Hello and welcome to One on One in 10, where we pick the brains of some of the most talented Indie artists in the Tri state area with 10 questions. It’s your girl Mai Mazzi reporting live on the scene, bringing you the real with todays’ movers and shakers and allowing you to meet them, one on one.

I hope that everyone has had a very productive Black History Month. With all that is going on today with our people, although only one month a year is emphasized to recognize Black History, we should take the platform to unify our resources and use them to come together. That may be wishful thinking, but I am always hopeful!

For our February one on one interview, I have the pleasure of chopping it up with the beautiful singer/songwriter Miesa, repping the Southern part of NJ. The ladies have officially taken over the start of 2014!

Mazzi: Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with me today.

Miesa: Thank you for having me!

Mazzi: So let’s jump right in with my first question. What made you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?

Miesa:  I’ve always known I wanted to {pursue music} because I grew up in it. The thought of me doing something else would come and go; I love animals so my parents would say, “Oh you should be a veterinarian,” and then I would think about losing an animal and how that would cause me to be sad. Then I thought about being a physical therapist and the thought of taking all the required science classes stopped that career choice {laughs}. I wanted to do something I was passionate about. The fact that I grew up in a musical household, my mom, dad, uncles, aunts, we all sang. My mom would take me to talent showcases and casting calls; what I was brought up doing was always about singing, dancing, acting, doing commercials, ballet, and all of those things molded me into becoming an entertainer. I was raised to be creative. My dad even draws very well; I learned how to draw a little bit. I’m not really spectacular with my drawing abilities or anything, but I can carry a note in the pencil if that makes sense {laughing}.

Mazzi: {Laughing} It does and I like that analogy! It conveys artistry on both levels of the meaning.

Miesa: Yes! I realized I could do it {sing} professionally when I was doing a show in school. I chose a Teena Marie song; I wanted people to know that I could sing the song. I can’t remember the exact song, but I know I felt the energy of her singing it and I wanted to perform it live, from my musical point of view. That feeling let me know that I was born to do it {sing}.

Mazzi: How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen or heard you before?

Miesa: I would describe it as a mix of Pop and R&B. I feel like my music is strong; there’s a mix of different elements from strong ballads to classic and moderate vibes. It is a nice fusion of both {Pop and R&B} that anybody could listen to. In my single ‘Antidote’ you can hear a rock vibe that blends a Pop feel to it. I feel that even a Country artist can listen to it and say it’s a great song; they can get the same feeling from it as would an R&B artist.

Mazzi: I totally agree. In listening to your music, especially ‘Antidote’, I felt that Pop/R&B wave. You embody Rock, Pop, and R&B with your music and can cater to any audience depending on what song you are singing. How does your flow or style differ from other artists in the same musical genre(s)?

Miesa: I am Haitian and Filipino. I want my Haitian and Filipino essence to shine through my music. I have a slew of songs that are about to come out and once you hear them you will feel what I am talking about! I feel like my style and my flow are so different because of that; I want to bring my background and my culture to the forefront with my music. I grew up listening to songs from the Beatles, Teena Marie, Babyface, Smokey Robinson, The Bangles, and I have so many ideas in my mind on how to fuse everything about me and what I have learned from them into my sound. I hope that when it hits peoples’ ears that they will be able to fully understand me as an artist and also differentiate me from other artists in the same genre(s).

Mazzi: Listening to you give me the drop on what’s to come is making me anxious to hear more of your music!

Miesa: I can’t wait to share it with you and the world!

Mazzi: Most definitely! Now are you familiar with the term “starving artist”?

Miesa: Yes.

Mazzi: How do you cope with major obstacles as they relate to the term?

Miesa: I have been really, really blessed. Before, I was working in temporary jobs; not saying that they were dead end, but I didn’t have a passion for them. I would put my all into them just so I could make money. I would work and go to the studio, sometimes leaving the studio at 5 am and then go into work at 8 am. I hustled! I thank God for my family because they supported me with everything. I would work to eat; of course I would occasionally waste money on stupid stuff, but I learned how to save! I am at a place now where I am still struggling; not as much as a “starving artist”, but I am still starving in the sense because I am still hungry; I need to perform, I need to make this happen, and that hunger is motivating me to attain success as singer, as a performer. I have sacrificed so much and I am always grinding to get to that next step. Financially I am not where I want to be, but again I thank God because I am not at a point where I am starving to survive my every day.

Mazzi: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?

Miesa: I am still striving to do more. I do not want to say that I am happy where I am. The first time I performed ‘Antidote’ it was so amazing to me. I was in a band before and used to performing cover songs; the way people reacted to me singing the cover songs made me want to perform a song of my own. So when I performed ‘Antidote’ I fell in love with that feeling; the experience went by too fast for me! I was so mad {laughing}. And then to see my song on I Tunes and to see my video on Vevo, an official standard was set for me; I have to have more ‘Antidotes’, I need surpass that momentum. I don’t want to do anything that isn’t as strong as that song; ‘Antidote’ for me is a very strong song. The response that I received from that one song has made me even more hungry and I am going to make more for you now so that you can journey through my life, my experiences, so that you can feel how God has me, how he allowed me to persevere through situations that I didn’t think I would be able to make it through. I hope I answered that question right!

Mazzi: There are no right or wrong answers; what you say and how you say it gives us the real you and that’s the goal of this interview. We want the readers to know the person behind the artist! And that brings us into my next question. What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Miesa: At the end of the day, I don’t want to steer people the wrong way. I am not perfect and hopefully people get the right message from my music. This is real life; it’s no joke when you are lying in bed crying because your boy/girlfriend hurt you or you go through things with your family. Everything I go through is real and people have to survive after the song; life still has to happen. I want people to get the positive out of my songs; no matter what faith you follow you are going to hear your faith in my songs because I have gone through it with you. I have survived it and I want you to be able to survive it too.

Mazzi: Keeping it positive is a very important aspect of the music industry and many artists fail to realize or take into full consideration that they are role models. It is in every sense that what you say and do can be held against you, especially if you have people listening to your music or watching your videos and taking the best parts out for themselves. Being relatable also allows artists to maintain positivity; people want to believe you and be able to understand where you are coming from. This brings me into my next question. Art and music has an impact on both the young and the old; sometimes the older generation loses respect for the music that is played today because they cannot comprehend the value of it. What advice can you give to the youth of today looking to enter the music industry in regards to being able to stay relevant for every generation and for any audience?

Miesa: Do your research! Know and love your craft. Listen to the sound and harmonies of those before you to gain the respect for the music. Do not just go out here trying to do just anything; make sure you love what you put out. How you portray your musical abilities will determine your longevity and will also determine who listens to your music. Old school musicians probably lose respect for music because they cannot relate to it.  I want anyone listening to my music, be them young or old, to be able to relate through the content, through the music, through the musical instrumentation, through the harmony, any and every part that people can relate to when they listen to my music. It’s like having a party and everyone that you invite is coming to eat. You want them to enjoy the spread; you don’t want them to say that your food is disgusting. Then you may have vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters. You have to be able cater to them all so that they can enjoy themselves. Your music is like a party; everyone is there for the experience and it is up to you to make sure that they have a good time!

Mazzi: Great advice! Love your analogies! You make sure that everyone can catch what you are throwing out. Now what are your immediate music career goals (1 to 3 years)?

Miesa: First and foremost to have an amazing album, which is expected to drop later this year. We are shooting for September. I would also like to perform more; I love to perform! It is almost like a euphoric feeling, almost like I am in a dream, when I am on stage. I feel like I am in love when I perform. I am currently working on my non-profit organization; I have sent toys and food to Haiti and I plan on being able to do more in the upcoming years. Usually it’s a five year thing, but I am trying to move fast! I am always on my team like, “What’s next what’s next,” {laughing}.

Mazzi: Do you have other interests or talents that you would like to share with us? How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?

Miesa: I play the piano and the clarinet. A lot of times when I am relaxing, let’s say when I am in Miami visiting my parents, I always play their piano. Or if my dad is playing the piano, I am sitting with him while he plays; us singing notes together. That is relaxing to me. It is what I grew up doing so it is pacifying for me. Listening to and dissecting music is also relaxing to me. I like to listen and try to figure out what motivated the musician. Like the other day, I was on YouTube and I came across this Celine Dion song called ‘You Love me Back to Life’. So she’s singing the song and she hits this note and it sounded like ‘Drunk in Love’ by Beyonce! It had the same feel and it made me think about if Beyonce was in some way inspired from it. It was crazy that I stumbled on that. I like to paint too, although I am not the best at it, but I find it very relaxing. I am a big arts and crafts person. Of course spending time with my family is something I like to do when I am not doing something with my music.

It was a pleasure doing this interview. Thank you to Miesa for taking the time out and being so genuine and real!

And to you, the readers thank you for tuning in. Make sure you stay tuned for more NMNJ One on One in 10!


model2Twitter: @MaiMazzi Facebook: Mai Mazerati Email: mmazerati@urbansocialitesnj.com



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