Learn to record your own vocals — when I first started, home recording was not so widely available. I had to go to studios to have people record me. I wish someone would have advised me to invest in a home recording set up, because recording your own vocals allows you to understand your voice better, and you can do it over and over again until you get the result that you want. And without paying for studio time!
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nathalie Miranda.
Nathalie Miranda is a fully-fledged soul belter; a power-house vocalist with a stunning 4-octave range. This emerging artist is a force to be reckoned with. Notable for her unique, soulful voice and high energy performances, Nathalie delights in engaging her numerous fans on Patreon with special live streams and exclusive online performances. Hot on the heels of her single ‘Poltergeist’ earlier in 2020, her new single ‘Catch-22’ is out now .
Born in London to Greek-Cypriot parents, Nathalie was raised bilingually speaking Greek and English and is fiercely proud of her Cypriot roots. It is clear where she gets her talent and love for music: music and performance is so deeply ingrained in Nathalie’s family it is practically part of her DNA! Her grandfather was a violinist who worked for many years in Cyprus as a professional musician and continued to do so when he came to England in the 1960’s. She also has cousins in Cyprus who are professional musicians. Nathalie started piano lessons aged 6, but it was singing that really appealed to her, but she was too shy to explore it openly. Then, aged 15, on holiday with her parents, she decided to get up and sing ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ at a karaoke night. She remembers this as a turning point “I got up, took a deep breath, and sang (with my back turned to the audience) and I was so scared, but I got a great response and my parents were truly shocked. That was the start of it all really. I realized that I was going to be a singer, and I would do everything to make that happen.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
My pleasure, thank you for inviting me! I grew up in north London to Greek Cypriot parents. I’m very proud of my roots and always describe myself as a British Born Cypriot! I’m an only child so I spent a lot of time in my room listening to my favourite singers and dreaming of the day when my music would be on the radio! I ended up studying French and Spanish at King’s College, London and then went on to obtain a Masters in Translation at Westminster University. So I guess languages and music are my thing!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Oooo interesting question! You know what; I remember when I heard that Freddie Mercury had passed away. I was only young, but I remember thinking, oh wow, that’s the guy with THE VOICE! That’s the guy that I want to be like! My mum had a massive record collection and she would always play her favourite albums, and Queen was one of them. So I guess that’s probably what made me want to pursue music. I just wanted to be on stage like Freddie!
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I remember I was performing at a gig, and I was approached by an A&R from a major label. For me, this was huge, and I was convinced that this was my moment to get signed. The guy really loved my voice and my music, but his one concern was that…I was just too boring as a person! I asked for clarification and he explained that I had a good education, I came from a good family, and that’s just not interesting! He suggested some changes to my back story, which were absolutely crazy and I refused to do it, so he said that he couldn’t help me! To this day, this story makes me laugh, if only for the sheer audacity of the guys wanting to rewrite my life! I did however write a song about it, so there’s always a silver lining!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Hmm, ok, well I wouldn’t call it a mistake; I’d call it a wrong decision!
I remember I was reading about how Britney Spears started doing shows in shopping centres before releasing her first album, so I took it upon myself to contact the local shopping centre and arrange for me to sing there one day. I am terrible at self-promotion, so I’m surprised I actually pulled it off!
They gave me a 9am slot, a tiny CD player to play my backing tracks on, and a terrible, plastic microphone! I remember thinking, oh wow, this is not going to go well. They gave me no direction as to the kinds of songs their customers might like to hear, so I turned up with a mixture of my favourite songs which were not appropriate for a 9am slot! Suffice to say, most people walked by and didn’t pay me any attention. I think some school children passed by and sniggered at me. So it was a disaster all round!
The lesson I have learned is that you need to choose your gigs/locations wisely. Just because something is good for one artist, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Also, check what equipment the venue is providing you with; back then I didn’t have my own mic but I would strongly recommend that every singer invests in one to avoid such scenarios as the one above! You can’t go wrong with an SM58 mic!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on new music at the moment for future releases, so that’s exciting to see where it’s heading. I’m also toplining for various published writers, mostly for House music, which is always fun as I get to set my inner diva free!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity is extremely important.
Number one; diversity makes for a richer life experience. Everyone has a different view, culture, favourite film, singer and so on. This is what makes life fun; the differences between us. We should celebrate these differences.
Number two; it’s important so that we can educate ourselves about other cultures around the world and gain perspective.
Number three; it will help promote acceptance. Through exposure to film, TV shows, documentaries, we might find that we have more in common with other cultures than we thought. But it’s also okay to be totally different!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Just be yourself — I remember trying to change my musical style upon someone’s recommendation, and it just didn’t work for me. Every artist is different, and that is totally fine!
- Make music that inspires you and that you love — I truly believe that if you aren’t excited about your own music, then nobody else will be! For example, I like listening to opera, but I’m not an opera singer and I wouldn’t be true to myself if I tried to write an aria or something! To be honest, I wouldn’t know where to start!
- Collaborate with as many people as possible — this gives you the chance to practice writing with different kinds of writers/singers, and will help you find your sound.
- Learn to record your own vocals — when I first started, home recording was not so widely available. I had to go to studios to have people record me. I wish someone would have advised me to invest in a home recording set up, because recording your own vocals allows you to understand your voice better, and you can do it over and over again until you get the result that you want. And without paying for studio time!
- In most cases, the best way to learn is through experience and making mistakes — similar to point number 2 really, but definitely don’t be afraid to try things out. If it doesn’t work, then you can cross it off your list, but at least you tried!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
‘Burn out’ is something I can relate to! I would say it’s really important to take time out at least once or twice a week. A day with no social media, no writing, no recording…just do something fun or relaxing, whatever you prefer. Having that time away gives you clarity and resets your mind.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
You know what, I’ve been thinking about this question and I really think that are so many wonderful movements already out there that I’m not sure I could inspire anything greater! I mean I strongly believe in female equality, particularly in the music industry, so I’d most likely want to highlight and expand this movement.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are actually several people, so it’s only fair I mention them all. Firstly, my parents, who have always supported my crazy dreams and put up with me for so many years! Secondly, my husband and co-writer, who not only supports my career, but helps me create the sound that I hear in my head. Last but not least, I’d like to thank everyone who has ever shown a teeny tiny bit of belief in me. That means the world to me and I am truly grateful to each and every one of them.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I learnt this recently; ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ This is a book by Susan Jeffers and it totally changed my perspective on life. The book is amazing, but the title and my choice of ‘life lesson quote’ is so powerful.
Until recently, I had a part time day job and I had been contemplating leaving it for some time. Over Covid lockdown here in London, I read this book and it completely opened my eyes to certain habits that I’d been falling into, which ultimately left me stuck in a rut. This quote inspired me to take a risk, take a leap, and leave my job. But it’s so much more than that in reality. We all create barriers in our lives through fear, and once we realise that we created them ourselves, it’s so much easier to break them down.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have lunch with Christina Aguilera. I think she is one of the most inspiring women in the industry. She fights for equality for women, she is strong, independent, and has the most amazing voice. I think we would get along really well!
How can our readers follow you online?
You can visit my website www.nathaliemiranda.com and you can access all social media through there!
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Great chatting to you! Thank you so much!