I share my music hoping that whoever might need to hear it, does

By Tatiana Parkhomova

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Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and musician Miranda Joan is revving up for a summer packed with exciting releases and electrifying live shows. Her latest jazz album ‘Overstimulated’ has received attention for dynamic collaborations and soulful storytelling, all woven around the theme of friendship. Today, she is here to discuss the inspirations behind her album, her role in the vibrant New York music community, and her exciting plans for the future.

Your recent album, ‘Overstimulated,’ has been highly anticipated and has now been released. Could you share some insights into the creative process behind this album and how it compares to your previous works?

My album ‘Overstimulated’ came together over a few years, from lockdown through to the reopening. The album’s title is the state of living this period of time has engendered, one where my senses have been and continue to be on overdrive. I was fuelled by the intense desire to create something out of the chaos. I first began working alongside CARRTOONS on my love song to The Rock, ‘I Love You, Dwayne’, and we then went on to co-produce this body of work. It differs from my previous releases in that it is probably my most cohesive. There is a sound and vibe to the album that unites the many stories told in this collection of songs.

Growing up on the north shore of Vancouver, how has your Canadian upbringing influenced your music and shaped your artistic identity?

There is an intense connection I feel to the land back home in Vancouver, and I think it is in the inherent spirituality that comes with it that I’ve been most profoundly influenced, not only as an artist but as a person. Nature often finds its way into a lot of my writing, and home is where I return to find peace and stillness, to process a lot of the movement in my life. It continues to be the foundation upon which I root so that in my music career, life in New York or on tour, and how I express myself, I can reach.

As a co-founder of Femme Jam, you’ve played a pivotal role in creating spaces for female musicians. What inspired you to take on this initiative, and how do you see it impacting the music industry?

Femme Jam came together after conversations with three of my closest friends and fellow artists: Alita Moses, Melissa McMillan, and Camille Trust. We were discussing what it would feel like to be at a jam session where the entire band and those leading it were women, and we ultimately decided to try it ourselves. Turns out it feels pretty great. Five years in the making, I think what we’ve created is an inclusive, kind, and diverse community where women take the lead, but all are welcome to play.

It’s hard to say whether it is a direct reflection of our jam sessions, but what I have seen over the past few years are a lot more sessions popping up that are female-led in New York and other cities. I think it’s important to challenge the status quo and foster community, and I can say that we have done that within our own. I love our family, our session, and our audience. It’s all community, and we must continue to come together to do what we love most – play.

‘Overstimulated’ features collaborations with a diverse range of artists. Can you tell us about the collaborative process behind the album and how these collaborations contributed to its sound and message?

Similarly to how I think about production, when it comes to collaborations, I am thinking about which sounds and which people will best help tell the story of that particular song. There are three features on the album, CARRTOONS, Sly5thAve, and Hailey Niswanger, all of whose talent and artistry brought new depth to the songs, but there is also a long list of collaborators on this album who helped shape the overall sound of the record and brought new life to the songs they performed on.

You’ve performed at a variety of venues, from sold-out shows to major festivals. What does performing live mean to you as an artist, and what aspects of live performance do you find most important in connecting with your audience?

I came up in live performance from childhood and throughout my schooling to when I began paying my bills in music, so live performance has been a huge part of my artistry and career. Live performance for me is about connection; every show is a new opportunity to tell your story, and I work hard to create a show that is rooted in intention and that also leaves space for each performance to be uniquely its own. I think that is my background in jazz, the part of my spirit that is an improviser and that wants to leave room to play. Live performance brings new life to music I’ve had to spend a lot of time with, so I very much look forward to shows. 

Your music often blends elements of soul, jazz, and pop. How do you feel your connection to the wider music scene in New York has influenced the evolution of your sound and style?

My community of artists in New York, which I came up with after I finished college, has probably had the most profound influence on my sound and style. I studied jazz but spent a lot of time at hip hop, soul, and R&B jams. To this day, the shows I attend most often are those of my friends, and I’ve learned so much from watching and performing alongside them. 

New York as a city has shaped me. Especially when it comes to live performance, New York has an overwhelmingly talented and extensive music scene, and it has been my greatest gift to have the opportunity to immerse myself in it and learn from it.

With the release of ‘Overstimulated’ and your diverse musical background, what do you hope listeners will take away from your music?

My greatest hope with all the music I release is that the listeners can find some of themselves in it, and with that bring them closer to their own stories. Once I let the music go, it is no longer mine, so I share it with the hope that whoever might need to hear it does.

As someone who has mentored young musicians and collaborated with established artists, what advice would you give to emerging musicians looking to navigate the music industry?

I’m not sure if I’m at the stage to start giving advice, but I’ll share the echo I often say to myself: keep creating and focus on your excellence. When the wheels start to come off, or I find myself oversaturated in the noise of it all, I find great peace in returning to the craft, returning to the thing that pulled me to make music in the first place before there were any stakes, goals, or expectations. I think that’s where a lot of love is and a lot of the life force that helps get me going again.

What exciting plans or projects do you have in store for the future, whether it’s upcoming releases, concerts, or any other creative endeavours you’re eager to share with your fans?

A few exciting things are coming down the pipeline! I just dropped my limited edition red vinyl of my album ‘Overstimulated’, now available to buy on Bandcamp. I will be dropping new music throughout the summer, and I will also be playing a few shows of my own. 

Starting in the UK, between shows with The Killers, I’ll be headlining the 100 Club in London on July 3rd, and I am currently planning a couple of US shows. I’ll be a part of the UK residency and sold-out Las Vegas residency with The Killers this summer, so if you’re a Hot Fuss fan, you can catch me onstage there as well. A lot is going down this summer, I am extremely excited and, as always, overstimulated!

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Cover photo by Savannah Scott