Mikaela: ‘My worst habit is being a perfectionist all the time: it’s either a blessing or a curse’

 Metal vocalist Mikaela tells all in our Q&A

Mikaela, metal mistress. Photo by James Bianchi / MaltaToday
Mikaela, metal mistress. Photo by James Bianchi / MaltaToday

The metal vocalist, composer, lyric writer and producer graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music with a BA in Music Production and earlier on studied vocal performance at the same institution. Mikaela released several singles and EP ‘Hear Me Out’, winning awards Best New Artist in 2010, Best Female Artist and Malta’s Export Artist in 2011, Vodafone Upcoming Artist and Berklee College Singer-Songwriter. She released her first full length album Nocturne In Red in 2020.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Oh, definitely make and drink coffee, and play a song.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The advice my guts spill and my intuition feels.

What do you never leave the house without?

My phone!

Pick three words that describe yourself

True, chilled, passionate… I’ll add another one, ambitious.

Photo by James Bianchi
Photo by James Bianchi

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Definitely the first full-length metal album release ‘Nocturne In Red’. I’ve had a colourful music journey, met some amazing people on the road as well as passionate fans from all around the world… And cannot wait for more!

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Extra cheese on any food and the worst thing is that I can tell when it’s not delivered extra as ordered.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Life teaches me that every day is an important milestone to continue to build and climb up the rocky mountain.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Time. Time’s got to be the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought off of anyone’s schedule. A space in time that is gone and can never come back and I thank the public for investing this time in me and my musical projects. It is really a precious thing.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

To follow your own intuition and trust your gut. I’m never disappointed when I do.

Who’s your inspiration?

The night. However, I keep myself open to inspiration all the time as much as possible.

What has been your biggest challenge?

If we stay in our comfort zone, we never really achieve anything more than the present so you work hard, overcome, become and its next step… As musicians, we have lost our official outlet to live and our job to perform, to tour. Thankfully, living in the modern age and the internet, we can still communicate with fans, release music as hard as may be and we can still live a little. We’re all helping and doing our bit as musicians to stop the spread of COVID, having cancelled tours and shows.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?

Musician… It’s hard for me to imagine a life without music so I’d say I’d be doing music again.

Do you believe in God?

Depends on what you mean by that.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

My grandparents. Would be interesting to find out more about my roots and ancestors.

What’s your worst habit?

Being a perfectionist all the time. It’s a blessing or a curse.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Funnier!

Who would you have play you in a film?

No idea, would that require to growl like me too?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Lying and hating for no reason, and just a negative outlook in general.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

If you play metal, you might just have me rise again so if you really want me to stay dead, play Sweet Caroline or something. But then again, I’ll probably rise with gazing eyes in the ‘hellest’ mood possible if you play that!

What is your most treasured material possession?

Musical equipment and the musical skill really. Having the instruments alone means nothing unless you can play them. Unless they’re for decorative and appreciation reasons.

What is your earliest memory?

I think watching rabbits coming out of holes in Fife, Scotland at the age of six… I remember being awestruck by the beauty of the land, all green, the air, the nature, Loch Ness… We were staying in a cottage too. Truly magical. Straight out of a fairy tale.

When did you last cry, and why?

During movies or series, you can bet money that this will happen every time, damn it.

Who would you most like to meet?

No one in particular. I’m excited to be meeting anyone interesting and alike minded along the journey through my musical path.

What’s your favourite food?

Pizza, steak, Indian, Japanese are mostly my favourite dishes/cuisines but honestly I’m down with anything when it comes to food.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I follow plenty of artists from all platforms and music fans. Music is my thing and social media itself is just the medium to reach out and engage with like-minded people. Truly an asset especially during these times, as long as its algorithms allow you that.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

To the farthest of futures.

What book are you reading right now?

The box set of Caroline Kepnes Collection: You, Hidden Bodies, Providence

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Kill COVID already.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Go to Antarctica…. a lot of things are planned so stay tuned!

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Just a general example of my rotation however… Thy Art is Murder, Whitechapel, Behemoth, Varials, Suicide Silence, Northlane, Shadow of Intent, DED, Gojira, In This Moment, Jinjer, Otep, Butcher Babies, Erra, After The Burial, Motionless In White, Bring Me The Horizon, Opeth, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson, Combichrist, Dropout Kings, Ghostmane, Slipknot, Snarky Puppy, Lila Hathaway, Mehliana, Tigran Hamasyan, Wage War, Fever 333, Attila, Chelsea Grin, Viscera, Lorna Shore, Robert Glasper, Thundercat and a lot more… Obviously, Black Sabbath, ACDC, Janis Joplin, Motorhead, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Motley Crue, Metallica, Death, Carcass, Sepultura.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

The song of the day! Or believe me, riff of the day and its solfege!

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