Mia Kim
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Mia Kim

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"Help Mia Fund Her Next Album"

Lacking support from a label, many emerging artists struggle with getting the funding needed to record a decent album. Mia Kim knows exactly what we're talking about. She is an unsigned, acoustic/folk/rock indie musician from Los Angeles and the album she is eager to record is titled “Who Is Sukey Rose?” The album - if it becomes a reality - will reveal who she is.

Inspired by Jill Sobule, who raised over $80,000 to fund her next album at jillsnextrecord.com, Kim opened up her own place where you can support her directly. We wondered how things are going and dropped Kim some questions.

There are various websites where you can try get funding for an album. Sellaband.com for example. Yet you choose to go by your own and started your own project website. Why?

"I did check out Sellaband, but honestly I think it's too complicated for the common music fan as it involves, shares/pieces, traditing, etc. It's a great site though and great for people who are savvy with web 2.0 sites and applications and/or purchasing on the internet. But I think for the casual music fan, Sellaband and slicethepie.com is way too complicated to keep up with. Also, I had a timeline in terms of when I needed to start recording, so Sellaband would be difficult in terms of not being able to being when I needed to. I feel that having my own website that's focused on personal interaction with supporters is much more straightforward. Sellaband is really about everyone making a great product and making money at the same time which is definitely a great goal.

"The goal of the Sukey Rose Project is to simple come together to create an album of great material. I think the concepts are great though with these new fan-funding sites and wonderful for the bands and fans who are able to devote their time into it!"

You are an indie artist, which essentially means your not signed. Suppose this project works out well, how do you see the future. Would you ever consider releasing at a Major label?

"I would definitely consider a licensing and distribution deal with a label who really supported my music. But it would have to the right deal and a fair deal for both sides which I'm not sure really exists quite yet. I'd love to team up with a forward-thinking organization like Nettwerk. But my main goal after finishing this album is to sign a co-publishing deal and to focus on songwriting!"

Do you feel the indie rock/folk/emo scene lacks behind finding new ways of getting music out compared to musicians doing electronic stuff?

"I think musicians doing electronic/dance club/mix material have more outlets to get their music out there, especially in the world-wide market. Electronic music can be placed in a lot more mediums, and clubs are always looking for great music to play. In terms of indie-rock/folk it's more small venue concerts, and festivals during the summer where they get exposure. It's getting better with US tv shows like Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill really making a point to place indie/folk rock in their shows though. Hopefully you'll hear something from my new album on American TV next year!"
How do you promote your project? Looking at your current supporters (project members) list, it turns out many of them have Asian sounding names - like yours. Does it imply most of your supporters are relatives and friends?

"I'm actually Korean-American and yes, most of the project members are Asian-American and they are mostly fans and friends who have seen me play or have been supporting me since my first album "Rumour of Flight". The general lesson we've learned is that a fan or supporter is more likely to support a musician financially when they have already seen them play live and have a personal connection with them. So my suggestion to any musicians who are going the fan funded route - make sure you have a strong personal connection with your fans before you try! Many people are supportive and many people have said encouraging things about my music, but it's the people who have seen me live and continue to support me who have gone the next step to support this album financially."

Tell us about your music!

"My music is a mix of pop/indie/acoustic/rock. I like to refer to it as 'emo/singer/songwriter/rock'. It's hard to explain, hahaha. I have one side of my music which is very singer/songwriter, with me on guitar or piano, singing quiet, haunting songs. Then I have the rock side of me that wants to really sing LOUD and needs loud aggressive drums to complete the song. This new album is very dark and haunting I think, but the main theme of this new album "Who is Sukey Rose" is that it's about and truth and the human condition."

What happens when you don't reach the money needed to make the album? Will people get a refund?

"Well, we're 100% determined to reach the goal. Seriously! 120% determined! We'll make it somehow! Worse comes to worse, I delay the recording (as I'm in the studio already), but we'll reach the goal. In terms of refunds, each presale donation to the Sukey Rose Project is a complete gesture of faith and support from each and every project member. It drives me to honor that and make a kick-arse album! But honestly, if anyone came to me and said, "I really need my money back", I would give it to them. They gave in faith and if they need funds back, I'd give it to them in a second cause it was their money they gave from their heart. We're going to continue to do the presale and also turn to small mom/pop business sponsorship. I think it would be great if 'indie' businesses were able to support an indie musician."
- Laptoprockers


"Mia Kim - Who Is Sukey Rose? CD Review"

Score: 8.111

Los Angeles-based artist Mia Kim re-emerges with a concept album about the mysterious and fictitious Sukey Rose, aptly named Who Is Sukey Rose?. Kim landed Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 fame in the producer’s chair for this, her sophomore effort, so I was going into this knowing there would significant style changes from her purely acoustic-driven debut, Rumour of Flight. For the most part those changes are positive.

I’m not one to down producers because they often tame artists that would otherwise go hog wild with their material. There are a few tracks, most notable the first couple, where I think Martin’s seasoned instrumental hand played a little too strongly and overpowered Kim’s dynamic vocals and cryptic words (I couldn’t tear my ears away from the creeped out bassy piano in Oh, Sukey Rose, to wit). But this is a relatively minor offense.

The best stuff comes in the form of a quintuplet of consecutive tracks situated in the album’s midsection, starting from Marionette and ending with Evangeline. This is were Kim seems to shine the brightest with her solid harmonies and a little more acoustic fingerings in the forefront. War is perhaps the strongest marriage between Kim’s singer-songwriter tendencies and Martin’s rocky backdrop – an element that Kim didn’t have in poppy Rumour but is a welcome departure in this release.

The broad swath of time between releases may have given Kim ample time to whittle away the bark from her songs and formulate what she really wanted. A considerable genre change between an artist’s first and second albums could spell an early death if not calculated correctly, but Kim pulled off the transformation with compelling success. - Buzzgrinder.com, Jay DiNitto


"Unsigned Artist of The Month (Nov. 2009)"

Who Is Sukey Rose? In short, a fictional character about whom Los Angeles’ Mia Kim sings with verve and passion. It’s also an engaging concept album brimming with keyboard textures of all shapes and flavors. “Oh, Sukey Rose” uses tremolo electric piano, soaring trance-like synths, and driving low-range piano to help tell the title character’s story, while “Safe” rides on energetic surf organ and shimmering Wurlitzer, propelled throughout by Mia’s powerful vocals. Equal parts sugar and edge, pop and rock, Mia’s album poses a question well worth listening to. - Keyboard Magazine, Michael Gallant


Discography

2003-Rumour of Flight
-"Life Inc." hit the top 10 on 2 Major market US stations and the #1 spot on KVSN (Washington) and Bigloo Radio (Cincinatti).
"Life Inc.", the first single from Mia's Debut album "Rumour Of Flight" was nationally released to AC Radio Stations in February of 2004. The single hit numerous Top 30 charts across the nation and reached the #1 spot on KVSN (WA), and the #1 slot on Bigloo Radio (Cincinatti).
-Mia's song "Life Inc." was one of the tracks featured on Grassroots Music Compilation CD No. 7 which was released and distributed to over 300 College campuses, top retail representatives, key media contacts, and other industry recipients
-Mia's debut album "Rumour of Flight went international in 2004 with the signing of an exclusive licensing and distribution deal with Fisher Music, Korea for exclusive distribution of "Rumour of Flight" in Seoul Korea, and an agreement with XT3 Music in the UK.

2009- "Who Is Sukey Rose?"
-Mia was named "Unsigned Artists of the Month" for Nov. 2009 in Keyboard Magazine for her release "Who Is Sukey Rose?"

Photos

Bio

From Mozart to Mute Math. From Imogen to Death Cab. Mia Kim's musical influences run the gamut of styles from singer/songwriter to modern alt-rock. Mia's sophomore release entitled "Who Is Sukey Rose?" was produced by veteran indie-rocker Jason Martin (Starflyer 59, Cold War Kids) and showcases her versatility in a unique blend of indie pop-rock. With her trademark dissonant guitar chords and versatile vocals that go from whisper soft to power house growl, one could say that she's been cultivating her musical moves since birth. Indeed, Mia's love for music apparently began in the womb as her opera singing mother would often practice her arias and play grand operas while Mia's sensitive ears were developing. This kind of preternatural music education seems not to have lost its effect, as Mia grew up singing more than she would talk. Trained early on in piano and violin, Mia began to experiment with original composition by writing her own classical compositions on the piano. During her latter years, she moved from writing instrumental music to going through what she terms as her "pop star phase", writing sweet pop songs with such well-meaning lyrics as 'feel the passion move you'. Fast forward to a few years ago, when Mia picked up a guitar and began to pen and perform more intricate and personal songs, songs that have so far garnered a phenomenal response from audiences and reveal a continued evolution of her singular sound.