Real Women, Real Style: Mia Sable
We are excited to feature talented musical artist and LA Sikara customer, Mia Sable, for our April issue. She was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and is of Korean, German, and Native American decent. Mia has always been inspired by the world around her, including fashion icons Rita Hayworth and Audrey Hepburn and the innovative and sophisticated fashions of Dior and Chanel. These inspirations have found their way into her music. Fans have compared her modern classic sound to KT Tunstall, Natasha Bedingfield, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, and Dido. Playing both piano and guitar, her voice ranging from sultry depths to clear sweet highs, Sable is a versatile performer with solid pop appeal.
Sikara (S): What was it like for you growing up in such a multicultural family and how has that influenced you?
Mia (M): Being multicultural was something I didn’t truly discover until I moved to Los Angeles. Where I grew up in Charlotte, NC there weren’t many people like me, so I didn’t even really know I was different! The “culture” I most identified with was just Southern culture in general. When I finally moved to California though I started meeting people who were multi-ethnic like me, and realizing that in fact there were these unique elements of my life. For example, I have definitely grown in curiosity and appreciation for everything my Korean mother learned and accomplished to get me to where I am today – although she is very humble, and has never made me feel like she did anything special in that regard – more and more, I realize on my own how extraordinary she is.
(S): What is the best advice you could give to a young woman about pursuing her dreams?
(M): I think you have to develop really strong instincts, and then trust them! Unfortunately instincts are often formed along the path of the mistakes that we make trying – so you have to try and be willing to learn. Sometimes success is glamorous, and sometimes just “surviving” certain moments is the success… you have to feel pride in both.
(S): What inspires you most to write songs?
(M): Songs usually come to me in these sudden bolts of emotion – kind of like in a musical where the person suddenly bursts out in song – I try to allow myself to do that in my head… just immerse my imagination in whatever emotion I’m impacted by daily, whether it’s about a relationship, or something else I observe about living life. Then I write or record the best of those, and they often manifest into full songs.
(S): What is your favorite venue to play?
(M): Perhaps this isn’t a fair answer, but I love performing for my webcam for YouTube videos or other Internet music channels. I think this is the best way to reach my fans wherever they are, and I love getting to be really personal with them without any of the random obstacles that inevitably pop up for them or me at any given venue – I know they always have a comfortable seat.
(S): Which artist are you dying to work with?
(M): This list could go on and on… I’d love to write with Nelly Furtado, perform live with Jenny Lewis, and work in the studio with Diddy. For a collaboration – Estelle.
(S): As an independent artist, what do you think of the state of the music industry today?
(M): It’s changing everyday, and my take is just to look at it like other industries in the past that were ripped and rocked by technology. There’s going to be a period of innovation and adaptation, and at times it feels like it’s more uncertain than it’s ever been – but it’s also a great time to discover what musically matters most to you and have the opportunity to redefine how it is experienced.
(S): Is there a difference between your style on stage and your personal style?
(M): The only difference is that in “real life” I can’t ALWAYS wear heels for the sake of practicality… but if I could, I certainly would. I’ve always admired the way that R&B and Hip Hop artists dress up, like a reflection of their own aspirations, and like it really matters to them – I’m on board with that moreso than the common Rock style of deconstruction and nonchalance.
(S): What song that is not yours do you wish you had written?
(M): Probably Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You.” I used to only see the value in a really complex, lyrically deep kind of song, but nowadays I find it just as striking in a different way to have instant timeless appeal with a simple classic melody.
(S): Is there any artist or song that inspired you to become musician?
(M): I was 13 when the Lilith Fair started, and I went every year. Certainly Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Loeb, and Nelly Furtado were influences – I’m really excited the tour is coming back this year, it would be my teenage dream to play on it. My first cassette was Mariah Carey, and my first concert was Boyz II Men, so R&B has also always been a part of what inspires me.
(S): What draws you to old Hollywood glamour?
I love how the goal was to present oneself artistically. At some point over the years people came to value that gritty “reality revealed” aesthetic, but I love how old Hollywood gave us a style that was both subtle and intentional. It reflected our ideals, which are a real part of ourselves – that’s why we still relate.
(S): What is your favorite place to go to in Los Angeles?
(M): I really enjoy finding little hideaways, the magazine archives at the public library hold volumes from the 60s and earlier, the antique shops with amazing vintage jewelry, or any place with quiet, and cozy furniture for daydreaming.