Today we are here interviewing with NBC's The Voice Artist on the Rise, R&B/Pop singer/songwriter, Mica Parris. Mica, hows it going today?
Mica: Heeeyyy! I'm blessed, hope you are too! It's a pleasure to be interviewed by Swag Magazine CA.
Q: So Mica from the young age of three you have been singing and performing. How old were you when you wrote and performed your first song?
Mica: I remember writing my first song when I was under the age of 5 in the car, on the way to church, actually. I remember writing a song about God and singing it to my mother asking her how she liked it, lol! I wrote many songs from the age of 5 until the first R&B song I ever wrote and also performed which is "I'm Ova You."
"I'm Ova You" is based on a real-life story of mine & is the first R&B record I ever wrote and performed is actually my crowd-favorite song for those who follow me. It can be found at www.reverbnation.com/micaparris for those who want to hear it.
Q: Share with us some moments in your music career that you were most proud of.
Mica: God has blessed with many moments I am very proud of in my music career, thus far. The most recent moment in my life is when I won RocDaMicLA showcase & was chosen by a Warner Bro. Records representative to win the showcase! A few months before that I also won NBC's The Voice Artist on the Rise. My highlighted moments don't just consist the awards, I've won, but also being able to perform on the same stages as Bel Biv Devoe, Al B Sure, Jon B, Michel'le, Boyz II Men, SWV, & Brian McKnight, just to name a few!
Mica: Your mother is Haitian and your father is African-American, Native-American. Give us a little insight on what it was like growing up for you?
Mica: Oui, c'est vrai. Translation: yes, this is true! A few weeks ago on Twitter a trending topic was "InaHaitianHousehold. Best believe I went IN on that topic myself and RT'd many because I could definitely relate to them! I grew with mixed sense of culture, speaking mainly French until about 5 years old. My household was strict as most Haitian households are, since I was raised by a single mother, with many memories that nearly all Haitians can relate to.
Q: How connected are you to your Haitian roots?
Mica: I grew speaking French, but it has since faded. When spoken to in French, I can understand and respond in English. I am more familiar with Haitian Kreyol (Creole), our "slang" sort-to-speak, and of course I'm connected to my Haitian roots with Haitian food!!
Q: What part of Haiti are you from and do you travel back home often?
Mica: My mother is from Port-au-Prince / Anse a Veau, Haiti. I personally have never been to Haiti, I was born in California, but have been waiting to go to Haiti since I was a child. Still I get asked to go just about every year for a mission trip etc., and the timing is never right with my schedule. But currently my friend (he is also Haitian) started a wonderful program at University of Central Florida (UCF) centered around Haiti, called H.E.A.R. Haiti = Humanitarian, Empowerment, Advocacy, & Research for Haiti. It's just starting out, but he is doing a wonderful job, and I am partnering with him, to help anyway that I can and we will eventually go there for the manifestation of it all.
Mica Parris is NBCs The Voice Artist on the Rise (chosen by R&B Legend Monica) & Warner Bros Showcase Winner.
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7Seas Records, NWCTeam, & Team Mica Parris present: Wings, the official music video. "Wings" was written by The NightOwlBoyz Production group and Mica Parris
This song was chosen by R&B Legend Monica, that gave Mica Parris the title, NBC's The Voice Artist on the Rise.
Q: Tell us about your song "I'm Ova You." What is the story behind it?
Mica: "I'm Ova You" is my first R&B song I ever wrote. Once I decided to focus on music a lot more, it made sense to HAVE more music. At the time this song came about, I was badly bruised from a freshly broken off 5-year relationship. I was deep in-love but "sitting in the dark, no clue while you [he] chillin all cool" making me look like a fool! The break-up was the only thing I could passionately write about since it was so heavily on my mind. It was co-written by the Night Owl Boyz, & produced by Bei Maejor, and is one of my most crowd-favorite, and highly requested performance songs.
Q: You have a strong spiritual background. At times does the industry conflict with your beliefs? If so, how do you balance it all out?
Mica: I am very spiritual, and you can be spiritual wherever you go, no matter where. If I were highly religious, then I believe the industry would conflict with my beliefs. The industry is what is it, and what everyone thinks that they know what it is, from the outside looking in. More importantly, I am who I am. Nothing that I am involved in can conflict with my spirituality unless I allow it to. Over saturation or lack of temperance of anything, is where us humans, often fall short. I balance everything out by doing all things in moderation and really making sure something is right for me, and if I am MADE for it.
Q: You are very versatile with your music. As a listener I hear an artist that is well rounded. Tell us about that versatility.
Mica: Thank you!!! I take that as a compliment and that means SO much to me because that's what I aim to portray, so that means Swag Magazine "gets" me as an artist! Being a singer, many of us get stuck in a box, but that's very hard for someone to try and do to me. I come from a classical musical background, from classical voice lessons, from one of the most sought after vocal coaches and teachers at a local University in the Portland, Oregon area. From there, I broke down my formal training and used the same techniques as I transitioned to Gospel, (because I grew up singing in the church), and then, to Pop/R&B etc. I have demo songs from all different genre's that can be found at www.reverbnation.com/micaparris.
Q: Tell us some of the tough points in your life you had to overcome in order to fulfill your dreams as a singer?
Mica: Oh wow..well, I've not known where I was going to lay my head at night a few times. I've had no gas in my car to get to work the next day because I just spent my last on a long studio session out of state. I've had no food in my fridge, and had to eat at work (payroll deduction, lol) to make it until my next paycheck. There are many things that I've gone without to keep pushing for a dream that I can't live without! God always helps me find a way and overcome, and He always finds a way to raise me up! :)
Q: How does it make you feel to know that your music and talent is a gift that inspires so many people?
Mica: Even reading this question made it feel surreal to me! I love performing and seeing people I do not know personally yet, singing my song lyrics right back to me as they are enjoying the performance! Many times people I don't know tweet at me saying they love my voice, or a specific song or two. All those things make me so humble, and remind me that my gift is from God because not everyone can sing, but wish to, and I CAN! :)
Q: Which one of your songs do you feel you have a strong connection to and why?
Mica: "I'm Ova You" used to have a super strong connection with me because of where the lyrics and passion came from. Now, that I am truly over that situation, I connect with it because others connect with it strongly, and that's the bridge to the gap, if any, also because it was my first R&B song. Now, I'm connected more to "Wings" because whenever I used to get sad, I would play that record on repeat, and listen to the words, as if I wasn't the singer singing it. I literally, wouldn't listen to me, the voice, on the track, I'd listen to the words, almost like meditating on them to recite and remind myself that everything will be okay. We need to hear that sometimes.
Q: What are two things that you have experienced in your career that you will always take with you for the rest of your life?
Mica: I will always take my trials with me, because those humble me, remind me where I came from, and push me to go harder. Also, working with some amazing songwriters has been the push to help me become a songwriter myself. Those late-nights and early mornings with them in the studio, I will always remember because I learned SO many invaluable things!
Q: I want to talk a little bit about your video "Wings"
How long did it take you to get the treatment together and what was some of the big decisions made on it?
Mica: I wrote the treatment, myself, and I wrote it in two days, but starting and stopping and then going back to it. In total, it took me about
2 hours to create. The main things for me with the treatment, were that I wanted the video to compliment the song, not overshadow the song, and to be very simple, yet show everyone my creativity through the video concept, colors, wardrobe, and makeup. By the way, wardrobe was styled by Cindy Taylor, a well-known fashion designer in the NW, as well as a designer of Lady Gaga. And my makeup was done by Rebecca Anderson, one of the most sought after makeup artists in the NW.
Q: You were chosen to be NBC's The Voice: "Artist on the Rise." You were picked out of 600 people to be the winner. That had to have been mind blowing. Share with us what you felt at that very moment.
Mica: See all of that you just said, didn't set in to my brain until months after it actually happened! I didn't do anything, I froze, at the moment, and it was like time froze. Monica tweeted congrats to me, creating a twitter blizzard to my mentions, and then I rushed off to my scheduled studio session, so I had to immediately get in hit-mode! After my session, I was still mind-blown. Good friends around me at the time were way more emotional and sentimental than I was, because they've seen the struggle, I've gone through and that moment was pivotal for me.
Q: Basically you have lived a life filled with music. From Church Choirs to school choir concerts, to musicals throughout elementary and up through college. I can only imagine what you were feeling and thinking when Monica called you on the Rickey Smiley show. What were your thoughts and emotions at that time?
Mica: So, the day I found out I won, I received a call from Monica on the Rickey Smiley morning show. I didn't really believe it because at first they tricked me and told me I was a runner-up and still wanted me on the show. When they told me I won, on the show, I was thinking "Wow, I am talking to people I've watched and listened to since I was a teenager!" It was very surreal, I felt blessed then and still feel blessed now! They also played "Wings" over 51 radio stations with tons of listeners! Friends from ATL (where the show is based syndicated 107.9 FM) were calling my phone saying they heard me on the radio; even some people I didn't know contacted me via Facebook about the radio interview & about my song being played. I will never forget those special moments tied in with the memory of becoming NBC's The Voice Artist on the Rise, chosen by R&B Legend Monica!
Q: Part of the prize for winning this contest was a one-hour mentoring session with "Monica" herself. What was it like meeting and working with her?
Mica: Monica and her team, Radio One, OurStage, & NBC The Voice, were so sweet, they actually made the one-hour session, a weekend! Me and a guest were flown out to NYC, we were behind the scenes of 106th and Park with Monica & Brandy, where they were debuting the music video for their highly anticipated duet "It All Belong to Me." So, I got to meet Brandy too. I got to see exclusive footage. Monica is extremely, poised, and gave me some amazing advice, I will always carry with me.
Q: So the question we all want to know is, what's next for Mica Parris?
Mica: I am currently in the studio working on some new music right now. I'm going to release a 3-song set, something that can wet my listeners' palates, called Triple Sec (Elixer) as they wait for my EP project coming shortly after that. This is definitely showing a different, more grown and sexier side of me. I am also working on several upcoming shows and possible tours with my team & new booking agency! I have some more things up my sleeve as well, that some will just have to wait for. ;)
Q: What would you like to say to all of your fans that have supported you throughout your career?
Mica: To everyone who ever took time to listen, download, play, share, like, and reach out to me to show me your appreciation for my work, I love you! To know me is to know my music, so I am thankful that you have taken thetime to get to know me through my music. I have more goodies coming for you so please hang tight and look out for new music and new everything Mica Parris!- Credits 7 Seas Records, NWCTeam, Team Mica Parris.