What is our “genuine” self? Is it who we are when we get up and go to work in the morning? Is it who we are when we’re around our closest friends and family? Is it the person we are when we’re by ourselves on a lazy day? The real answer is probably some combination of those personas and many more, but the point is it can be difficult to express our “true” selves. It’s not something we can just do, but is a process which requires a lot of soul-searching, reflection, and honesty with ourselves. Taking that process and turning it into art is no easy feat either, but that’s exactly what pop artist Lula Miranda is aiming to do. Two years after the release of her debut album Stranger, the LA born singer–currently living in Argentina–is exploring her multicultural roots and the inner workings of her own personality to create music to showcase who she really is as an artist and a person.
I talked to Miranda while she was at home in Buenos Aires prepping for the release of the acoustic version of her latest single “Cherry Kiss.” The video for the original single is sitting at 85k views, and she’s clearly excited about the direction her career is taking. She tells me, “Cherry Kiss is a bit more me than my previous album.” By her own admission, Miranda was still learning when creating Stranger. She explains “my first album I was actually experiencing how to write my own music, which sounds to use.” Stranger was not even in her plans when she fist began writing, instead coming about when she realized she had written enough to put an album out. She’s still proud of Stranger, but her learning experiences and work weren’t over.
On some level every musician loves writing music, but Miranda loves writing music. Any time our conversation veers into the details of writing, her voice lights up with joy. Only a few minutes into our interview she tells me “I do enjoy writing a lot” with a strong sense of commitment in her tone. If it was up to her, writing would never end. She tells me “when you release a whole album it’s kinda sad because everything you’ve worked on you’ve already shown and you have to start again.” To that end, there was not much of a break between Stranger‘s release and her return to writing. She says she took a couple of months to learn from Stranger, work on videos, and tour, but before too long she was back to writing.
That writing has born fruit. Both Miranda and her fans adore “Cherry Kiss,” and she tells me she has in the neighborhood of 15 more songs that are either nearing completion or finished. She recorded these new songs back in April of 2018, and ever since then has been eagerly awaiting a chance to release them. She says with a laugh she’s been so eager and thinking about it so much she’s gotten into her own head and psyched herself out at times during the wait. “It’s actually kinda a problem because then you have too much time to listen to your own songs that you start doubting, like I don’t know if I want to release this song,” she explains, and credits her friends and management with assuring her everything is still alright. Miranda is the type of person who never wants to stop working on a song, and fondly tells tales of getting into good-natured arguments with producers where she’ll want to keep returning to the studio long after each part of the song is perfect.
When it comes to producers and studios, Miranda worked with some of the best on her new material. She travelled to London to work with Christian Wright, the talented producer who was worked with everyone from Ed Sheeran to Bjork. Wright works at and Miranda recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, one of the most hallowed halls in modern music history. Their working relationship began with FaceTime calls from across the Atlantic, and Miranda reveals it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “At first it was pretty hard because we didn’t know each other personally so it was like trying to be precise and we were both trying to understand each other’s tastes,” she says. Once she went to London, she spent a few days with Wright outside the studio so they could get to know each other, and from there the work bloomed. She says it was not uncommon for the duo to work fifteen to sixteen hours a day, although she did allow herself time to geek out about all the music history at Abbey Road and take a few pictures.
The result of these long hours and musical expertise is music which Miranda truly feels embodies who she really is. She explains to me she stopped worrying about what people think about her long ago when it comes to her music. “What I concentrate on is being genuine in my work and I think if I’m genuine in my work and people like it, awesome. And if they don’t like it … that’s me and not everybody has the same tastes so not everyone is going to love your work,” she explains.
Part of that genuine nature she’s bringing to her music is her global experiences. Besides being born in LA and living in Argentina, Miranda has also lived in Columbia and worked around the globe. She’s very proud of this, and says “I think being multicultural is always something positive because you can relate to more people.” She says she loves people in every city she’s been to, and she’s trying to tap into her own roots in her new music as well. To this end, she reveals she’s now writing music in both English and Spanish. The gravity with which she talks about this clearly signals it’s a development that’s important to her. She goes through her thought process that got her to this point by saying “I have so many artists I admire who are Spanish speakers, and also my heritage, my family is Spanish. I said ‘Why not? Why not do it in both languages?’ It’s also part of myself.”
When Miranda tours with this new music, she’ll focus on bring that genuine emotion into her shows, as well. She says it can be easy to forget the potent emotions that went into first recording a song after performing it dozens of times, so she expressly concentrates on those emotions before a show to make sure each audience member gets an authentic experience from her. She views this act almost as a duty to her fans, explaining “you have a chance to connect with people who are in the audience, and I think it’s all about emotions.” She further explains everyone has their own specific memories and emotions attached to each song, and “to go through that feeling with other people, [she] think[s] that’s awesome.”
It can be difficult to nail down who we really are, even for those most in-tune with their emotions. There are so many facets to our personalities it can be a challenge to open up and show others what is inside of our minds. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one that Lula Miranda believes in. With new music coming soon and a strong desire to be as truthful and open as she can be, Lula Miranda will spend 2019 showing all of us who she really is as a person and an artist.