Miya Folick is a musical force that has become known for her ability to delve into the depths of her consciousness and create music that is all her own. Folick brings to her songs a clear sense of connection that would resonate with anyone who takes the time to listen.
You give me the energy that you have always had a creative persona?
I was definitely creative and musical from a young age. I was always making up songs for fun and making up little poems and writing them in my notebook. I think what was interesting was that it wasn’t obvious what I was going to do. My love of music drives my music career, but it is not the only passion. I think that the other part of my brain that likes to do a lot of different things is also what drives my music career, because as a musician, you write music, but you also are your own boss.
I always think that the most successful artists are the ones that understand themselves as a business. I feel like it's really hard to be an artist and not be aware of all parts of what the business of being an artist is.
I think I get jealous of them, especially if you're feeling a little petty or bitter about something. I think to me, I see two types of super successful artists. One knows every cent coming in, and they know who's doing what. Everybody who gets hired gets vetted. And then there are the artists who basically are non functional humans, except for their art. And they are walking and eating artists who get taken care of by their team. I see it all the time, especially in younger artists, where there's some really huge success that is basically being sustained by a team. I think however that longevity of an artist kind of requires the former.
I agree, I feel you need to know something of what is happening around you. Exactly, the artist is relying on success and momentum for these people to stay loyal to you, and if you don't have as great of success as you did three years ago, or whenever, they're gonna find another young artist. I still get jealous sometimes. I think maybe if I just started being less reliable or if I came across as somebody who needed more help than I would get more help.
Oh, that is an interesting thought.
I think that because of the way that my career has unfolded, I've experienced enough success that I've been able to sustain my career. However, never so much that it was so explosive, that it catapulted me into the stratosphere. I think when that happens, you absolutely need people to come in and help, because you're entering a world that is brand new.
Like a new level in Mario Bros? [laughs] For me, each next step has been kind of natural and has come at a time where I've felt very prepared for that transition, and I think that that has been really nice. When I look at younger artists who have crazy success, it seems scary.
It must be difficult when people get signed on one song.
Could you imagine the pressure and make another one?
Not at all. You have no fanbase, no experience, but all this pressure.
Well, that's why I feel like it's so important for artists to have an open dialogue with each other. I think that there's value to both of those knowledge bases and it should be shared.
Are you saying that this type of communication is not happening?
No, I think there is. I feel like whenever a younger artist comes to me for advice about anything, and it seems like their career is going well, but they're figuring themselves out. I'm always just like, don't change a thing, everything you're doing is great. You're learning how to run your own business, and if you're asking somebody to come in and make your music into a business, then you're gonna miss out on the opportunity to learn how to do that yourself. Everything's just different today.
Do you think the artist’s support system truly understands the challenges of being a musician today? How different is the world from your last album?
It's noticeable to me, but we're still doing the traditional things, because they're important. So yes, I'm on Tik Tok and social media. We're focusing more on that than maybe we did last time, but touring is hugely important. I think that it's hard right now because it's really expensive, but developing real connections with people in person is not replaceable. Music is so personal, and I hope that my music, really more than anything else, makes people feel less alone. The point of music like mine, is to make you feel like you resonate with somebody outside of you, and that your feelings are being represented in the world outside of you, and that you can resonate with that. I think that giving people the opportunity to see that kind of music in person is so important. And I think it's also important for me as an artist to get to experience that because it's really gratifying and in a way that posting on the internet isn't.
Do you personally feed off those live reactions? Or do you find it uncomfortable?
I don't really have a problem being vulnerable. I think it comes fairly easy to me, but it's also a structured, designed vulnerability. It's like that idea of dressing so it looks effortlessly cool, but there's actually a lot of effort that went into it. I've also worked on being vulnerable a lot and learned how to be vulnerable. I think I get the most self-conscious just being a person in the regular world. Every once in a while I'll spiral about a show, but usually I don't.
So do you find performing cathartic in any way? Or is it just fun, as when I’ve seen you perform, you seem quite relaxed.
I am quite a relaxed performer and I feel very comfortable onstage. I really enjoy playing with other musicians. I feed off other people enjoying my songs. It’s just more exciting and fun.
Do you like seeing your audience connecting to your themes?
Yes! My latest album is about honesty, and I think that right now, being really self aware and going to therapy, is in the zeitgeist. In my 20s I thought I was being self aware and honest with myself when I wasn't. I believe most people are like that. I see myself doing it, I see all my friends doing it, and I see my family doing it. I think we're also as a generation, trying to break some cycles of our parents' generation. We are realising, collectively and individually, that it takes more than recognising the issue. It takes serious work and effort each day. I don't want to be like my parents who never went to therapy, never dealt with this traumatic event, and had this bitterness and resentment that they held onto for the rest of their life. instead, I'm gonna say, “Okay, I have these traumas. I'm going to deal with them.” But what does that really mean? I think that for me, and I think for a lot of my friends, there was a period of our 20s, where we were like, definitely aware that we had shit to deal with, but we wouldn't actually deal with any of it.
We’d just acknowledge and ignore.
Right?? And go party. I think there's something really useful in healing about that. But it's not the whole story, it’s just part of it.
When did you start thinking about that?
I think like all of my 20s. There's so many levels of awareness that can be really deceiving. So it's like, I'm aware, I have this bad habit. I'm aware that I do it because of this trauma. I'm aware that my awareness doesn't mean anything. I'm aware that my awareness doesn't mean anything and yet, I'm still not actually doing anything about it. I'm ignoring my problem, and I'm covering it up with drugs and alcohol. I'm trauma bonding and thinking that that's healing, but that is not healing. So I think that emotional intelligence in a certain way can be destructive. For me that part of the process may last a little longer than I wanted to.
Is that why you wanted to write about it because it was such a big part of your life?
It's not even just like a part of my life, it is life! And just because it happened in my 20s, doesn't mean that it won't happen again in my 30s. And I may write about it again. I think that our lives are so dense with things that we need to process just on an everyday level. Everyone has so many responsibilities to just live.
It feels like we have more on our shoulders day-to-day. I don’t think most of our parents had worried about, for example, the environment, the way we do.
Of course! There's also certain things we're gonna put on the backburner, and we're not going to deal with because we need to, like eat and work to live. Even right now, like, there's definitely things that I need to deal with, and certain things that I haven't really, truly thought about, because I want to think about that later. So I don't know, I think that this record is about your honesty, and what it means to like, change your habits, which I think is difficult, but not impossible to do. That is what I believe is super relatable, and interesting. These songs, in so many ways, are about like, very serious subjects. But I also think that it can relate to lighter topics. When I first started writing this record, I was kind of a messy person, like now there's never dishes in my sink. That is not an insignificant change to my life, it's actually changed me.
Do you think your writing made you think about your behaviour?
Parallel I think! For me, whilst writing is cathartic and therapeutic, it is never life changing. I think if I wasn't a writer, I would still be able to make these changes. Starting to wash my dishes as soon as they were dirty, changed my life more than writing this record. I started having this approach to life which is different to what I am used to. I'm not like the most patient person in the world. I am extremely impatient about certain things, but I think that I used to be so impatient about everything and I just wanted things to happen quickly, because my brain works very fast.
I can definitely relate to that.
I think a lot of people can. I am happening fast. My brain is happening fast. I want everything to happen fast. I think now I want to show as much care and everything that I do as possible, and that's more important to me. Yeah, then it happened fast. Let me think of a good example: I'm busy and in a rush. I'm trying to leave the house. I take a shirt, and I throw it on the ground, and I start to leave. My brain then tells me to treat everything with care. I go back, and pick up that shirt. I fold it and I put it in the drawer. I'm not perfect, but I think that that's kind of the way that I approach things more now. I am making the bed every day, I’ll arrange the pillows on my couch a certain way. And every morning I wake up and I take my tea cup and I put the tea bag in the trash. I think doing things like this every day, maybe not change my life more than writing music, but I do think that it is in a way just as important and I think that's what this music is about really. I am having a big cathartic moment of realisation that might feel like it changes your life but really, it's a little thing like folding your blanket, that can really make a difference.