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Meet Mikaela Harris of Mikae (musician) in Westlake Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikaela Harris.

Mikaela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making music. I spent my early childhood climbing up the piano bench at home and tinkering with the keys, begging my parents for lessons each day until they finally obliged. Today, I’m a trained concert musician with two decades of experience under my belt. Though piano is my first love, I’ve become familiar with about ten other instruments along the way.

I got into music production while trying to record a few original piano pieces on my computer at home. When I discovered the capacity that my simple laptop had for creating release-ready songs, I was determined to master all of its offerings. I constructed a (very elementary) home studio and started watching YouTube tutorials, and my journey into the world of sound engineering began.

At first, my music was instrumental. I always wrote lyrics, but I never included them in the songs I released. I started to sing on my tracks as a demo, to give “real” singers an idea of what I was looking for when I reached out to them hoping for a collaboration. But I had a few friends that really believed in my potential as a vocalist, so I decided to give singing a try. Nowadays, I have other producers reach out to me and ask for my a cappella vocals for their instrumental tracks. Never did I think the tables would turn, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Music has always been a challenge for me because, in a sense, it involves translating personal experience into tangible art. But it’s hard to pull from experience without being fully invested in the retrospective process. For me, this means clearing my mind of anything and everything not music-related. If you know me at all, you know that this is a near-impossible feat. I’m definitely growing in this regard, but I have a long way to go.

When I first got into music production, I was living in a college dorm – with no space for me to record, mix or master my music. But I found a way. My nights were split between breaking into the school’s studio (which was reserved for film students) and fine-tuning my track in the dorm parking lot (on my stock Jeep speakers). My setup has changed quite a lot since then, but I’ll never forget where I started from.

Initially, music production involved an incredibly steep learning curve. Chords and melodies have always come easily to me; I have a pretty acute understanding of music theory. But everything else was completely foreign at first. Although I was invested from the start, I could not have been more disoriented. I had no idea what equipment to buy, what software to download, etc. Luckily, I’ve met some amazing people who have shown me the ropes along the way.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mikae – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a musician and what sets you apart from others.
I like to think of myself as a “musician with a mission.” I really believe in the power of music as both a way to convey hard-to-articulate emotion and a medium to spread life-changing messages. The songs that I write always have positive lyrics and upbeat melodies. In a world full of chaos and complexity, I just want to make people feel happy. I love checking my Spotify artist page to find that my songs have been added to youth group playlists, dance party playlists, walking club playlists and more. At the end of the day, I just hope my music impacts lives for the better.

I’m definitely proud of my commitment to my listeners. I’m constantly taking their feedback into account and paying attention to what speaks to them the most. As someone with a couple decades of musical experience, I love listening to songs with advanced musicality and coming up with complex chord progressions. But I’ve found that it’s my simple, relatable songs that are best received by my audience. As I grow as an artist, I’m always keeping listeners in mind, because ultimately, I do this for them.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’d love to start doing shows in the future. I work full-time in the music industry and I enjoy going to my coworkers’ gigs to show my support. Hopefully someday I’ll be inviting them to shows of my own. I’d also love to write songs for other musicians. We all have our strengths as artists, and I would love to see people with different musical skill sets interpret my compositions in their own way. Regardless of what happens in the future, I’m going to make sure that I keep making music no matter what.

 

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Image Credit:
Lina Ryann Photography; Hart Photography

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