Atlanta is known for a great many things, but when it comes to music outside of hip hop and R&B, not so much. Brazillian singer/songwriter Mia Rio is shedding light on the city’s oft-overlooked diverse music scene one venue at a time. Be on the look for her New York debut April 26th.
When did you start performing?
My first performance was at 11 years old. I did a solo act at an Easter musical for about 200 people. I was petrified. Then I started singing at church and school choirs, leading worship at my church and had a garage band. I don’t even remember the name of it but we were shy and nerdy, but dope.
Name some of the artists who have inspired or influenced you?
I tend to not have music icons per se, so depending on the time in my life, I may be into a different artist. The core artists who were huge in my early development in music are Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Jon Secada and anything 70’s and 80’s Soul and Funk. My taste is all over the place. Artists I dig right now are Alessia Cara, Kendric, Bryson Tiller, Tori Kelly, Imagine Dragons, Need to Breathe, Michael Kiwanuka in the UK, Maitre Gims in France, Stromae, Selah Sue and Loic Nottet in Belgium. I like them all for different reasons.
How would you describe your style?
I like to think I am classy with a little bit of sassy. The Brazilian in me doesn’t hide. I put myself into the Pop box because of how the instrumentation and song structures are set up in my songs but I get influences from EDM, Latin music, Asian music, Middle Eastern music, R&B, Soul. So it’s a melting pot and that is exactly who I am. Very few genres are still in their pure form anyway.
What separates you from other artists?
I am often told that my voice tone is unique and they can never pinpoint who I may sound like. I think that’s a bonus. My content is conscious and very few female Pop artists with my type of content and mindset have major visibility in the U.S., so I consider myself different than what is out there. There is a challenge in having relevant musical content without becoming boring to the masses. It can be a fine line from an entertainment perspective. I see myself breaking that barrier.
Name some of the major artists you have performed with?
I am about to have my first experience with that. Can’t tell you more about it yet or I would have to kill you. What I can say though is that I have been shoved by Michael Ealy in a movie scene. How is that on my resume?
Do you have any major offers on the table?
Again, I would have to kill you. I have been discussing a couple opportunities with record labels who could considerably boost the course of my career. However, since everything comes with a price, I am making sure I am true to my work first and foremost, growing my following with my EP “The Phoenix Effect” coming out in a couple months and staying committed to making relevant music.