Moving to New York for a vast majority of aspiring entertainers can prove to be rather competitive. For this particular southern beauty, being the refreshing face to break musical barriers has been proven possible in a world of talented people with the same motives. Africa Miranda’s Cape Verdean heritage and southern roots along with her edgy style, which fuses Hip Hop, Rock and R&B, is exactly what keeps her name buzzing amongst industry favorites. After competing against thousands for a chance to perform with Justin Timberlake at the Grammies, Africa Miranda’s personality and work ethic kept her in view of music executives and producers who continue to see a star in the making. Super Producers Taskmasters, Khrysis, and Tytanic didn’t think twice before lending a hand in production. With industry co-sign, great stage presence, and an undeniable style, whose to say that Africa Miranda won’t make it to the 2008 Grammy’s with her own set.
Singersroom: For a vast majority, your introduction came from the Grammy contest, “My Grammy Moment,” which awarded one lucky contestant the opportunity to perform with Justin Timberlake. How did you become involved in this competition?
Africa Miranda: Well, I read about it online. I didn’t think too much of it until two of my girlfriends-from different parts of the country, hit me saying “oh we heard of a contest and you should do it.” I read about it again and I figuredâ¦..why not try it out. I had a laptop, web cam and made a video of myself and sent it in.
Singersroom: Just so we can have a general idea as to how big this was, can you give me a number with regards to about how many participants there were?
Africa Miranda: I never got the final number but I think it was almost 35,000 people.
Singersroom: Since the competition, despite the fact that you were not the winner, you have and still continue to be doing very well and making power moves to advance. Have you come across any possible record deal opportunities?
Africa Miranda: Definitely, my project is being shopped to labels right now. I’ve had the opportunity to perform at many different venues. I opened for Akon back in March. I just performed at S.O.B’s (historical venue in New York) this past week. I’m going be the host of a monthly live music show called Muzik Theory that’s at the Canal Room (New York). I hosted it for the first time this past May and June. Actually, I am performing at the show in July so there are a lot of great things happening for me.
Singersroom: You were brought up in Montgomery, Alabama, what was it like growing up and how did that help shape your musical destiny?
Africa Miranda: I loved growing up down south. I love being in New York but nothing compares to the feeling of home. That feeling that you get, the community in the south – there’s so much history in Montgomery from the Civil Rights Movement, to Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King and just to have that around you definitely gives you a greater sense of purpose. You come to realize everything you do can affect other people. When you grow up around history, you want everything that you do to be important and special.
Singersroom: Here at Singersroom, we just added you to our list of upcoming aspiring singers! What R&B artists today are you currently feeling?
Africa Miranda: Definitely, Ne-Yo and Beyonce, but I really love the Omarion “Entourage” song. It is different musically and I think he did something different and I always respect people that do that. I really like Maroon 5 too. I just enjoy good music.
Singersroom: Since you like good music, what exactly do you consider “Good Music?”
Africa Miranda: There can be more than one type; it doesn’t have to be R&B. It can be hip hop, or country. My favorite artists are just GOOD artist. I like [Young] Jeezy, I like Biggie, but I really like Rihanna’s song “Umbrella.” If it’s a good song and a good sound, something different then I will like it.
Singersroom: You’re known to have mastered the art of painting pictures through your music, what kind of emotions, feeling, or knowledge are you providing for your fans and listeners of your music.
Africa Miranda: When people listen to my music it’s definitely honest. What they get from it is a real thing. It’s a real thing that was created by me from a real place and emotion. Maybe something that happened to me, someone close to me or not getting something that someone gave to me. It’s something that I helped create and I think that’s what makes it special. When you look at those artists that are successful overtime it’s because they brought something of themselves to the table. They don’t want just a creation that someone says, “okay we gonna put them in this outfit and your gonna sing this song.” That works for a little bit but after a whileâ¦it’s those artist that have something special and different about them that keeps people coming back.
Singersroom: Is there any artist in particular in any genre of music that you would really like to compose a track with?
Africa Miranda: I would Love, Love, Love to work with Prince. I don’t care if it is singing backgrounds or standing in the studio and watching him work. I would just love to work with him and watch him create and to just see what his process is and to just be able to learn from what he does. I just think he’s amazing!
Singersroom: I read your blog called “Excuse Me”-its real dope. I was laughing through the whole thing because it really does portray a bit of New York’s lifestyle like East Coast Hollywood, if that’s even safe to say. What role did relocating to the Big Apple play in your career?
Africa Miranda: It’s what got me started. I was in Alabama and Montgomery isn’t to far from Atlanta, so I was back and fourth a little trying to record with different people. But I didn’t really get a break and start really learning what the business is and what it means to try to make it in this business till I moved to New York. I say “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.” You learn everything, like you don’t have a hustle till you get to New York. Like you don’t know what hustle is cause it’s a whole different ball game. It made me work harder than I’ve ever worked. It made me look at myself and say, “do I really want this?” and what does this mean? You can’t just get by doing it half way you have to give everything, you have to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and do things that you knowâ¦you’d never thought you’d do. I don’t mean that in a bad way but it’s like pushing yourself.
Singersroom: If right this second, you had the choice to pick a country, state, or location to perform in where would that place be and why?
Africa Miranda: I’ve never been to Europe so I’d love to perform there. The people seem like they have a really good appreciation for music. Being able to go and see how you would be received in a different environment would be amazing.
Singersroom: Who or what is your all time favorite artist or inspiration?
Africa Miranda: Every time something new happens I get a new inspiration all over again. At one point it was just getting to this point in my career but now that this has happened I’ve learn that you have chances. I’ve always wanted to go to the Grammy’s and now that I’ve been to the Grammy’s, I want to go as an artist and perform. Each day brings a new challenge and an inspiration for me. I don’t have one thing. It used to be I just wanted the record deal. But now you learn and you grow and now that I’m performing and getting the chance to see myself as an entertainer and get out there it changes. You can have a record deal and no one ever really see you perform or you never get the chance to really touch another person. For me it’s just to be able to keep growing and keep changing.
Singersroom: As far as Africa Miranda and your musical career, what should your fans and listeners of your music expect?
Africa Miranda: For the near future they should be looking for ringtones coming real soon. If all goes according to plan, my single dropping by the end of the year. More shows, I’ll definitely be looking forward to more shows throughout New York and down south. Just look out, I’m comingâ¦it’s not even an if or a maybe, nothings gonna stop me. I’m comingâ¦ be on the lookout.
Singersroom: You’re already there, it’s just a matter of timeâ¦
Africa Miranda: Thank you
—— By: Interview By Wande Davies