She could have stayed in San Francisco and created music reflecting the city she knew so well, but she had to move on. Her restless spirit drove her from one coast to another, eventually studying jazz at the University of Miami. Miami presented new perspective, but Calderón saw it as a chance to grow and experiment. The worlds of art and music began to collide and inspire – the colors in a Frida Kahlo painting, the electronica from a lounge on the corner, the sound of the beach at night – her musical mission came into focus.
Her head became a mash-up of the styles that moved her – electro, down-tempo, jazz, Latin, and lounge. Divisions between art, music, and fashion began to break down. School no longer suited her, and she knew she needed to move on. Music-infused Nashville provided fresh inspiration and another chance to expand her world. At the center of her hypnotic sound, one can find Mia Calderón’s musical roots.
Mia’s musical mix captures the psyche as well as the imagination. “I write so people can hear what they cannot say, or don’t have the courage to tell themselves.” Her family origins—part Guatemalan, part Spanish, part Mexican-American—contribute as much to her music as does her fascination with everything Brazilian. Armed with guitars and synthesizers, the richness, exotic flavors, and sensual but sophisticated feel of her songwriting encompass many influences. Nuances of Massive Attack, Bajafondo, Portishead, and Bebel Gilberto are weaved throughout Calderón’s music. As her songwriting evolved, fate paired her with key collaborator: production mastermind Coolout.
This beautiful partnership shines in the sharp production, smooth vocals, and syncopated beats of a song like “Somos una Gente.” Working with another person may prove impossible for some musicians with definite ideas and opinions like Calderón, but (unsurprisingly) she sees it as an opportunity to go beyond her comfort zone. “Cooley’s musicality triggers a bolder side of me, lyrically and melodically. He’s a genius,” says Calderón. “Somos una Gente” or “We are One People” is one of the many colors on display when Calderón shares her bilingual music with the world.
It’s but one example of how her musical open-mindedness creates something beautiful and rare. Calderón sees outside the sometimes-insular world of making music. She is currently on tour with a group of like-minded fashion and visual artists, the Beat Box Armada. Calderón is also active with the organizations SAC (Sexual Assault Center) and RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network). Mia Calderón’s new album MANIK is now available at www.MiaCalderón.com. The album represents where she is today.
But take notice because she won’t be standing still for long. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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