Mia Dyson is an Australian singer-songwriter with musical talent that has been delighting critics and fans alike over the past two decades. Dyson emerged in 2003 with her first studio album Cold Water. Her sophomore album Parking Lots took out the ARIA award for Best Blues and Roots Album in 2005, with subsequent musical releases scoring multiple ARIA nominations. When she’s not busy as a soloist, you can also find Mia as part of the three-piece band Dyson Stringer Cloher where she unites with Liz Stringer and Jen Cloher to create fierce rock tunes. Not one to slow down, Mia has even previously partnered with us at Music Industry Inside Out to be one of our beloved course mentors, providing our members with expert tips on all facets of the music business. To celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the highly acclaimed Parking Lots album, Mia has released her Parking Lots (Revisited) EP. Recorded in California, five tracks from her original album are reimagined with entirely new arrangements. To celebrate the new release, Mia will be embarking on an East Coast tour in March & April 2021.
Mia joins us once again to shed light on her experience within the music industry and her best advice for those wishing to follow her lead…
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
I grew up being surrounded by music. Both my parents were huge music fans and would play records all the time. My dad was also a guitar maker and so there were these beautiful instruments lying around the house. I tried piano first when I was pretty little but found that the piano teacher was super intense and overbearing and so I quit. Later I got my dad to show me a few things on guitar and I was hooked.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
This could be taken as a metaphysical question! So I’ll answer it that way… I think the main thing I’ve done outside of music to be where I am today is taking the challenges that present themselves in my life as opportunities to grow, opportunities to look inward and discover how my mind works and what are the habits of mind that could be changed so that I can get freer. There are lots of different avenues I’ve taken to do this and of course, it’s a life-long never-ending experience!
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How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
I used to be super concerned with doing everything as fast as possible, hurry hurry hurry. Now I look at it as “it will happen when it’s meant to happen” and let the process of music-making be my guide. I know there’s so much I can’t control and so I don’t try to control so much.
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
Making the mistake of getting into enormous debt to a manager and fearing that if I lost this manager I would be ruined. As painful as it was to go through, I discovered that I am capable without this manager and I eventually got out of debt.
What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
Perhaps that, even though it can be exquisitely fun and exciting, it’s also deeply exhausting and there’s a lot of not-playing-music time. It takes a lot to keep yourself healthy on the road, and it’s worth learning how to do that so that you can keep doing it!
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
I think the best way is just to be making lots of friends in the industry of all types and sharing ideas.
How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
I’m often the last person to get on board with new technology, even though I end up loving it, so I rely heavily on my bandmate Syd and my manager Amy to tell me what the latest things are and how to use them!
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Stream Mia Dyson’s Parking Lots (Revisited) below: