A fiery figure in the rock & metal scene, vocalist & musician, Mikaela, has regularly headlined Malta’s elite music events. Whether she’s performing for sold-out crowds or at a busy café, audiences are guaranteed a vivacious performance that oozes passion. She’s got plenty of exciting projects in the works and is fully focused on taking her career to new heights. Martin Calleja Urry finds out more.

 

YOU’VE BEEN ACTIVE ON THE SCENE FOR ALMOST A DECADE. WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG STEP?

I can finally announce to the public that I’m currently working on my first ever album release under my own band name. This time it’s quite a different release; it’s a heavier situation and it’s an authentic one. It will feature a new style intertwined with many other elements from other genres. It’s influenced by metalcore, progressive, groove, space rock, black metal, djent, doom and death. The style aligns so well and so smoothly with who I am as an artist that it’s like a sonic version of my thoughts. Apart from the news of the album release, I’m also excited to announce that I have a terrific line-up of musicians that will join me on stage to perform the new material. I’ll be posting the official details on my social media platforms in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.

HOW HAVE YOUR ACADEMIC STUDIES HELPED YOUR MUSIC CAREER?

I’ve learnt a great deal about production, composition, recording, mixing, mastering, live sound, and a lot more. I’m currently finishing my final year of a music production degree with the world-renowned music institution, Berklee College of Music in Boston. Throughout the course, I continued to write, sharpen my vision and experiment with new styles. It’s definitely had an influence on my upcoming album. Coming from more of a classical background, the course helped me further my piano and keyboard studies, as well as encouraged me to venture into jazz, progressive, rock and blues, and singing.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE SINGLE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

My career has been full of challenges so it’s hard to single one out, but it all depends on how you perceive them. I like to keep negativity away from my path and stay positive and focused. Even when I feel like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders, I know it’s all in my head. It’s easy to become overwhelmed but I take things as they come and focus on being at my best as much as possible.

Photo: Tonio Magro

DESCRIBE WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR HEAD ON A DAY YOU’RE SET TO PERFORM.

Usually there isn’t enough time to worry so I just do what I have to do, staying as focused and concentrated as much as I can. It’s as simple as that.

IF A CEO FROM A MAJOR RECORD COMPANY ASKED YOU TO PERFORM ONE SONG, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

It would have to be an original song that I will be releasing soon.

TALK US THROUGH HOW YOUR STYLE AS AN ARTIST HAS GROWN OVER THE YEARS.

As I dug deeper into music, a part of me became attached to every song I listened to. While growing as a person I began to find myself through music. I became so close to the roots of my inspirations and analysed the hows and whys of it all. I allowed music to reach me without thinking of it as following into one category or another, I always allowed myself to be open. In fact, I listen to everything, from Mehliana to Lamb of God, Snarky Puppy to Jinjer, Herbie Hancock to Opeth, Janis Joplin to Black Label Society, A Tribe Called Quest to Elder, Pink Floyd to Behemoth, Black Sabbath to Lacuna Coil, Cursed Earth to Death, Rachmaninoff to Alice In Chains, and more. That’s how I found honest growth in my own style.

Mikaela
Photo: Mamo Photography
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT CONCERT LINE-UP.

This is a tricky one to answer. Since I’m constantly travelling to watch different artists, my tastes have widened so much that it’s hard to choose a perfect line-up. I enjoy every experience that a band delivers and it’s a unique vibe that is unmatched by any other.

HOW MUCH OF A ROLE HAS YOUR FAMILY PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS?

My family has always been there to support me, whether it’s helping me to get ready for a show or just having an interesting music discussion. From a young age, my parents introduced me to great music and my tastes are built on that. I always stayed hungry for music thanks to them.

HAS YOUR DEDICATION TO MUSIC IMPACTED YOU NEGATIVELY IN ANY WAY?

I wouldn’t say so. Music has expanded my horizons and opened a lot of doors for me. I also consider music to be like that good friend you can’t live without.

BASED OFF RECENT PHOTOS YOU’VE POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU’RE GETTING MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE CAMERA. CAN WE EXPECT A MODELLING STINT IN THE FUTURE?

Well I never thought of myself as a model, I’ve always felt deep inside that I’m a musician and that won’t change. However, I won’t exclude it and recently I have been approached by several entities to further this idea, so I’ll just allow it to develop naturally.

 

© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Martin Calleja Urry

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