Mikaila "Mikki" Straatsma is a 15-year-old singing prodigy hailing from Ontario, Canada. She creates music that is intense, emotional and haunting with her bands: Viveynne, Damaged in Vein, and Syrynx. Her poignant compositions and vocals have won countless scholarships and awards. Mikki kindly joined Artist Spotlight to discuss her projects and her dedication to causes like 30-Hour Famine Fundraiser and R.A.I.N.N. (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network).
What is the greatest inspiration for your songs?
I'd say my greatest inspiration would be the negative aspects of life. Most people think a fifteen-year-old cannot possible comprehend how dark the world is and the worst thing that happened to them was their boyfriend leaving. However, I like to embrace different topics that are often ignored and place them under metaphors.
I urge you to check out my latest collaboration, http://www.myspace.com/DamagedInVein, which has more of a metal influence.
Do you have a favorite song you have recorded or a song that is particularly dear to your heart?
Probably the song, 6Under, that I wrote with Damaged In Vein. It should be up on the myspace once we're done recording the studio.
What is your all-time favorite song (by another artist)?
Oh,... that's difficult. I honestly can't choose because it changes a lot. Right now it would have to be Suicide Trees by Otep.
Is there any artist you dream of performing with someday?
The Agonist, Otep, Arch Enemy, IWABO, Korn, Marilyn Manson
What message would you like your music to convey to the listener?
Wow, I'd like to think every song is different but the majority of my songs convey a lot of despair. When I write music I write to get rid of emotions I don't want.
Name five adjectives that describe you as a person.
Creative, strange, manic, understanding, silly :)
Name five adjectives that describe your music.
intense, controversial, crazy, dark, release
Name five performers who have influenced you most as an artist.
Otep, Evanescence, The Agonist, Amanda Palmer, Emilie Autumn
Your PSA music video of your composition "Lest We Forget" raised the most funds for the Much Music and World Vision 30-Hour Famine Fundraiser. Can you tell us more about the other causes you support?
Planning to support either R.A.I.N.N. or a clinic servicing schizophrenia.
Which performance do you consider the highlight of your career, thus far?
Viveynne CD release.
What projects will you be working on this year? Any plans to tour?
Currently working with Damaged In Vein (http://www.myspace.com/DamagedInVein) and I URGE you to keep tabs on this project. I'm very excited about this !!
MIKKI'S ADVICE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG ARTISTS:
Always trust your instincts, write what you love, and do not let anyone manipulate you into changing your artistic vision because it is not worth it. :)
Thanks for the opportunity.
Thanks to Mikki for sharing her time and talent. Check out her debut album with Viveynne, Becoming Jane Doe.
Visit http://myspace.com/viveynneand http://myspace.com/damagedinvein
For more information on 30-Hour Famine, please visit http://www.30hourfamine.org/
For more information about R.A.I.N.N. (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), please visit http://www.rainn.org//
Mikki's PSA video: