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In conversation with Miya Folick

“I think I will always be a cockroach. Born a cockroach, die a cockroach.”

Dress Adriana Hot Couture, shoes stylist’s own, tights Calzedonia

Miya Folick is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter whose heavy weighted folk songs make lyrical lullabies. Her subconscious influences which may include Joni Mitchell and Bjork, penetrate her confessionally intimate narratives. From her debut release in 2015 with the EP Strange Darling, to the drum-lined breakup song Get Out of My House, we cover all the bases, leading up to her second LP Roach which she released this May. So listen up and read with us as we discuss Miya’s beginnings as an artist, her musical and visual processes, and her feelings of identity within the music she makes. 

Hey, how’s it going and how are you doing on tour?
It’s actually pretty okay! So it’s a nice beginning to a long journey. Moving from place to place seems a little disorienting, but you kind of get used to it. 

I’m sure the adrenaline gets you as well of performing and constantly moving!
You can find little things that center you. But the other thing about being on tour is there’s always someone working harder than you. So whenever I’m feeling tired, I tell myself “I’m fine”. 

So I wanted to ask you a little bit about your beginning as an artist.  Is there a point in which you felt like the creative journey began for you and some significant steps along the way until today?
I’ve been figuring out what my voice is as a writer since I was a child, writing little poems. I can’t think of a moment where I thought here my creative life begins. I think I’ve always been creative. I don’t have a very linear way of thinking so it’s hard for me to attach major significance to any particular moment in my life, though I do think my life has significance. I see the accomplishments and milestones as more of an accumulation of small moments.

Maybe that’s a bit less overwhelming. You know, small evolutions, which all accumulate rather than big life changing moments. So you’re about to release your second album, Roach, can you tell me a bit about how this project came about? And also, I’m quite interested in the name.
I feel like I’m always writing, so as soon as I finished my last record, I was writing this record. The way that I write my music is by writing a lot and writing pretty quickly. Then I choose the songs that feel like they work together as a body of work, which for me is the trickier part than the writing. 

I’ve been working on this album for a few years. Roach came from a few different places. I was thinking about cockroaches a lot and feeling like a cockroach because in the process of making this record and just in the last three years of my life. I’ve had to be quite resilient; to the point where I got sick of being resilient. I pushed through my “I want to give up” thoughts. It was the perseverance that reminds me of a cockroach. Lyrically it felt like a through-line between a couple of the songs and connected them because so many of the songs are about resilience, hope and joy through tough times. That’s kind of how the concept of a cockroach came to feel fitting for the title of the record. Additionally, I’ve been quite obsessed with this novel by Clarice Lispector called The Passion According to G.H., which is about a woman and a cockroach, and I definitely recommend reading it if you haven’t. 

Blouse, shoes and scarf stylist’s own, skirt Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard, earrings Jiwinaia, tights Calzedonia


Blouse, shoes and scarf stylist’s own, skirt Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard, earrings Jiwinaia, tights Calzedonia


And do you still feel like a cockroach?
I’m definitely still a cockroach. I think I will always be a cockroach. Born a cockroach, die a cockroach. 

So you also recently released two singles, Get Out of My House and Mommy. If we start with  Get Out of My House I noticed there was quite a strong punk element at play. Can you talk me through the inspiration and narrative of the track?
There’s quite a bit of punk influence in my music, but it always feels like an underlying influence in a lot of my music. That sound has always been a part of my music and definitely a part of my performance, if you’ve been to my live show. So to me this song doesn’t feel new. It almost feels like more back to my roots.

I wrote Get Out of My House in a really easy and fast session with this producer, Jason Soweto, and it was a very natural writing process. The production part was the aspect of it that took a little longer to get right. The song is about a relationship that I was in many years ago that really impacted me almost to where I feel like the fallout of that relationship lasted longer than the relationship itself. Writing that song was part of the process of exorcising the demons from that relationship. But because I wrote this song several years after the relationship was over, it was more about just my own demons and wanting to leave my negative thought patterns behind. I wanted them to get out of my house. 

Sometimes it’s one experience that stimulates the thought of so many other experiences and feelings in life, but in this case you can pinpoint that one.
Yes definitely and I think that it’s been interesting getting to hear what other people think of the song, because I think people seem to relate to my personal journey a lot even though there’s an element of this song that’s very clearly a breakup song. 

Do you have artistic inspirations that you pull from, or do you try to follow your own path?
Well, I tend to not listen to that much music when I’m writing. And I’m almost always writing. I really enjoy the quiet, it lets my mind wander wherever I want it or wherever it wants to go. When I’m listening to music, I feel a little bit more like I’m being guided or influenced, and sometimes I just want to let my mind wander. 

Dress Adriana Hot Couture, shoes stylist’s own, tights Calzedonia

I can also imagine the peacefulness in silence, especially after being in the studio all day. And then to close off I wanted to ask you, do you see the visual and performative aspect of your music as an important aspect of your creativity as a whole?
Absolutely. I think it’s a big part of the reason that I love being a music artist and a part of the reason that I decided to do this rather than participate in music in some other way, in a band or more behind the scenes. I really enjoy getting to create a world that is sonic, but also visual. It’s interesting because sometimes music comes very easily for me, and then sometimes I really struggle and it feels like the well is dry. The same goes for visuals. For this album I had to spend a lot of time figuring out what it is that I want to portray here and how to best express that visually. When I’m feeling a little lost, I’ll often watch a bunch of movies and try to find some inspiration, but also talk to my friends, look at their work, look at the internet, see what other people are doing, go to a bookstore, look at magazines… I like doing things in person. 

Now, do you feel like you’ve found clarity within your album’s visuals?
Totally. I’m really excited about the imagery.

I’m excited to see it! Thank you for answering my questions and thinking about them and answering so thoughtfully. I really appreciate that.
Thank you. 


Blouse and scarf stylist’s own, earrings Jiwinaia


Words by Grace Powell

Photography by Jaap Strijker

Styling by Misha Kratina

Make-up by Nataly Vasilchenko