From Unsigned to Signed: Mia Brown's Record Label Journey (Part 1)
Mia, you just signed a record deal with Big Timber Entertainment, how does that feel?
Pretty amazing! After all these years of hard work, dedication, and full-time jobs, just being able to afford music and recording is very rewarding.
Tell us about the journey that led you to Big Timber Entertainment?
I first started recording with a different producer who found me through Instagram and covers. Then I met Mark Oliverius, who was introduced to me by Dan Lance, a sound engineer, who made me sound so great for one of my shows up in the UP of Michigan. After Dan introduced me to Mark, he and I just hit it off. Mark really believed in me, my vision, and my dream. Now I'm here.
What intrigues you about working with Big Timber Entertainment?
Just to being a brand new label and allowing me to have some creative freedom. It's not like other labels where they try to make you into something that you may not be. They genuinely believe in me. They believe in who I am. They want me to stay true to myself and my story, which is amazing. You don't find that much in the music industry these days.
What made you want to be a musician?
Honestly, there was no big aha moment in my life that I was like yeah, this is what I want to do. It was more like it chose me. I had never wanted to do anything else other than maybe be a Princess when I was three years old. I've just always known that this is what I want to do, and I'm going to do it.
Who are your musical influences?
Steven Tyler is a big one. I am a big fan of Aerosmith and Steven Tyler. I am also a big fan of Amy Winehouse. Also, I have a lot of pop and country influences. I love Kasey Musgraves and Dua Lipa. Oh, I can’t forget Stevie Nicks. I am a big fan of Fleetwood Mac. I have to include Lainey Wilson; I am a big fan of Lainey too.
I've heard many people say that you don't sound like anyone, but then hear them say you sound like everyone combined. Have you ever heard that comparison from people?
I've gotten all kinds of comparisons. I mean, depending on the song that I sing, to just you know when I need to bring that edge, and I know when I need to tone it down. I honestly want to thank all of my previous music teachers for teaching me how to do that. It's all about the emotion of each song that you sing. Back to the question, I've been told I sound like Lana Del Rey, sometimes Stevie Nicks, and Halsey. Then I've been told I sound like some R&B singers too. I mean, it all depends on the song sometimes. I'm just grateful that everybody hears the uniqueness of my voice and that they don't think I sound like any one particular person. I feel like that's a singer's worst nightmare, being told that you sound like someone. We don't want to sound like anyone but ourselves. However, being able to get that compliment from the question you asked is huge. I love it.
What is your favorite performance so far?
I think my favorite performance was with my trio in my hometown. We played at a radiation oncology corporate winter party. It was a private party, and I worked at the hospital for a while as a full-time job. I felt like Hannah Montana at that party because everybody was like, oh my gosh, I knew you were like a singer, but I didn't know you sounded like this. Then my boss walked in, and she was like oh my gosh, that's Mia. She just freaked out. It was so fun, and then having them hear my originals live too. They loved it. We played Summer, one of my early songs, and they went wild. It was unbelievable. It was so much fun showing all of these people that I've known for the last 2 1/2 years the other side of me as Hannah Montana did.
What is your biggest career highlight to date?
I mean, honestly, signing with the record label that's pretty big.
Did you party after the signing?
I went back to Mark and his wife Candace's house, and I went to bed. I slept man, I love to sleep. But it was late at night, and sleeping was my celebration.
If you could play at any venue worldwide, where would it be?
This is going to sound ridiculous, but the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau, WI. Just to be able to come back home to my hometown and have all of the local people from the surrounding towns at my show. Also, having people there that I grew up with would be cool. Also, seeing the kids that went to the schools that I went to or played sports against. I’m just saying to be able to come back and share the moment with all of them, I've dreamt of that my whole life.
Yeah, there’s Madison Square Garden and all these amazing huge venues but coming back home and being able to do that would be the coolest thing. That's how I would know I made it. Also, playing at Lambeau Field, where the Packers play would be incredible too.
Changing gears a little bit. What is your songwriting process like?
It is ever-changing. Sometimes I'm just in my car, and I come up with lyrics. Sometimes, I just start singing randomly, you know just some random lyrics. Or a random melody that comes out. It's not really a whole big thought process sometimes. When it happens, I just quickly do this memo on my phone, and as soon as I get home, I quickly type it up. Other times, Mark will send me some backing track of a melody, or a title of a song, or a theme for a song to play off. He’s called me and said, “Here's a couple words that I came up with.” You know it's constantly changing. It always depends on the song. Some of my favorite songs that I've written have started in my car.
You just put out the first album, a self-titled Mia Brown. What is your favorite song on the album?
Oh gosh, well, probably Arizona. It's because it has my all-time favorite back story of a song. It’s about people I saw in an airport in Phoenix with these Louis Vuitton bags and designer stuff. The way they were speaking to each other was a lot different than in the Midwest, where I come from. I mean, I had a JanSport backpack, and they were talking about this bag from Louis Vuitton that you can't even get in the US anymore. I just couldn't believe it was happening in front of me. I am a very nonmaterialistic person. Then I wrote a song about it. That's where all these women were products lyrics in the song came from
What's been your most challenging song to write so far, emotionally?
Emotionally, I would say I Can't Go Back. That song was after I finally realized that someone who years ago I thought I would end up marrying, I knew that I could never go back to him. There was just too much that went wrong. It wasn’t cheating. It was too many lies. It was just that realization that it all came out in the song. In the song, I'm realizing that I can't go back, and so that was probably the hardest to write emotionally.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Touring the world.