Five minutes with MIRI ☕
We get to know the London-based singer-songwriter ahead of the DIVA Music Festival...
MIRI. Photo by Shelley Torr.
Putting #womeninmusic at the forefront, DIVA Music Fest is set to become the biggest new music festival for lez/bi women in the UK.
Before we all chuck our wellies and our festival outfits in the boot though, let's find out a little more about the artists who'll be up on the stage in this next edition of our Five Minutes With series...
DIVA: Hello MIRI, first off thanks for chatting to us. What does this week have in store for you?
Hello DIVA, good to chat with you! This week I'll be running a session for a charity that uses music to promote positive mental health. I also coordinate the music mentoring scheme for a South London charity called School Ground Sounds which takes up at least one day each week.
On top of that lovely stuff, I'm rehearsing and preparing for next week's Blue Monday (read more below!) and getting ready to launch my crowdfunding campaign to help with my new EP, Soundbites, which I'm currently recording. (Oh, I'm going to make sure to fit in some time for a Netflix binge too!)
The last time we chatted, you were playing live on Radio DIVA, what have you been up to this summer?
It really feels like the months have merged into one big moment recently... I guest hosted on Hoxton Radio for Get In Her Ears which was lots of fun. I managed to squeeze in a mini tour in East Germany which was epic! On one of the nights my tour buddy Chloe Hawes and I ended up staying at a punk squat in Dresden. We soaked up the street vibes after the gig before heading to Potsdam for our final show — I find travelling so nourishing and freeing. You have to follow joy, whatever you do.
In August, I performed on the main stage at Manchester Pride alongside Rita Ora who was headlining. The crowd was amazing! Moments like that really give me a boost and counter balance the tough times.
Oh, and back in July I put on my second Diversity Platform event with panelists Nate James, July Jones and Neil McDonald MBE. The aim of which is to offer guidance and support to young LGBTQ+ artists and entrepreneurs to help them navigate themselves safely and authentically in the music industry.
December 2nd I’m performing @divamusicfestival with a line up of phenomenal female acts including @kttunstall @gabrielleuk and Grace Petrie. Cos I love you lot I’ve got a 15% discount code for tickets. Use the link in my bio and this code MIRI2018DIVA to get your discount Xx #DIVAMusicFest18 #womeninmusic #divamagazine
Tell us a little more about the night you run in London for female musicians?
Blue Monday is now in its eighth year. (I don't know where the time's gone!) I run the night with my friend Rosered, and we're a monthly live music night for LBTQ women and allies. We featured in The Girls Are... and God Is In The TV Zine as one of the Top 10 women-led live music nights in London!
We have guest speakers too. Previously we've had Stonewall, Safe Gigs For Women and Switchboard LGBT. The night is free entry with a donations hat for artists. When I see the acts being received and listened to and the crowd having a good night it makes me feel so proud. It feels like we're bringing people together. I really feel that spaces like Blue Monday are so important.
Do you ever face challenges being an openly queer woman in mainstream music?
I've had a few ignorant remarks and assumptions here and there. Mostly I've had lovely messages from fans letting me know that me being out has helped them come out to their loved ones and feel more comfortable in their skin. Saying that, I've definitely had challenges being a woman in music, which is why DIVA Music Festival is so important. There's still a lot of sexism in the music industry and live music gig circuit and that needs to change.
How are you feeling about performing at the DIVA Music Festival?
I am SO excited. It's going to be very special to perform amongst such phenomenal female artists. I find it pretty surreal that the first time I ever got drunk, I was rinsing Gabrielle's Give Me A Little More Time, and now I'm performing on the same bill as her. You just never know where life is going to take you...
Any words for your queer fans out there?
Thank you so, so much for all the love and good vibes. I can't wait to see you at a live show soon.
For more visit miriofficial.com 🎼 DIVA Music Festival takes place from 30 November – 2 December 2018 at Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1TB. Visit divamusicfestival.com for tickets, on sale now.
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