MIIKA

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Michaela Paladio shares her journey of balancing music with work, highlighting the challenges required to pursue her passion.
What’s your name and when did you first show an interest in music? Are your parents supportive in your decision to become an artist?

My name is Michaela Paladio. My musical interest began around 2 years of age. My parents were always singing various genres of music such as jazz, alternative rock, and pop while I was growing up. My inspirations were Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion. I began piano and singing lessons/recitals when I was 7 years old. My parents used to insist I find a more realistic career, but over time they’ve eased into accepting that music is my forever dream.

How are you working to become a not-so starving artist? Do you make music full-time? What’s paying the bills?

I have been a singer-songwriter for over 10 years. I learned how to balance music as a career and passion while maintaining a job and attending school full-time, and prioritizing my self-care, and personal relationships. I have always elected to work in a field that involves my creative and social interests so that I am in a constant cycle of learning and development. I worked in sales and fashion for years, and I am currently a social media manager while pursuing my career. At one point in time, I was working three jobs while in school, AND performing at gigs nearly every weekend. I know what it’s like to be HUNGRY, but I also learned how to allow myself rest and clarity so I don’t lose sight of the big picture or myself.

What connects you to your peers who do similar types of music? What do you think sets you apart?

Being a woman who is an R&B singer, in a male dominated industry was a very isolating and daunting field during the beginning stages. Especially entering it at such a young age. I found there was a lot of competition, and most people let that become a beast of its own. Competition exists in all arenas, but I learned to use its vitality for my elevation. Everyone I’ve chosen to keep close is passionate and committed to the arts; whether it be singers, rappers, fashion designers, instrumentalists, lyricists, painters, the list goes on. My favorite way to connect with other artists is to just talk, exist, and express without judgement or expectation. Work is work, and play is play.

Describe your music in 3 words. Now describe yourself as an artist in 3 words.

I would describe my music as powerful, sensual, and unique. I would describe myself as bold, confident, and ever changing.

"At one point in time, I was working three jobs while in school, AND performing at gigs nearly every weekend. I know what it's like to be HUNGRY, but I also learned how to allow myself rest and clarity so I don't lose sight of the big picture."

What are some of the current projects keeping you busy? How many unfinished works do you have in the vault at this very moment?

My most recent release, SNAKE, has been keeping me busy. I released it in November ’22, and I am currently in rollout mode with a few music video shoots lined up for the year with Asaru & 7sinclair, merchandise in production, travel gigs underway, and more. Unfinished works? I have 20 notebooks of material. The vault is limitless. I lowkey have my next album drop nearly completed as for the writing stage.

What does “success” look like for you as an artist? Do you have any dream collaborations?

“Success” to myself as an artist looks like spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical fulfillment in their growing phases. In short, it is the journey on the way to the next best destination. Feeling and acting whole from within, and being surrounded by those who matter most is unlike anything else.

Do you have any habits that help or hinder your progression as an artist? What are some of your biggest challenges?

My killer habit is perfectionism. People do most things the same way, and in my case, it is very ALL or nothing with me. Like everything, balance is the key skill to maintain when learning and unlearning habits.

What do you do when you’re not creating? Do you have a preferred method of escape?

Let’s face it, like most artists, I am constantly creating in my head. In my free time, I read books, exercise, cook, spend time with friends or family, or try new things. I love adventures! My preferred method of escape is traveling somewhere that breaks my routine and reminds me to allow myself to feel free.

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