Growing up, I always have been known to be the shy girl who fades in the back. Once you get to know me I am very outgoing and energetic; it just takes times. Being a musician has taught me that persistence is key and necessary. Music has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I soon realized that writing music was great but if others weren’t hearing it, what was the reason for it. This made me change my mindset and put in the action needed to make my music spread. Persistence made me determined and not care if anyone thought anything strange of me. It all started when I first got to college. I had been writing music for awhile and I was annoyed that nothing was happening with it. I prayed asking God why nothing was happening with this passion He put in my heart. All I could hear Him saying was to take action. It hit me. God calls me to take action and He will do the rest. I started contacting every record label and producer I could find. It seemed like I was calling the whole world. Every response I got just knocked me down. Either they were too expensive or they wouldn’t take unsigned artists. I felt like it was hopeless. That moment taught me persistence. I started reaching beyond the calls and met up with the musicians that I knew. I was recommended one producer from a friend so I called him up and poured out my heart. For once, I found hope for my music. My producer, Billy Smiley, was ecstatic of working with me and all the details fell in place. After this one experience in my life, I started to become persistent in all areas of my life. I go after what I want. Recently, I really wanted to become involved with the marketing department at a recording studio so I searched one out. I continued to visit them until they saw that I would be an asset to the studio. I got the position and I kept working to get farther. The biggest lesson I learned is that God calls us to take action in all areas of our life. He will open and close doors to direct us in His way, but we have to keep pushing forward.
I have grown up my entire life helping lead worship in some sort of way. I remember in Jr. High always having to get to school by 7 am so that we could rehearse for chapel. I do not remember a time in my life when I haven’t been a part of a worship team. I contemplated the idea of going to college to be a worship leader. I had been leading in my home church for quite some time and one Sunday morning my mindset got flipped upside down. I was singing and trying to get the congregation to worship God, but as I looked to the audience, all I saw were people on their phones or talking to their neighbors. I soon realized how angry this made me. Do these people not understand what worship is? That was the problem. I was struck with these feelings of irritation and missed the opportunity to help lead others and teach others of what worship is. I learned this myself when I began to help lead worship at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Arizona. I was in awe of the way the congregation worshiped God at CCV. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When asking the leaders why this was, I learned it was because they worked so hard in making sure every aspect led people into a time of worship. There is a ton of controversy on worship because people believe it should just happen and doesn’t really need to be put together. While I do know the Spirit leads, I believe we are failing by not thinking through the details of creating a worship environment. As a worship leader, I fail by not giving my best and by not finding the best to share their talent in this. God created each of us with different talents. It is unfair of me to take the child-loving servant and tell them to play piano. As a worship leader, I strive to create a worship environment of excellence so that when it comes to service, everyone has the complete opportunity to worship in music.
I am so excited to tell you all about how this song came about. “Eyes Wide Open” was literally something that God created in seconds. One of the biggest struggles in my life, and I know it is for many, is fear. I say that I know in my heart God is in control and He is the protector, but then I let thoughts of fear rush in my head. I worry when there is a storm. I worry if I am going to fail a test. I worry about my future. I worry about death. These things terrify me and for most of my life I let it control me. Many times I would go into my room and cry because I was unknowing and assumed that tragedy was going to occur. Everyone around me and in my life thought I was one of the strongest followers of Christ, but yet I lacked so much faith. It is one thing to say I know God is going to protect me, but when time starts ticking away, I let my mind be consumed by the world and not of God. Psalm 4:3 shook me up and has forever changed my life. The verse says, “ I will lie down and rest in peace for you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety.” When I read this I cannot even explain the feeling that came over me. I learned that day that peace is all I need to remember because God is on the front line fighting my battle. I was afraid of a storm, yet God calms the storms with His hands. I was afraid of my unknown future, yet God proclaims He knows our prosperous plans. I was afraid of death, yet God sent His Son to die in my place. All of this was evidence of the power and protection of my great God. I was headed to Nashville to record my album a day after I wrote this song so it wasn’t planned to be on the album. I got there and I loved recording my other songs, but I told my producer we had to do this song. The lyrics you listen to in this song come from my heart. This song tells a story about my life more than any others do. As you listen to “Eyes Wide Open” I hope that it will not only show you who I am, but that it will inspire you to lie in peace.
I am so excited to talk about this song because it has a pretty funny story behind it. The very first day I met with my producer, Billy Smiley, he told me to bring all the music I had been working on. I had this song I was working on that talked about being in a relationship built off of a godly foundation. I thought it was “rock solid”. (I hope you got that joke lol) Anyway, we started working on it, and with any songwriting session, you must constantly change lyrics to fit. It’s like a puzzle! I happened to mention something about lifting a candle up and suddenly my producer was determined that we had to make this a wedding song. I must remind you that I was 18 years old and knew nothing about a wedding besides the ones I attended. I tried to convince my producer that no one was going to want to hear a wedding song from a young girl. How was this relatable? I decided to push past my reservations and put my whole heart into it. I absolutely love the result of this song! I love getting to see the impact it makes at weddings and the excitement that builds up to it. Marriage is a gift from God and it is something to be treasured. I hope that anyone in this season now or whenever you are to this point in your life, that you will cherish the moments and realize that they will last forever in your heart.
So excited to announce a new song written by Mia. While this song hasn’t been officially recorded, it is copyrighted to Mia Sunshine. The song is called “Distant Memories”. Here is the back story of this newly written song. I love listening to my friends’ lives and taking struggles and exciting things that they go through to create something relatable to all. This song talks about a girl finding what she thought was love. This girl and guy met one summer and things just felt right. They both lived on opposite sides of the United States. As soon as they were back in their state, the guy did not respond to the girl and she was heartbroken, feeling like she gave her whole heart to a guy who was just playing on her emotions. This song talks about how this girl realizes that he is not the guy for her but it doesn’t change how she feels. All she can do is remember everything they had together. Later on in the song it talks about how the girl is still holding on to the possibility of being with this guy one day. It’s too hard to say goodbye. My advice to my friend and all of you who have gone through this is be patient and wait on the Lord. Our hearts can be filled with what we think is right and suppose to happen in our life, but Jeremiah 29:11 states that God knows the plans for our life and they are greater than what we could ever make or imagine. While it may be hard waiting for that right guy, try to push out what you think is right so you don’t miss out on God’s great plan. That is the story of this song and I really hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this song and my band and I are super excited about getting in the studio to record it!
Ever wonder what the trick is to getting booked for shows? Believe me, it is not easy! Every new, up and comer wants to learn how they can secure venues so they can begin getting their music out. Well, here are a few suggestions in learning how to find gigs and get booked. First, search Reverbnation and learn about the different venues in the area. Find out which venues will best suit your style of music. Never shoot down an option because you think it is not big enough. Accept every opportunity you can. This will build up your portfolio and more venues will be willing to book you.
Next, make the effort. Do not expect that opportunities will fall into your lap. If they do that’s great, but it is important to search out venues and make connections. Rather than shooting an email to a venue, actually go in to meet with the manager and give them a demo of your music. This will get the manager connected with you and they will remember you before any of the others who just simply sent an email.
Lastly, stay persistent. I cannot count how many times people say they have sent an email to a venue and haven’t heard anything back from them. Continue coming up with new music and a bigger portfolio and keep going back to the venue and showing them what you can do. Booking shows seem like such a headache, but if you go through the right steps, you will start seeing a broad array of locations just waiting to have someone like you perform for their audience.
Musicians are always trying to find new ways to make their name and music stick in a person’s head. Often times, music artists think that the only thing that matters, when making a name for yourself, is pushing out song after song after song. When talking to teenagers and young adults, it turns out that they just want to feel connected with a musician. This is why, I believe, stage presence is so important. It is easy to go out on stage and sing your set list straight through, but how can people truly see who you are and connect with you?
The first important thing about stage presence is to have fun! People go to concerts and shows to have an enjoyable time, but they want to see that you are having a blast as well. If you stand in the same spot the whole time with no interaction, people will remember you as boring and rude. But if you jump around and give people high-fives, they are going to love you forever.
The next important thing about stage presence is to share your story. When you signed up to perform music, you may not have thought that it would include sharing your heart, but your passionate stories always leave a lasting impression. If you are the songwriter, share the reason why you wrote that song. Let people see that you are just a normal person and experience heartache and joy just like them. If you are not the songwriter, just explain why the song is so meaningful to you. Don’t be surprised when emails start pouring in telling you how touched and changed they were by your story.