FYIG Chats With Singer/Songwriter Miranda Joan

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Miranda Joan and I’m a singer-songwriter originally from Montreal but grew up on the west coast in Vancouver, Canada. I now live in Brooklyn, New York where I live my life in music and write a lot of songs; most recently about people I miss, people I love, and life as an unfit plant-parent. 

How did you get your start in music?

I was always drawn to music, but for most of my childhood is was kept relatively under-wraps. I did a lot of singing in my room, I was an avid journal-keeper, and I kept binders of printed lyrics to songs I liked (I was the target audience for 90’s boybands, so there was an extensive BSB catalogue). Towards high school, I started taking music lessons and then wound up in soul-band, which was truly the gateway to a lot of the music I now cherish, such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, etc. When I connected the dots and realized I could write songs out of the things I kept so secret in my journals, it became my outlet for expression. 

How would you describe your musical style?

I like to think of my musical style as being a part of what I like to refer to as the greater soul-bowl. The song seems to dictate the production, so it can do a little genre-hopping from that perspective, but the through-line remains my voice and the story. I care about the words.

What can you tell us about your latest single, “Free”?

Free came out of a time when a lot was changing and I needed to claim space for myself. I’ve felt, as perhaps other women have, the pressure to be caretaker of the heartbeats and people-pleaser extraordinaire, and it had become too much. I couldn’t hear myself. And, as I learned, couldn’t please everyone even if I wanted to. I still struggle with this, but Free is my reminder that I am a better person for myself and for those around me if I’m on the list too. 

What have you learned since the release of your debut EP, “Still”?

Since the release of ‘Still”, I’ve learned a lot about love and I’ve learned a lot about loss. Everything I’ve released since is a part of the continuous process of uncovering who I am and what I value as a human being, and that all translates into my art. 

You’re the co-host and co-founder of  NYC’s first all-female led jam session, “Femme Jam”. What can you tell us about this project and how did it come together?

It started with myself and my three friends/artists Alita Moses, Melissa McMillan and Camille Trust, coming together to organize a jam session that was female-led, alternative to the predominantly male jam session setting, and that could also serve a platform to showcase the many talented women musicians in our community. It is an inclusive space, everyone is welcome, where people can connect and have some fun outside the “music as work” setting doing what we love – playing music. It is the third Tuesday of every month at C’mon Everybody in Brooklyn, and every other month we split the cover with a local charity or organization that works to empower different groups in the community.

What’s the experience like at one of your live shows?

It’s all love. At least that’s what I feel when I get up there and that’s what I hope to give. I can also say that I am truly blessed to play with an amazing pool of incredibly talented musicians, so the musicianship and musicality is high. And it feels good; real people, who can really play, playing your face off. I love it. And I think you might love it too 😉 

What’s next for your career?

I’m working on finishing up and releasing several new singles, might even form an EP, over the fall, and once that’s out I’ll be working on new shows and a tour for the new year. 

What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?

Speak the truth and tell your story.

What’s your life like outside of music?

Outside of music, I’m outside a lot. I grew up on the west coast and so the outdoors were a huge part of my life growing up. I don’t get that big nature in the city, but when I’m not gigging, writing, or recording, I’m running around, trying to find trees in the city that are living their best lives, going to the park, plotting an escape into quietude… For the last six years, I’ve also been a part of a non-profit called SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young where I get to work as a songwriting mentor and musician with kids 8-18 who stutter. SAY has a very special place in my heart and the bonds that have formed over the years with kids and staff alike bring a light to my life that’s unparalleled. 

Let the readers know where to find you online.

You can find me here:

www.mirandajoan.com

Instagram: @mirandajoanmusic

Twitter: @mirandajoan_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mirandajoan