Mia Mormino is an independent singer/songwriter and dancer who’s based in Los Angeles. We at Indie Top 39 got rather hooked on her single ‘Stick-Up’ a few months back, and she’s recently returned with another incredible tune called ‘Building Blocks’. Needing to know more about the talented musician, we were so excited when she agreed to an interview! Talking to us about the pros and cons of being an indie musician, her love for music videos, and who she’d choose to collaborate with, please welcome… Mia Mormino.
Hello and welcome Mia! We’re so excited to introduce you to our audience today! I read that your first love was dancing! When did your love affair with music begin and could you tell us about your musical journey?
Hello!! Thank you so much for having me! Yes! My first love was dancing but I’ve been singing ever since I can remember! We have home videos of me singing Alicia Keys in our bathroom at 3 years old along with many, many others (some of which are on YouTube). Up until I was a senior in high school, dance had always been my passion. But, as I began to grow up and experience more as a young adult, I felt I needed an outlet greater than dance. So I wrote my first song at 16 and ever since then I was hooked!
So, as you know, I first discovered your music when I heard ‘Stick-Up’ – and it’s still on my “On Repeat” playlist to this day! The track is now nearing 100,000 plays on Spotify! How does that make you feel?
First of all, I am so thrilled that you love ‘Stick-Up’! That song is so special to me for many reasons so seeing it near a hundred thousand streams on Spotify is just incredible. Out of all of my seven deadly sin-gles, I’m so happy that ‘Stick-Up’ has had the impact that it has on my listeners. This song was originally a rap song and in the final hours I decided to completely change it to something that felt more “me”. This song proves to me that everything happens for a reason, and you’ve got to go through unexpected moments to get to where you’re supposed to be.
You’ve just released another incredible new single called ‘Building Blocks’. I know it also forms part of your bold project, “The Seven Deadly Sin-gles”. Could you tell us a bit more about the project?
I did! Thank you so much! And yes, I would love to explain this project to you! This year I’m releasing seven singles and music videos in which each one represents a different sin of the seven deadly sins. ‘Building Blocks’ represents the sin of sloth (‘Stick-Up’ represents greed)! At the beginning of the year, I was intrigued to see how this ambitious plan was going to turn out considering my ideas tend to be pretty extreme while my budget is the opposite! As I’m gearing up to release the final sin-gle (‘Pour Another’ which represents gluttony), the feeling of accomplishment is really starting to sink in – which is a foreign feeling in my brain. I’ve learned so much about my craft and myself as a human being, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
Staying with ‘Building Blocks’, it’s a seriously haunting and dark tune. But somehow, it’s still incredibly catchy. I absolutely love it! Do you remember its “birth” so to speak?
That is such a meaningful compliment – thank you.
I love expressing the dark parts of life because I know people don’t usually tend to discuss them on a regular basis.mia mormino
So, my main goal with my music is to do just that. Bring awareness and a sense of regularity to topics such as mental health, and all it entails. With that being said, I wrote this song on my bedroom floor after writing a very haunting passage about essentially being buried alive. The picture it painted was so fascinating to me that I knew I had to turn it into a song and incorporate it with my seven deadly sin-gles project!
So, I did a little snooping and came across some of the “behind the scenes” footage from your music videos on YouTube. It looks like you have so much fun creating them. Is the visual side of your story as important as the musical side for you?
I love creating those behind the scenes videos because I feel as though people don’t fully understand just how much goes into what I do and the extent to which I do it. Those videos don’t even fully encapsulate all that goes into creating my music/music videos but it’s a good little taste. To answer your question, the visual side is just as important as the musical side for me. I. Live. For. Music. Videos. There is legitimately no greater feeling than watching my ideas come to life. My music videos mean so much to me because I do it all. From writing the treatments to location scouting to choreographing to makeup to set design/building to hiring talent, to of course writing the song – it’s all me. If I could, I’d create a music video for every single song I release until the end of time.
What do you love most about being an independent musician? And on the flip side, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
There are definitely pros and cons to being an independent musician. What I love most about being independent, is the fact that I can do literally anything I want. I make all the decisions and have complete creative and non-creative control over my art. I get very particular when it comes to how I want my music/visuals/brand to be executed so having the freedom to do that is, at this point, much more beneficial than signing. But! On the flip side, as an independent artist, I’ve definitely run into my fair share of challenges along the way – the biggest one being my ability to get my foot in the door. Labels are great because they have access to a wide variety of people and services that aren’t necessarily available to the unsigned artist. At this point I feel what I’m “missing” is just that. But the thought of giving up my creative freedom makes me want to cry so for now, I’m good lol!
I know that you’re inspired and influenced by a wide range of artists – Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Teyana Taylor, and Ariana Grande just to name a few. Is there anyone else you’d credit for shaping your overall soundscape?
Oh yes! Those artists have always had a huge impact on my sound/overall outlook on my music career. As I’ve continued to grow and figure out my sound, I’ve learned that I’m HEAVILY inspired by the music of the ’20s-’60s.
Artists such as Julie London, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Etta James, & Perry Como speak to me in ways current artists don’t.mia mormino
Moving forward, you can definitely expect to hear a blend between a wide variety of artists and eras.
When you’re not creating music, what do you enjoy doing? What does a non-music-day look like in the life of Mia Mormino?
If I’m being totally honest, I have no idea. Exploring myself and other interests is a huge work in progress for me at this exact moment. My music and music, in general, is literally my entire life so finding a balance has been a bit tricky for me. But I do know that being with animals fills me with great joy so I’m going to hopefully sign up for horseback riding lessons soon or volunteer at an animal sanctuary!
What song do you love that you wish you’d written?
I could fill a book with songs that I wish I’d written but the first one that pops into my head is ‘Into The Red’ by James Blake. He is one of my all-time favourite artists/producers and someone I look up to immensely. It is a massive goal of mine to work with him in the future.
What would being successful in the music industry look like for you? And do you see it as an imperative or more of a cherry-on-top?
Success in the music industry looks like a lot of things to me. I take my career very seriously so succeeding to the level in which I strive and I know I’ll reach is the only option. My mantra is “I will never stop” because I won’t. Being a Grammy-winning artist is a big one for me. Not that I really believe that the opinions of a board of people define my talent or worth, but the fact that my music would have made that much of an impact to be noticed and taken seriously by those people is what matters. Another HUGE goal of mine is selling out my world tour. Performing is one of, if not my favourite part of being a musician. So the idea that hundreds of thousands of people would gather in one room to see me (the girl that was made fun of for being herself in elementary and middle school) sing my f*****g heart out is absolutely insane. The day I have a large enough fan base to successfully execute and announce a world tour will be the day that I “make it”.
You’re allowed to collaborate with one musician or band. Who do you choose?
Halsey. Without any hesitation or thought, my answer is her. I just KNOW we would create such profound pieces based on our ability to tell stories and love for bringing light to dark moments of life. If for some insane reason you’re reading this Ashley…I LOVE YOU, LET’S CREATE.
What do you hope for in the future? Both musically and personally.
Musically, I hope to change the very unrealistic depictions and standards society puts on human beings – females in general. It doesn’t matter what someone looks like…you never know what’s really going on behind closed doors. So if my music could open the eyes of others and show them that everyone has their issues…I’m set.
Personally, I hope I can learn to get out of my own way and allow the beautiful moments of life to fully take place. I just want to be genuinely happy.mia mormino