INTERVIEW: Mia Mormino – Reignland
Mia Mormino is a 20-year-old up and coming pop sensation with hints of soul and edgy flare, making her stand out amongst the crowd. Mia’s passion for music began at the young age of three when parents MaryLee and Carmen Mormino signed her up for her very first dance classes at A Step in Time School of Dance (Now Calabasas Academy of Dance) located in Calabasas, California. For the first 15 years of her life, she competed and performed on multiple dance teams. “The feeling I get when dancing to music that so profoundly connects to me is indescribable, and there isn’t anything like it.” She says that being a dancer before the music actually helped develop her ability to hear any and every sound within a song that she’s recording or listening to. “My ears have been trained for three years old to be hyperaware of the detailed breakdowns within music, in which now I know exactly what to listen for when creating my own. The most rewarding feeling has got to be when I don’t need to hire choreographers for my music video shoots since I’m fully capable of creating the movements on my own.”
When asked about her advice for new dancers, she said some very meaningful words of wisdom, “The advice I would give new dancers is do not listen to what any teacher, judge, or classmate has to say about your body. Do not allow the opinions of others to break you down because as you get older, you will soon realize that anything they said was coming from a place of insecurity and much deeper rooted problems. You and your body are beautiful in so many ways, so try to carry that with you as you excel in your dance career. All bodies are unique no matter what size, shape, or color they are. That is something I wish I would have paid more attention to while growing up in the dance community, that’s for sure.” While in high school she wanted to find more direct ways of expressing her feelings, she then began writing music as new events occurred in her life. Her first song to be written was titled, ‘Conflicted’, something a lot of 16-year-olds can relate to being. “At that time, I was going through an exceptionally mentally/verbally abusive relationship that I recently, four years later, have been able to let go of. I was experiencing such internal pain, so I took it upon myself to try and turn that pain into something beautiful. Dancing has always been so therapeutic for me, but as I started experiencing traumatic life experiences, I felt I needed a stronger outlet when it came to expressing myself. So, I turned to songwriting, and I never looked back. Of course, I still dance five days a week, but I know songwriting/singing is always there for me when I feel stuck in whatever it is that may be going on.”
In 2019, Mia wrote, recorded, and released 13 original singles, dropping at least once a month. Her most recent single, ‘Stuck’ had me stuck on it for weeks because of its raw storytelling of mental breakdowns, something so many does in silence, “I wanted to take the listener on the journey that I go through when having a mental breakdown, just to shed some light on the fact that the lifestyle of a musician is most definitely not glitz and glam 24/7.” She continued on what she does to get unstuck, “If I feel stuck in my thoughts about a personal situation, whether that be relationships or confidence, I break everything apart. I literally write down on a piece of paper what it is that’s upsetting me, and write out just how important that one thing (or multiple things) is in the big picture. 90% of the time, only by doing that, I’m able to get myself out of that place. Sometimes our minds make small things much more significant than they have to be, and I’ve found physically writing everything out takes care of putting everything back in order. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There are definitely moments where that doesn’t work, and I feel like a chaotic mess, but hey, that’s life!”
Out of all of her music, she states that ‘Ribs’ is her hardest to record. The ballad speaks on her past issues with body dysmorphia. She states that it took her a while to be able to sing it without bursting into tears, “So. Many. People. Experience this and I was able to help a lot of men and women feel empowered enough to share their story with me when I released that song. I ‘m so beyond blessed and honored to have been able to help so many people just by speaking my truth. Helping others feel less alone when going through life is my biggest goal with my work, and I felt “Ribs” was able to do that on a whole new level.”
Aside from her music, in October 2019, Mia was invited to speak as the first Visiting Artist of the school year at a prestigious private performing arts school named Chandler, located in Pasadena, California. The school’s creative director, Brandi Williams Moore (Wife of Brian Frasier-Moore, who you may recognize as Justin Timberlake’s tour drummer), recognized Mia’s growth not only in her music career but in her overall outlook on life. Brandi felt Mia would be the perfect fit as the speaker and performer for her musically gifted students ranging in grades 6th through 8th. When asked about a full project she stated that we could expect something by July as she maps out everything, ” I wanted to take the listener on the journey that I go through when having a mental breakdown, just to shed some light on the fact that the lifestyle of a musician is most definitely not glitz and glam 24/7.”
“Stuck” is OUT NOW on all streaming platforms!
Listen here: smarturl.it/StreamStuck
You can read the full interview in issue no 41 here out now.