Featured Artist: Mi-Kaisha
Meet Mi-Kaisha, a proud Darumbal Murri R&B Soul powerhouse with Tongan roots. We stumbled upon Mi-Kaisha's music last month after the release of her latest single 'Brand New' and fell instantly in love with her effortlessly smooth and heartfelt vocals. We had the chance to chat with Mi-Kaisha about her illustrious music career and her plans for the future. Check out the full interview below.
You have a pretty impressive resume, everything from being a recording artist on The Sapphires movie, to being a contestant on X-Factor. What sparked your love for music?
I was constantly surrounded by music as a child. My dad had a hip hop show on Koori Radio and I used to go into the studio with him and help him host the show, I grew up going to Tongan church with my Grandma, being exposed to gospel hymns. Every significant part of my life - culture, family, and identity - has always been heavily tied to music. Music is instinctually what I am drawn to. It sounds super cliche and a bit weird, but it's true.
What has been your most memorable performance or collaboration to date?
There have been so many! My performances on X Factor forced me to grow up quite quickly and taught me a lot about people and how ruthless the industry can be. My performances in my community have given me the opportunity to refine my craft in a safe and nurturing environment and a lot of my performances in NYC have connected me with some really cool people.
But I honestly believe that the best is yet to come. I have some very exciting and incredibly powerful collaborations in the works that I am so proud of and cannot wait to share!
Absolutely loved your rendition of the Beegees 'How Deep Is Your Love' on the Deadly Hearts: Walking Together compilation. How did this compilation come about and what was the recording process like during lockdown?
It's kinda a funny story, but I actually worked at ABC Music (the label that releases the Deadly Hearts albums) straight out of high school in an admin role. I worked on the Deadly Hearts 2 album as a Producer (it's a very generous title for the amount of work I did on it, but I'll take it haha) and after leaving ABC Music to study music in NYC, they reached out asking if I'd like to jump on the next project as an Artist!
I chose 'How Deep Is Your Love' because it's a banger, but I also just thought it was so funny/cool that these guys from Redcliffe had written such soulful and groovy songs. My mum was born in Redcliffe, so it was nice to have that personal connection to the song and the BeeGees. Recording the song was so special, particularly after having so many gigs cancelled and a lot of my work postponed. The track was recorded in one take. Taka Perry (producer), Ralph Marshall (pianist), and I were rehearsing in the studio and we hit record and knew that was the take. At such a serious time, it just felt right to have an authentic and imperfect track, so that's what we did.
You've just come back from a stint studying in New York. How was your experience in the Big Apple?
It was (and still is) seriously unreal. One of the really cool (& extremely challenging) parts of moving across the other side of the planet is you have to reinvent yourself and build your life from scratch again. I grew up surrounded by family, community, and people who have known my family before I was even a thought in my parent's minds, so to move to a city where nobody knows who you are, who your family is, or even is familiar with Aboriginal or Pasifika cultures, is exciting. I did a lot of maturing and growing in my time there and it also made me realise on a completely different level just how grateful I am for my friends, family, and community and reminded me to never take their support and love for granted.
Congrats on the release of your stunning new single 'Brand New', what else is on the horizon for you this year?
I still have two years left of my degree in New York and am heading back to NYC in August! So I'm preparing for the big move again but am feeling so well rested and ready to take on the Big Apple.
I can't reveal anything music-wise just yet, but I can promise that there are exciting collaborations coming and more music to be released!
Want to hear more from Mi-Kaisha? Listen to her songs via Spotify.