3/ Who do you see first? My toy poodle, Bootsy!!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?