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Meet Mia Mormino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mia Mormino.

Mia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Since the age of three, I’ve always been heavily immersed in the world of art/creative expression. My love and admiration for music began when I was put into my very first dance classes, which were tap, ballet, and jazz. My parents put me in dance to see if I would like it, but little did they know that this decision was going to spark something much bigger. Since that decision, I trained in styles such as tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, heels, and pointe. In 5th grade, I began competing and performing all over the country from LA to New York. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had held the title of first place overall soloist winner for my solo to “Pyre” by Son Lux. That is a day I will never forget because I felt as though all of my (literal) blood, sweat, and tears had finally paid off when I won this title. Dancing was and still is such an incredible source of self-expression, but as I started getting older, things began to shift.

At the age of 16, I was involved in my first serious relationship, which was incredibly verbally and mentally abusive. In the past, I’ve always used the phrase “unfortunately” when describing that relationship, but looking back, if it weren’t for being treated like actual garbage, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So in a very backwards kind of way, I’m quite fortunate for the scarring situations I have been in. But anyway! At that time, dance just wasn’t fulfilling my depressed state as much as I needed it to so I thought, “Hey. Let’s try writing a song about what I’m feeling instead”. That’s when everything clicked. I was like, “I GOT THIS,” and proceeded to write, record, and release my first single “Conflicted.” Once I got my feet wet with that, everything else started falling into place. Falling into place, meaning I found exactly what I wanted to do with my life and promised myself that I would never ever stop. I then went on to writing, recording, and releasing 13 original singles, directing/producing/writing three original music videos, and featuring in an additional nine singles/music videos all in 2019.

In that same year, I was blessed to be invited to speak at The Chandler School for The Arts in Pasadena, CA, headline my first show at Adults Only in LA, and have my single, “Little Girl” hit 5 million streams on YouTube. 2019 was my first full year creating music professionally, and I learned A LOT, let me tell you. I had a crazy amount of highs and just as many lows, but all of it was worth it because I’m that much closer to reaching my dreams. My end goal with my music career is to tour the world, spreading my message of self-love and empowerment to men and women of all ages. If I can make others feel the way I feel when listening to artists such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, my life would be complete. Making sure the listener knows that he/she isn’t alone in what they’re going through is what’s most important to me. I want to help the world with my music, one song at a time.

Has it been a smooth road?
To start off, if anyone says that the road to achieving what they want is challenge-free, they are flat out lying to you. No way on earth starting a business from the ground up-wether that be a cupcake shop or a music career-is easy. It’s the challenges that you are faced with along the way that makes the end result/journey that much more worth it and rewarding. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I will begin answering the question…because I definitely have had my fair share of obstacles. Starting off, in 5th grade, I developed body dysmorphia. I’ve included a photo of me performing “Poker Face” in my 5th-grade talent show (the same one I mentioned earlier) to put that into perspective for you. Looking back, it breaks my heart, knowing that such a young human being felt such strong feelings of hatred and disgust when it came to her body and overall appearance.

I had my best friends call me fat, and all of the boys would run away from me because I didn’t necessarily “fit in” with the rest of the kids. Fast forward to high school and combine years of self-esteem issues with a boyfriend who called you a whale and “jokingly” told you to kill yourself, and you, my friend, have a recipe for disaster. By the time I hit high school, I had suffered from eating disorder tendencies, was severely suicidal, self-harmed, and drilled it into my brain that I was worthless. But, as I had mentioned before when describing that first relationship, I honestly wouldn’t trade any of the hardships I’ve been through for the world because if it weren’t for those many moments of wanting to give up, I wouldn’t have learned so quickly what it means to push through. In regards to my music career, there have been so many moments where I’ve felt/feel like I’m just not talented enough, or I’m just not pretty enough, or I’m just not skinny enough. But after thinking things through, I always remind myself that if I can get through times where I felt death was the better option, I can get through anything. It sounds dark, but that’s because it is. Life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, and that’s just how it goes.

After years and years of therapy, medication, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and crystal energy healing, I’ve finally been able to turn the corner with my life and change for the better. Because my vision was so clouded, I wasn’t making any progress career-wise, and I just didn’t understand why. I would put in all of this work, and nothing would come from it. Later did I find out that nothing came from it because nothing will ever come from living in a place of self-hatred. Recently, everything was able to click for me, and I finally can see things for what they really are. Now that my eyes are wide open, the amount of progress I’m making is more than I could have ever imagined. But that goes to show you that hard work indeed does pay off and that’s something I’m a HUGE believer in.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’ve spent my whole life learning and exploring who I am as a person, and as a result of that, I feel there are certain things about my business that set me apart from others. To start off, I’m completely independent. I don’t have any label, management, or sponsorships of any kind backing my business (my music career) up. I’ve never had anything in my career handed to me. Everything that I’ve achieved so far in my career is because I have found it and worked for it myself. Of course, I’ve been blessed to have some pretty incredible mentors such as my vocal coach, Lily Lewis, and producer, Raz Klinghoffer, guide me in the right direction. But never have I ever been spoon-fed answers. I’ve always felt that life is so much more fulfilling when you actually put the work in for what you want. Failing might suck initially, but as you grow through that time, experience, situation, etc. you will know exactly what not to do for the future. There is no perfect blueprint on “making it,” and everyone definitely has their own path. But I’ve found that with myself, in particular, I’ve learned how the trust and enjoy the process. I personally find a lot of enjoyment in copyrighting my music through the government office, or creating my own cover art, or hiring my crew/set scouting/choreographing/creating/paying for my music videos. By no means am I saying I’m the only person who enjoys doing things like that, but those qualities I have are what makes pursuing my dreams feel less like “work.” I’m so grateful I’m able to do what I love and love what I do.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next 5-10 years, I believe the music industry is going to impact the world, as it does, but on a much bigger scale. The amount of culture, lifestyle, and overall life choices is so heavily influenced by music, that I can’t even imagine where it will go from here. I believe there are only a handful of things that genuinely bring humans together, music being the biggest one. I would love to see if somehow this art form could bring even more people together and act as the glue this world needs when it comes to accepting and loving others for who they are, what they look like, and what they believe in. I wish so badly that this world would come together and combine everyone’s strengths, rather than do the opposite and create such brutal tension. It’s a stretch, but I genuinely feel that music could significantly contribute.

Moving on, we all know the music industry is predominantly male. There has been an improvement, but by no means is this imbalance fixed. All genders deserve an equal shot at making it, regardless of what “making it” may mean to them. For individuals to be stripped of possible opportunities solely because they are female, or male in some cases, is absurd. In regards to trends, I strongly feel rap is going to continue to merge with more and more genres. I am all here for it. Despite my very pop ballads/anthems, rap is actually my favorite type of music to listen to, and a goal of mine is to head into that direction while creating future music. SO much of our pop music today has elements of rap/trap from high hats to heavy 808’s. I feel as if in 10 years, we won’t even have genres anymore. It will all be one giant chaotic, beautiful mess of creativity and expression.

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Image Credit:
Justin Scarpace; Marina Borovikova

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