Audrey Mika: “My main goal as an artist is to be a mentor…” (3/3 at Voltage Lounge)

2020 really does seem to be dominated by the young ladies so far… A few weeks ago 15-year-old Jayden Bartels provided one of the best sets we’ve seen in...

2020 really does seem to be dominated by the young ladies so far… A few weeks ago 15-year-old Jayden Bartels provided one of the best sets we’ve seen in the year’s first quarter while opening for Echosmith, and one of our favorite releases, 5 A.M., comes courtesy of 19-year-old Audrey Mika, who is currently touring behind the release and will find herself headlining Voltage Lounge next Tuesday, March 3rd.  Mika rose to prominence as a YouTube sensation, famous for her covers of popular songs, although her original tunes have already gained quite a bit of acclaim of their own from the likes of Paper, Idolator, and Ones to Watch.  Although most frequently praised for her soulfulness and bluesiness, she really has a swagger more in line with the most notable R&B chanteuses of the 21st century.  Yesterday I got a chance to chat with Audrey about her career thus far and just what it’s like being a young girl in 2020.

Izzy Cihak: I realize this is a really big question to start with but, considering that your musical career is still relatively new, what have been some of the highlights for you, so far?

Audrey Mika: Even though it’s only been two shows in, tour has been the most exciting part of my career. Seeing people all over the world and showing that they actually care about me and the music and that makes me so happy. I am truly so grateful to have this opportunity.

Izzy: Have you had any favorite reactions to your music, whether from fans, critics, or just friends?

Audrey: One that stuck with me was actually David Dobrik. He asked me if my music was any good and I said I don’t know yet and he responded with, “Well that usually means its good.” Even though he hadn’t heard anything.

Izzy: Or, for that matter, have you noticed any patterns in the kinds of people who are most into your music?

Audrey: The majority are 15-year-old girls. But it really ranges far. They’re so smart, strong, mature, cute, funny, and they really show that they love the music and care about it.

Izzy: Do you think that there’s anything that’s especially important for fans and potential fans to know about your process of creating music, or even just your aim as an artist?

Audrey: What’s most important is me living my life so I can write the most authentic songs as possible. My main goal as an artist is to be a mentor for young girls and boys to follow their dreams and not let their fear stand in the way.

Izzy: You recently released your 5 A.M. EP.  What would you consider to be the EPs most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?

Audrey: Life inspired that entire EP. And as of musical, I really didn’t want anything to sound like anyone else, so I wouldn’t reference a song when creating because I wanted it to sound the most like myself.

Izzy: Do you have any significant influences that you think might surprise your fans?

Audrey: I wouldn’t say so, I usually cover a lot of my musical influences, so I really leave it all out for everyone to know.

Izzy: I know you’re from the Bay Area.  How is the music scene out there at the moment?  I feel like in recent years I’ve covered a ton of artists who reside there.

Audrey: I live in LA now, but I lived in the bay area all my life before. Being homeschooled kinda isolated me from the music scene, to be honest. But I know a lot of artists are coming out of the bay just because of how much culture is surrounded in the bay. Some of my favorite artists are also from the bay, so I feel like there’s a connection already.

Izzy: You just kicked off a number of tour dates.  What can be expected of the live experience when you play Voltage Lounge next week?

Audrey: Lots of vibing, and interacting with my wonderful fans. They’re always so supportive during the show and very chatty. Lots of music and lots of screaming!

Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you, after this round of dates wraps?  Anything you’re especially excited about in 2020?

Audrey: I’ve been writing my next album with my best friend and many other amazing musicians. I’m mainly excited to get back from tour to write more and more songs to really create a whole story and experience for my album!

*Audrey Mika plays Voltage Lounge Tuesday, March 3, at 7pm.  Tickets are $18-$20.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.