New York City-based singer-songwriter Miranda Inzunza has been captivating audiences with her dreamy, sensory-activating brand of R&B music inspired by Bill Withers and Beyoncé. Originally from California, her effortlessly smooth, smoky soulful voice transports listeners to the emotions contained within her lyrics. Inzunza’s upcoming EP, “Listener”, is due later this year with the project’s lead single, “The Beginning”, projected as a fall release. Enjoy our exclusive interview with Miranda Inzunza below!
Entertwine: Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did your start your music career? Did you always know music was your path to follow? I feel like my music career started with songwriting when I was in high school, but I grew up in a pretty artistic family. Being the youngest with two older sisters, I typically just tagged along with whatever my they were doing. That’s how I started singing; I think we would all harmonize with each other to various show tunes and choir songs on long car rides and stuff. But the thing that made me realize that I was really serious about music as a career was when I wrote my first song. The song was probably terrible, but there was something that my friends and family saw in my writing and they encouraged me to keep going and to eventually perform my music and even major in songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
How has growing up in New York City helped shape your life, and music career? I’d say growing up in New York has mostly given me amazing opportunities as an artist. I was very lucky to attend the Professional Performing Arts School in which I was surrounded with other like-minded and driven artistic students. Also throughout those years I was able to go out to open mics around the city at least a few nights per week. And eventually those open mics led to gigs and I was able to do those so often that I really grew quickly as a performer. I think that if I hadn’t been surrounded with all of these amazing resources, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.
You have just released a new single, “The Beginning.” What inspired you write the song? This song was actually a co-write between a couple friends and I for one of my classes at Berklee. I think co-writing is amazing but can be super difficult, especially getting started because you aren’t sure where to go with things and it can be awkward. It was kind of funny because we had a start to the track but no lyrics or melodies and we were all trying to think of some lyrics and out of nowhere I just sang “I’m in love with the beginning” and everyone was just like, “Yeah, that’s cool. Let’s go with that.” And so we just went with this common idea of loving the feeling you get at the beginning of a relationship, but not really wanting to deal with any of the difficult things that go along with a relationships.
What was the recording process like for the track? It was pretty simple actually. D-WiLL, the producer, made that track and we just recorded a rough vocal in his bedroom. Then about a week later we got in the studio and recorded the final vocal. I think this was one of the easiest vocal recording sessions for the whole EP. We didn’t really want too many background vocals or anything because we didn’t want to take away from the lyrics and we thought the song just didn’t really call for too much.
I know you released an EP a few years ago, how has your music changed? I think back then I wasn’t as heavily influenced by R&B. I was just starting to get into that music and find my voice. With that EP, I was more influenced by the acoustic singer/songwriters like John Mayer and Ingrid Michelson, which are still definitely influences, but now I also feel very influenced by guys like Drake, for example. So there are elements to my music that are now electronic and even one song on my upcoming EP that has kind of a singing rap thing.
You have an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from Bill Withers to Beyonce to Nirvana. Would you say your R&B has a hint of rock/punk hidden in it? Yeah, I would. A friend of mine recently told me after a show that he could hear all of my songs as pop punk if the production was different. He was obviously joking but after he said that I was playing some of my songs and laughing because I could totally hear what he was talking about. So I guess sometimes different genre’s creep into my music and I think that’s a good thing.
What is your favorite part of being an artist? Do you like writing, recording, or performing best? That’s a tough question and my Mom actually recently asked me the same thing. After thinking about it, I think I like performing the most because that is when I actually get to see and feel other people connecting to my songs. A lot of times, being an artist can be lonely and you can feel isolated but the minute you see someone being affected by your music there is no greater feeling in the world and it’s all worth it.
When you aren’t performing, what takes up your time? I’m super laid back so I love just hanging out with my family and friends. I love to go out to eat, see movies, and I absolutely love to travel when I can afford to. There are also so many parts to being an artist and some of them are not as fun as others. The business and marketing side of music has recently been taking up a lot of my time because I am doing it without a label or manager, so I do need to devote a lot of time to planning the releases, contacting blogs, updating social media and whatever else is necessary.
What else can we expect to see from you in 2016? Well, there are four more songs coming out in 2016 as part of my new EP, Listener. Other than that, I will definitely be performing, hopefully touring and maybe even moving to L.A! I guess only time will tell.