[Exclusive Interview] Miist: A Vocal Virtuoso's Meteoric Rise to Stardom

Karly B
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Miist, a rising star in the music industry, has become a sensation with her versatile vocal talents across various genres. Partnering with Grammy & Emmy Winning Producer Narada Michael Walden at Tarpan Studios, Miist is poised for greatness, with a potential 2025 Grammy Nomination in the New Artist category.

Closing 2023 on a high note, Miist's 'Remember Me Again' soared up the iTunes charts, surpassing renowned artists and claiming a spot in the top 10. 


With a repertoire of 48 songs, including collaborations with Narada and an upcoming single featuring Carlos Santana in 2024, Miist's Clean-Pop resonates with a global audience longing for a more wholesome and love-centric musical experience.


I recently got the chance to speak with Miist for KpopWise to discuss her musical journey thus far and what's to come.


Can you kindly introduce yourself to our audience? 

 

Miist: Hello! My name is Miist. I'm a bi-lingual singer songwriter. I write and perform in English and Mandarin Chinese. I live in the USA with my husband, daughter and my crazy dog. My mantra is to write "Meaningful songs for a difficult world."

 
Narada described you as a rare gem in the industry. How would you describe the essence and impact of your music? 
 
Miist: I describe my songs as 'Meaningful songs for a difficult World'.  That doesn't mean they are all serious or heavy. Some are very light but they are about love, joy, sadness, the ability to dream. The emotions and ups and downs that we experience throughout our lives. The world is full of division, darkness and animosity right now. I want to bring people together in a pure way. I want the stories to resonate and to give them a moment to smile or to remember. Perhaps people will be able to let go of some of their burdens if only for a moment. That would be nice I think.

Before pursuing music, what was your profession? Did you ever consider a career doing anything other than music? 
 
Miist: I worked as an accountant at a piano store! It actually never occurred to me that I would be writing and performing music with Grammy winning musicians as has happened this year. It has been only a few months since I've been doing this as a career and it all happened by accident after someone sent my music to one of the top record producers in the United States in July of 2023. Narada Michael Walden has won multiple Grammy's and an Emmy with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin etc. He has worked with dozens of major artists and has produced 57 #1 hits. It's been so surreal to have him love my music and help me become a true artist.
 
You’ve been open about having a difficult relationship with your mother growing up. How did this experience influence your songwriting, particularly in the creation of the song 'She'?  
 
Miist: Most of my songs are influenced by events in my life. Like everyone else I had my challenges and the relationship with my mom was one of the most difficult things I've had to deal with. When I was 5 years old my parents dropped me off at a boarding school. I was a teenager by the time my mom and I would again spend any significant time together and I was in my 20's before the relationship started to mend. I went through a life threatening health scare and she was the only one who stood firmly by my side. I wanted to heal from my childhood and also to tell her that I know she loved me despite what had happened so the song 'She' was my way of thanking her and by doing so, also learning to let go of my resentment for what had happened. 

How did Narada Michael Walden become involved in your music career? 
 
Miist: This is such a crazy story. I discovered I could write music in mid 2022. I wrote a dozen or so songs and professionally recorded them but didn't know what to do with them. One day at an open house my husband started talking to the listing agent who was also a part time musician. He asked to hear some of my songs. The next day he sent them to a producer called Justus who does work for Narada. Justus sent them to Narada who asked to meet me. That ended up being a 3 hour long 'meet and greet'! We hit it off and we started writing music together. He then offered to produce an album for me, 'The Songs From The Living Room' and here we are! He has also introduced me to such artists as Carlos Santana who I've now been writing with as well. I don't know where any of this will lead but it has been such a privilege and so much fun!
 

Can you tell us more about your album, 'The Songs from the Living Room,'? Additionally, do you have a favorite song and if so why? 
 
Miist: This album has currently has 12 songs on it. 9 are produced by Narada. 8 co-written with him. There are powerful ballads, dance songs even some disco/funk. Part of working with Narada is the fun of exploring my ability to 'hear' and 'see' music in different patterns and styles. This is something he has opened up to me. It has been a wonderful gift. Since I wrote all 12 tracks it is hard to pick a favorite. It's kind of like asking someone who their favorite child is! It also changes as I sing them or they evolve to me. However if cornered I will pick 2.. 'It’s too Late to Love You' which is a duet about when a relationship has suffered so much damage that you can't find a way through and 'Move Your Body Slowly' which is just a fun, happy song. The tag line is "Sometimes no matter how crazy things are around you -  all you want to do slow dance with the one you love." It's a really fun music video too that [was] released December 29, 2023.

Your music is often described as a blend of different genres. How do you feel this versatility contributes to the uniqueness of your sound?
 
Miist: I think my voice is the constant throughout all the songs. What changes is the beat or rhythm. But all of my songs have stories and sometimes they are not what you would assume if you just read the title. You have to watch the music videos or read my song notes to see what I 'heard' when I wrote it. Of course each person will also have their own interpretation and that is what I want. The songs should connect with people in the way they need at the time. I think that is what makes music so powerful. It is a way to connect with people on a very basic level.
 
In what way would you say your heritage plays a role in your artistry? And what do you wish people knew more about your culture? 
 
Miist: What an interesting question. My heritage is Chinese. The Chinese culture  I was raised in is about pushing to succeed no matter the cost.  It is about surviving and providing for the next generation. It is not so much about learning to take a moment and experience the beauty of love and friendship and the things in this world that are still so remarkable. We were also encouraged to keep our emotions inside and not show them. That means I didn't get the chance to process so many things the way I should have. It has been through music that I've learned to heal and grow and finally leave those unhealthy emotions behind. I think many people see the Chinese culture as very strict, educated and competitive. But we are simply human. We need friendship, love and kindness. We feel hurt and get depressed. We are all people and we all need each other. It is only by seeing each other as such that our world can be healed. 
 
Can you provide further insight into your plans for the future, both in terms of your music career and personal aspirations? 
 
Miist: For now I'm enjoying the ride. I know I will do music the rest of my life.  With whom and where I'll be doing it with is up to my audience. I hope they enjoy my music and support me so I can continue writing and recording and sharing. That would be my ultimate dream! 
 
Finally, in what ways do you aim to continue inspiring your audience, and what message do you hope to convey through your ongoing musical journey? 
 
Miist: In growing up I found it very difficult to share with others my true self. I didn't even understand who she was until recently. I want to connect with my audience so that we can heal and grow together. I want to give them a bit of happiness and light and also to let them know they are not alone
 
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Follow Miist

Instagram: @miistthesinger

 
Listen to Miist on Spotify: 

 

 

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