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Introducing Live and Unsigned Contestant Kia Mezik

Kia Mezik is one lucky young lady. Just 16 she has recently impressed the judges in ‘Live and Unsigned’, a prestigious U.K talent search, and will shortly be performing live in the regional shows. If she impresses the judges a place in the national finals, and ultimately a recording/management contract, and a lot of press/live exposure are up for grabs. She speaks to music.co.uk ahead of her regional show.

There are quite a few talent competitions/shows around at the moment, what drew you to ‘Live and Unsigned’?
Well, I’ve always told myself Id never go in for any music competitions, purely because you’ll always be remembered for that competition, you can be the next Leona Lewis, making millions, but she’ll always just be “the Xfactor winner”. I didn’t want that, I wanted get where I wanted to be because I’d fought for it, because I was good. Then I heard about ‘Live and Unsigned’, I hadn’t thought about auditioning at first, but after a few days, I looked into it, and I felt maybe this competition was different, they’re all for the music, looking for something fresh and different, I liked that. They didn’t seem to want to find someone they could mould into something they wanted, they wanted to find someone that was different, and that would sell with help from the right people. I’m not letting things get over my head, the next round is really make or break for the whole competition, but this whole experience has been amazing, and so will the performance on the night. Getting through means even if you don’t win, you’re seen by the right people, but I’m still young, so I have time to develop even further.

How does competing live in a competition compare to performing at any other gig?
One of the main differences is when you’re playing a gig, your playing a whole set, so if someone doesn’t like a song, there’s always another song to play, that can change their minds about you. Competing in a competition, I have just two songs to make people like me, so the pressure is much more, not only from playing perfectly, but keeping the audience happy, and the fact that you’re playing for a place in the next round, you only have two songs to do that.

One of the tasks in the next round of the comp is to choose a cover and make it your own. Have you found it hard deciding on a song, and how do you go about making it your own?
Yes very much so, I want to find a song that not only I’m happy playing, and that shows my voice off. I also need to find something the judges can relate to, see the difference in, and hopefully I can amaze not only them but the audience too. To make a cover my own, I don’t find that too hard, my voice is different as it is, so the problem is finding a cover best for my voice, but once I’ve found the song, I’ll mould it round my voice and play it how I think it should be played to fit with my style. I love taking songs that are played by men, or bands, purely because it’s a challenge for me, and it impresses people, to hear the song played in such a different way.

As a music writer I’ve heard many acts describe themselves as unique/original, what would you say to convince people that you really are?
Its so hard to be original and unique in the industry right now, its possibly the hardest time for artists to come out right now, there’s such competition and good artists around in the charts. So in that aspect, I’m no different to every other acoustic/pop/indie artist out there, but my passion to make songs that make people smile, that they can relate too, and just songs that affect people in different ways, that’s what I aim for. I can’t explain why my music makes me different, because that’s what the listeners decide. My voice is nothing like anyone in the charts right now, the way I play my songs, and finally how I want them to sound, I like to think is different, and what people want to listen too.

How did you find the experience of organising a concert for your coursework? Would you like to be involved in more events in the future?
It was tiring, but I absolutely loved it, it turned out such a good day, and we raised some good money for charity. It was hard to have everything sorted; there was so much effort that went into it, not only from me, but from the bands and other people. We organised it outside, because that was what I wanted, a nice summer afternoon with music for people to just sit on the grass and listen to. It was such a jump, not knowing what the weather would do, and how it would turn out. But it went great, and I’ll carry that experience with me, for a long time. I’d love to do things like it again, of course my music will always come first for now, but organising gigs and concerts will always be something else I would love to do and be involved in.

If you were asked to review music technology as a subject/course, what would you write? Do you think more singers should get some technical experience/knowledge?
Doing music technology has been just so good for me, spending my days learning something that I have such a passion with, is just great. What people need to remember though, is that music technology isn’t for artists, it’s for people who want to be sound engineers or other such professions. So it makes me feel safe knowing that I’m learning something I can really fall back on in the future if I wish to do so. It’s helped with my music a lot, not only because of the people I’ve met who’ve given me confidence I didn’t think I would ever have, but it’s helped me to improve my music. I do think singers and artists would benefit from getting some experience, it just means we’re more help when it comes to recording in studios or playing live, we know what we’re doing and we’re not bothering people asking questions that are simple. It helps me improve, as I know what I can now do with certain things, to help things sound better, or different.

If you could write your own newspaper headline about yourself, what would it be?
I have no idea. Ha.

What are your hopes for the future?
I guess just to let people hear my music, to get myself known, to get signed.
Obviously, I’d love to be top of the charts one day, but that’s a lot to ask, so I’ll just take things as they come, hope for the best, and really push myself to get where I want to be. I just want to be happy, so whatever happens, I’ll just be making sure it’s what I want. So far, all I can see is me wanting this, so I’ll really fight for it and whatever happens, happens. 

What product would you most like to bring out under your name if you ever had the chance?
Tough question, I have no idea, I’ve always liked clothes, even if my fashion and the way I dress isn’t what everybody likes. So I guess my own fashion line someday, but that’s thinking way into the future, if I get where I want to be, it would definitely be something, that if asked, I would think about.

Do you think your music has taught you anything about yourself?
I think anyone’s music can help us understand ourselves. That’s the amazing thing about music; it’s so powerful to do such things. I’d definitely say my music has taught me something about myself, a lot of my songs are about “love” and things I’m passionate about obviously. So it was nice to sit down and really just work through my problems and how I felt about certain things. I get asked a lot ‘have I ever fallen in love?’ considering that’s what some of my songs are about, and my answer is, no I haven’t. My songs are written about what feelings you feel at the time, that’s why I think people get them so well, there not about falling in love, it’s about the way you feel at the time, the things people tell you, and generally what you see. So I guess in some ways I’ve learn a lot about myself and my life.

What do you think about the music scene/artists in your area? Is there anything you’d like to see or change in the Midlands?
Its so good round here, there’s so many brilliant artists and bands around the area. It’s so hard to find something new that stands out, but in the midlands that isn’t so. There are so many fresh and good talents around its going to be hard to live up to that.

‘Live and Unsigned’ has become one of the U.K’s freshest and most original talent searches. This year the contest attracted some 10,000 contestants, in a variety of genres, all vying for the big prize. Kia will appear in her regional show on April 4th. Good luck to Kia and all the other contestants from music.co.uk.

To find out more about the competition visit http://www.liveandunsigned.uk.com and you can listen to Kia on myspace @ www.myspace.com/kiamezik

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