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PAUSE Her Q&A With Audrey Mika

PAUSE Her Q&A With Audrey Mika

Audrey Mika has made a rise to pop stardom that highlights the opportunities for creatives in the modern world. Having made her first break by covering songs on a pink microphone and uploading the videos on YouTube, the 19-year-old is now selling out shows on a headline tour. PAUSE Her spoke to the artist to gain an insight into her life as a creative, touching on topics such as going viral, how she views her past projects and the future!

How are you doing? How are you coping with quarantine?

It’s been a learning experience and actually it’s been hard staying at home. I think as people, interaction is a really big part of being okay and I’m lucky that I get to live with my best friends but still, it is really hard. Writing has been especially hard because you write from experience and we haven’t really been experiencing a lot of things, so we’ve been kind of stuck actually.

You’ve been having a bit of a creative block?

Yeah, a little bit. It’s hard.

Where are you based at the moment?

Now I live in Long Beach with my two best friends and we’re just moving to West Hollywood tomorrow. But I am originally from Oakland.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during this time?

Well, my best friend has been cooking, we all watch this show called Chopped which is the most intense cooking show and I think it’s inspired her to start cooking at home and it’s really exciting but personally, music is what I do and I am not good at anything else so it’s hard for me right now honestly. I miss performing, I miss writing, I miss studio time, but I really hope that everything will come back to normal soon.

You started by doing covers on YouTube, have you always made your own music as well?

I actually have always been making music, well I’ve been singing my whole life and I got my first instrument when I was 15, I got a ukulele and I just started writing. After that, I started uploading music onto Soundcloud, so I have been writing originals for a while before YouTube and I just started something on YouTube that coincidentally paid off and it was crazy how things happened honestly. I put two videos out a week and they were getting a lot of love and then a couple of them went viral and I was like ‘oh my god what is happening!’ I was so excited because this meant that I was moulding myself a path to become something I have always wanted to become. I thank YouTube for that; I owe YouTube my life because it really got me to where I am, and also my friends I couldn’t be here without them. I couldn’t go on tour without them and I’m just super, super grateful for everything, the life I get to live and I get to do what I love with the people I love and care about, so I’m very grateful.

You mentioned going viral, does it still shock you how many views and streams you get on your music?

Yeah, it does, I honestly don’t care too much about the views or the streams but it’s pretty cool to see a big number. But it just means that so many people are finding you and your voice and your music, so it’s really exciting.

If you don’t look too much at the numbers what would you say is the most rewarding thing from making music? For a lot of people that would be what they lay a lot of worth on.

I don’t do this for the numbers and I don’t look at them and be like “oh man! blah blah blah!” I actually make music for the people and I think the most rewarding thing is getting a reaction from people because that’s what music is for; it’s for everyone to feel like they’re safe and I love it when my fans, they chat to me and they say “I relate to this song so much, this song came out a perfect time I really needed this,” that’s exactly what I live for being able to help people through my music.

I guess the best way to gauge a reaction from people is performing live, when did you start performing?

I’ve been a dancer for almost 15 years so I always loved the stage but singing performing was a different thing and made me really nervous. Before the tour I had really only done one show with a big audience and before that they were tiny shows and I would be singing at church or something. It was very amazing how tour really helped me learn about myself and how much I truly love performing for my fans and it’s just like a party every night. I don’t even feel nervous because they’re singing with me which is too crazy to me. I can’t believe they know the words and care enough to come out and sing some songs with me. But it’s just really cool and definitely an indescribable feeling and I’m really lucky I got to go on tour before all the Corona lockdown.

Have you had to cancel any tour dates?

We actually had to cancel the entire second leg so it’s very disappointing but hopefully, in the New Year we’ll start on the tour again and I’m excited for that but it’s really far away, so I don’t know how I feel.

Was that tour for the new EP?

Yes, that was the 5AM tour.

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You’ve released a lot of bodies of work, why have you taken that route instead of being more focused on singles?

I think that it’s the best way for an artist to tell their story and I think the 5AM EP was definitely a pretty sad, traumatic, very vulnerable EP and now that I look back on it I’m like “wow, this is so sad.” I love every song on that EP and so do a lot of people and that makes me super happy. As humans we get sad and we need music to feel better and feel like you’re not alone and that was really the goal for that project. There’s another one called Level Up and I wrote that in December and January just in my attic on Garage Band and I was really proud of that because I really taught myself a lot about music. Each one (album) is like a chapter of your life and each one is a new era, we’re working on a new album and I’m really excited to share it with everyone.

So other than working on the album what are your plans for the rest of the year?

Yeah, we just dropped an official music video for Just Friends and I was really excited for that. We have a couple of singles lined up for the rest of the year and hopefully, the album will be coming next year; I’m not sure when. We’ve had a lot of time to think about what we want to do, how we want to do things and the kind of music we are striving for.

How would you describe the music that you are striving for?

It’s more the writing. We are trying to switch up things a little bit or just edit a little more.

In some ways you’re the epitome of becoming an artist in this time, coming from YouTube and having a big following on TikTok, how optimistic does having these outlets make you about the new generation of creatives?

I honestly think that having these platforms is amazing and it’s the perfect way to express yourself through whatever you are doing. I love how there’s so many young kids out there who want to be artists and they truly dream so big and that makes me so happy. It inspires me and makes me want to do what I do even more. It’s cool that I have those platforms because it’s really inspiring to see young people living their dreams and working towards them.

What’s the proudest thing you have achieved?

I’ve been home schooled my entire life, so going from being home every day to being out all day long almost every day, has really taught me the lesson that I can do this. I love what I do and that is the reason that I get up out of bed. Honestly meeting my best friend is one of the best days I’ve had in my life and she pushed me through everything. She’s also my manager so I’m very lucky; I don’t think I could have done this without her and I’m honestly very proud of us doing all of this in less than three years. It’s been a rollercoaster but I’m proud of us for navigating a lot of dramatic events and a lot of dirty business. I’m really happy where we are now, and I feel very grateful.

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