Interview: Mira Sthira – Weird Girl

Hi there! My musical aliase is Mira Sthira. “Mira Sthira” means “Ocean Strength” and she developed like a phoenix from the deep waters within. I like to write creative, sometimes deep, sometimes dark, sometimes light, and sometimes quirky indie pop tunes! I value authenticity and freedom in my art.

Can you tell us about your early career? Where did you get the idea for the music industry?

I have never considered music to be a career, rather more of a part of who I am!  According to my mother, I have been musical since I was a baby.  My first memories of songwriting are laying on the floor next to my toy box with cartoon animals on it and writing songs about the animals.  I learned a few songs on the guitar in middle school and then began learning to write my own songs on the guitar in my 20s.  My career was primarily in the mental health field as I was studying psychology but I spent a year working at the college radio, sorting records in the basement and meeting local musicians.  I loved to listen to all the cds that were coming in, and taking note of the artists I liked!  When I was in my late 20s, I went to Grad School to be a counselor and put music aside for a bit and during this time I developed an awful autoimmune disease that attacked the joints in my body.  It caused playing guitar to be difficult as it has damaged my wrists.  So I gave up independently playing in instrument and began focusing on vocals, playing music with others.  This eventually morphed into making pop music online with producers!

Where do you start when producing songs?

I start with raw emotions that need to be felt, experienced and put into melody and words.  It is an energy and often a pain or a deep passion within me that prompts me to write.  It is my desire to be the animal that I am that prompts me to write a song.  It can begin with a walk in the forest, noticing thoughts and images.  It can begin with a dream that weaves it’s way into words when I awake.  It can begin with music from my producer and me unraveling my pain or emotions onto the canvass of the melody.  And it can begin with a little vocal run that came to me in the car or shower and building upon that.  

Your latest song is ‘Weird Girl‘. Can you tell us more about the making of it and if there were any unusual things happening during the process?

My friend Jen recommended that I watch the show “Pen15” saying that I would really relate to the characters in it from our time in Middle School.  This show is about the life of middle school girls around the late 90s early 2000’s.  I ended up becoming enthralled with this show, binge watching it and unable to stop!  After I finished the show one day a producer randomly sent me something asking if I’d like to work with him.  I liked the track and immediately started singing and found that the theme flowing through me connected to what I was watching on Pen15.  The songwriting on this was not highly intentional or planned out.  The initial words were “She don’t say what she needs to say, or they run, run, run away.”  These words came to me as I was feeling and connecting within me to some feelings I was having at the time.  To be honest, it was about a guy that I found I was keeping at arms length and not sharing my feelings honestly about some of his behaviors or my feelings.  After that first line though, I decided to shift to connecting it to Pen15 and how these present feelings connect to the past.  I’ve at times lived with these patterns of holding my true self and my true creativity back from others in order to try to not scare anyone off or make them think I’m too strange or even too open for them.  I’ve had these patterns in order to keep the peace, to not upset people, to not make others think I was less than OR better than them, and in order to not cause people to reject me.  In reflecting on this I realize that these stem back from patterns from childhood and middle school and the even stronger feelings I had back then.  I decided to let this song unfold to speak to the importance of connecting with oneself, being authentic and developing your own authentic voice, as I’ve certainly done that big time in my life and am now pretty self aware and proud of who I am today!  

When I was in middle school I felt even more out of place!  I grew up in a military town and made friends with all the military people coming and going.  I had numerous friendship changes some in part because I moved away from perfectly decent friendships and others because of being rejected by former friends.  Others repeatedly moved away as typical for a military town.  I started feeling pretty out of place and different, and my differences were cause for me to be teased by some people.  I recall being teased for my frizzy hair, for wearing different clothes (I was constantly trying on new styles and changing appearances), for sitting and writing weird things in notebooks in the back of the class, and for listening to alternative music.  I specifically I recall being made fun of for listening to the artist “Beck” by a few girls.  I recall boys actually came to my defense as they had the same music taste as me.  And I was bullied for my interest in boys and their interest in me, although certainly I don’t think most were interested in me.  Some boys treated me badly too, one in particular stole items from me in band class and harassed me regularly and insulted me musically.  Granted, oddly despite how musical I am today I hated forced music classes and became a COMPLETE slacker at that age in most all areas.  Other boys spread around rumors that I was bringing cocaine to class because I brought a bag of sparkles to put on my body.  I developed an issue where I pulled hair from my head and I had to cut my hair short like a boy.  I was called “weird” “slut” “lesbian” and I recall being assaulted at school and having mean girls pull me backwards by my backpack onto the ground.  I recall having to enter martial arts in order to defend myself, which finally worked.  This level of bullying finally stopped when a girl came up to me at a school dance, called me a “weird slut” and tried to assault me.  I was able to defend myself and take her down, where-after I was never bothered again and earned some level of respect throughout the rest of my teenage years.

What was the most difficult challenge you faced?

The most difficult challenge musically?  I would say it’s been trying to figure out how to make an album.  I tend to have soooo many ideas that are all over the place that it’s hard to boil them down into something that is cohesive.  I’ve had a hard time finding that specific sound for my art previously but I feel that this is really coming along now with the new projects I’m working on!

What is your goal in artistic activities?

My goal is to continue to use music to self-heal and if it helps others that is great as well.  I have decided to promote my music because frankly, I’d like to get some momentum so I can keep monetizing it!  It’s a lot of work and money to make pop music and I’m passionate about this craft!  Right now I’m working on an album that is about going into the subconscious mind or “otherworld” or under the ocean waters to discover what is there within.  I consider it a form of “shadow work.”  I am also working on developing ideas for a few music videos!

How do you know when a work is finished?

When my Mastering Engineer Brandon Allshouse completes his work!  No, but really it’s done when the song feels like a “complete organism” as my producer Mikheil Rusishvili describes it.  For me, when a song gives me a whole body feeling of goodness enveloping me.  Or that the song to me feels like it’s a vehicle through which my soul can reside.  

What is your trademark? It’s about unique sounds or behaviors on stage.

I consider myself a poet and an artist.  I also really enjoy having fun with music.  I like to make my music deep, yet also danceable.  I’d say that there is a 90’s europop vibe as well as a Georgian and Middle Eastern vibe to my productions which have also impacted me vocally as an artist.  

What are your biggest achievements so far as an artist, but also personally?

I’d say the achievements for me really lie in creating art that I am proud of and currently expanding on more.  I also think an achievement for me is recognizing that there is always growth that is happening as an artist, while at the same time, having some boundaries around how much critique is internalized or how much advice is taken.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I really quite enjoyed all the responses and engagement with my “Lizard Pop” video.  It was a low budget video I made “lizarding around” in lizardy attire and playing with plastic lizards, puppets and other weird footage.  It was really nice to hear from another artist that he confessed that whenever he was feeling down he actually started watching this video again.  I love to know that my music has made someone’s day better.

What are your plans for the future

To continue to emphasize relationships with people musically and otherwise.  I’d honestly like to find a partner who is also artistic in some way or another.  

As for my music, I want to make several music videos and continue to work on this concept album!  There is so much great music out there, but I’d like to be part of it.  I would love to get my music synced onto television or shows!  I would like to keep making music and to find love and connection. 

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