"...stay tuned! The best is yet to come"
You might remember MISA from featuring in our first Most Promising Acts piece in June with her track 'Hymn' and since when we love an artist we like to dig deeper, we decided to have a chat with her to get to know better this talented singer/ songwriter as much as herself as a person.
So find out all about MISA's debut album Broken Record, what she is cooking up at the moment, what she would do with a whole lot of $, her space travel projects and her latest song 'Think About Me'.
Mags: Hi MISA, first of all thank you for taking the time for chatting with us and congratulations for finishing your debut album Broken Record, it’s a great accomplishment for a musician. How was the recording process?
MISA: Hi there, thank you for the interview! It does feel amazing to finalise my debut album. This is a major milestone for me. I can’t wait to release it as I have started working on the second album now.
The recording process was unique because it was mostly done during lockdown. The main tracks were recorded both here and in NY, so there was a lot of back and forth. Thank goodness for technology. I’m not sure the album could have been made a decade ago, because you would need all the people in the studio at once. Given the restrictions, making the music videos was also very challenging!
M: The important thing is: the album and the videos are out now... You’ve just met someone who knows nothing about you, how do you describe your music?
M: Personal. Every song is personal to me, and I use whatever genre I think will best get the message across. I don’t consider myself one particular type of musician. I like to play and sing in many styles.
M: That is great, that way you can always reach a different type of audience. On the surface ‘Hymn’ is a very chill out song, but the message it delivers is much more powerful. How are you feeling in times like the ones that we are living right now? Do you think humanity is a lost cause or (you’re more positive than me and) think there’s still hope?
M: Well, you have to have hope. You need something to wake up to. These are hard times, but it’s hard everywhere, like my home country [Lebanon]. And, if you look at the past, previous generations had it very hard as well, with world wars and such. We were just so used to having it so good for so long that we kind of took the whole thing for granted. Humanity is in need of a reminder of interdependence rather than each their own.
M: That would be amazing, but seems like a lot of people don't see it that way sadly. Let's go back to a much better subject now, your fifth single from Broken Record, ‘Think About Me’ was just released on the 9th of July. What can you tell us about this track?
M: I remember the exact moment I wrote that lyric. It was just there, you know? The music followed very soon after. It was one of those songs that sprang out fully formed as if it was there before I wrote it. Those songs become special to you. 'Think About Me' is probably the most personal I get. I will always come back to it. It will always feature in the live set. I adore that song.
M: That's why we put the video below! I have been wondering, how is it being a solo musician? Do you think being in a group would be better or you just love having the freedom of doing whatever you feel like with your art?
M: The freedom of creating whatever comes into my head without having to consult a committee is wonderful, no doubt. The actual recording process, and playing live is always going to require other musicians, but I’m very insular when I’m writing - I don’t want to be influenced by things I hear. Being in a group has its upsides though, you always have someone to lean on, to get you through the difficult patches.
M: Well, you have your fans to lean on! I lived in London for a while and now that I’m gone there are a lot of things I miss about the city. What is something that London offers that you just cannot live without?
M: It’s probably one of the few places I’ve been where most people who live here WANT to live here. That makes a difference. It gives people pride of place. London has the distinction of being the capital of the world, and I like that a lot.
M: You name so many different music influences (Pink Floyd, Beck, Air, Zero7 and Massive Attack) and your style covers so many different genres (Alt Rock, Jazz and Pop). What is the one style you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole and the one that you would like to explore more?
M: I can’t get near House or Rap. I’m just awful at that. I would like to explore more classical stylings. I can hear that coming in the future of my new songs.
M: Do it! I think Classical works amazingly well with modern music, it just elevates everything to a better level. How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business?
M: Once they figured out the whole property ownership thing, it’s been good. Like I said, I could not have made the album without it, and getting the songs and videos out there is a LOT easier than it used to be.
M: I do believe the pros outweigh the cons, but If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
M: I would have major labels go back to the days when they would sign small acts and let them ‘grow’ their audience. These days you almost have to have the fan base already before the contract.
M: Sounds like they want their job already done for them - yup, I said it. Now I have a few silly questions, but I think they might be fun for your fans:
If you had all the money in the world, what is that one thing you would shamelessly spend it on?
M: Guitars. And ending world poverty. But mostly guitars.
M: Hahaha, you love your guitars I see! I know Broken Record is not even out yet, but for your next album, if could have anyone dead or alive to feature, who will it be and why?
M: John Lennon. Full stop. I miss him. I miss his edge. No one is breaking the rules like he used to do.
M: He was a great artist, no doubt about that. Following that train of thought, you’ve just been signed to do a massive worldwide tour, what two bands/artists are you inviting to open for you and chill out with afterwards?
M: I would love to have Aimee Mann and Beck on stage with me. What a dream that would be.
M: Dreams sometimes do become reality. So, maybe without Beck and Aimee Mann, what are your favourite venues to perform live? Do you have any upcoming shows (maybe even some live streams)?
M: I like smaller theaters. Maybe 500 seats. You can connect more easily with the audience that way. When you’re playing a huge place, all you can see are the bright spotlights when you look up.
M: It's the same for fans, trust me. If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing instead?
M: I would be an astronaut.
M: You might still have a shot at it! Now name one of your favourite albums.
M: The Dark Side of the Moon. Pure genius.
M: My dad would 100% agree with that... What was the last movie you watched and loved?
M: I haven’t watched a very good movie in a while. I recently watched Cars 2 and found it hilarious... I’ve also watched a few good series such as The Last Dance, Wild Wild Country and This is Us... By the way I love the music on that one!
M: I've been meaning to see Wild Wild Country but I haven't got around to it yet, sounds like my kind of doco. Now back to what we are here for, would you rather be playing live or recording in studios?
M: Live. Every time.
M: Go follow MISA peeps! What is one message you would like to give to your fans?
M: The words that you hear shape you, but the most important words are the ones you tell yourself.
Also I’d like to say: stay tuned! The best is yet to come. And THANK YOU for listening. It means the world to me.
M: Thank you for making great music! I cannot let you go without asking: what are you currently working on and what can you tell us about it?
M: Actually the next album is already being recorded. It’s called Balancing Act and it has some really interesting changes on it. I’m very excited.
M: And we're excited to hear it! Is there anything you’d like to say that we haven’t mentioned? Or would like to add?
M: Just thank you again to all my fans. It is impossible to do this without their encouragement and constant support!