Reading through what Mireya Lewis had to say in the traffic of the dreaded 405 was soothing and kind of surreal when I got down to her mixtape and one of the songs she picked was playing on the radio. Coincidences aside, it was nice to hear from this Houston-based artist about her creative church upbringing, her debut full-length that she recorded locally at Barron Studios, and worked on with Analogue Escape, Jay Miles, and Chris Rockaway. Excited about what’s to come, we talked about the future, past and present.
Kendra: How helpful was it to attend a school for the arts in high school?
Mireya Lewis: Attending HSPVA was awesome for many reasons. At that school, I gained the music theory background that was needed to direct my band. It also afforded me more opportunity for practice and performance. In addition, my writing style was diversified in High School because I was exposed to classical music, music theater, and jazz.
Kendra: Do you suggest that parents take an active role in their kids and allow them to be creative sooner than later?
Mireya: I encourage parents to give their kids as much freedom for creative expression as possible because that’s the only way for you to get to know who they really are. Take inventory of the rules you set. Are your rules in place to keep your kids safe, healthy, and happy, or have you set rules just to make the adults comfortable?
Kendra: You also came up in the church. It seems like a lot of great singers have. Where do you feel you’d be without that influence?
Mireya: Church was where I first started singing publicly. Because of my religious background and my desire to encourage others, my music will always have some element of positivity and inspiration. I can’t get away from it!
Kendra: Perhaps you wouldn’t have this “pop with a message.” How important is it that your music have substance?
Mireya: Life is fleeting. It’s important that my music has substance because I want the world to be better because I was here.
Kendra: Let’s talk about “Daddy.” Definitely an anthem for the summer, but I have to ask about the video…how hot was it performing in those all-black ensembles?
Mireya: Bwhahahahahaha! The “Daddy” music video (directed by Lamont DeSal Jones of District Studios) was shot in the month of April, and we started early in the morning. So, we were actually pretty comfortable. Once it got hot, we were done shooting.
Kendra: “Daddy” is just the beginning because you have an album slated for August. What can fans expect from that?
Mireya: I am so excited about this project. It is my first full-length album! I have a lot to say. Just as I speak to the issue of misogyny on “Daddy,” you can expect the content of the rest of the album to be substantial and positive, while the clever melodies and instrumental music will stick with you and take you as far as your mind will allow. It has been a lot of fun, writing and recording this album, and I hope you will feel that from the final product.
Kendra: The new album will be out soon enough, but what’s the plan after that? Touring?
Mireya: After the album is released I’m looking to shoot videos for at least three more of the songs on the album, facilitate public conversations about the album’s content, and definitely tour! The music on this album is a lot of fun to perform live! So, I can’t wait!
Kendra: Going back to the idea of summer anthems, if you had to make a mixtape during the summer when you were a teen back at the performing arts school, what five songs would have to be on it?
Mireya: I love this question. My five songs for the mixtape would be:
“Forgive Them, Father” Lauryn Hill
“What Would You Do?” City High
“Fantasy” Mariah Carey feat. ODB
“Ironic” Alanis Morissette
“Fly Away” Lenny Kravitz