Meet Unsigned 2024 star MICAH

Unsigned 2024 participant Micah sits on the edge of a stage, she's playing a guitar

It’s said one of the things people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough. Unsigned participant MICAH can relate after a near-miss with a car changed the direction of her life. 

“I’ve always had a love of both music and fashion, but due to a lack of confidence on stage I decided to study fashion at university,” says the Lowestoft-based singer-songwriter.

“While in my final year of my fashion degree, feeling really stressed out with deadlines, I wasn’t paying attention and nearly got hit by a car. It was so close. I felt the rush of wind brush my legs and I had the whole life flash before your eyes moment that everyone talks about.

“People say you think about your regrets in these types of experiences. I froze and the only thing I could think about was the fact that I hadn’t done the one thing I was so passionate about – which was music.

“It sounds so clichéd, but this moment changed the direction of my life. As soon as I graduated, I started saving to self-fund a second degree in music, with the help of my parents. I completed a foundation degree at Access to Music, which was an incredible experience and here we are at Unsigned. What a journey.”

MICAH, who works as a waitress to make ends meet, grew up in a creative family so has always been surrounded by music. She watched bands at festivals from a young age. It wasn’t until her parents recognised she could sing as a young teen and encouraged her to take singing lessons that she began to take it more seriously.

She found out about Unsigned through one of last year’s students, Ruby Sue, a friend she met on the Music Performance degree at Access to Music.

“Ruby raved about the programme and said the mentors had really helped her as an artist. I looked up the website and read these posts which were written for last year’s artists. I thought it sounded amazing, so I attended the end-of-year show at The Waterfront and thoroughly enjoyed it. I then spoke to Emma [O’Reilly, one of the tutors] at the show and thought this was exactly what I needed having just left uni.”

Before starting the programme, MICAH knew each term focused on a different area of mentorship, such as songwriting, recording, marketing / promotion, and performance skills.

“I had no idea how much more than this I would learn. At the time, I was still new to writing music and performing so I knew these sessions alone would be incredibly helpful. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much Emma, Millie [Manders] and Carl [Cole] really care about us – not just as performing artists but as individuals.

“They have helped me figure out who I am as artist, branding, the direction I want to go in and the barriers I put in my own way. I found that sessions haven’t just been about the music, they’ve been about helping me to grow as a person. Sometimes they felt like therapy, and I’d come away feeling so positive and empowered. I honestly can’t praise this programme enough.”

MICAH – who abandoned the flute at Grade 5 as it didn’t really suit the direction her music was taking but plays guitar and a bit of keyboard – considers herself as an indie pop artist. She’s trying to steer away from mainstream pop, while still creating catchy lyrics and melodies within her music.

“I’ve always loved indie / alternative music for this reason and songs that have a bit of an edge to them, or a darker, more emotional side. I also love a good bass or electric guitar riff, but this is hard to incorporate in my music as a solo acoustic act. It’s something I want to do in a full band setting in the future though.

“Some of my influences are artists such as Tash Sultana (I love their live looping, and this could be a great way to start incorporating more of the sounds I love into my music), PVRIS, Hope D and Lauren Sanderson.”

If you’re an open mic night fan, you may’ve seen MICAH singing in Lowestoft and Norwich. She’s also performed at First Light Festival in Lowestoft and smaller gigs in surrounding areas. Right now, it’s about getting out there and gaining experience by playing as much as possible.

“When Unsigned ends I plan to continue gigging as much as possible and crafting my stage presence. I had a recording session with Unsigned and I think this is a song I would like to take into the studio with hopes of releasing a single this year.

“I have considered further education in songwriting, but this isn’t set in stone. I’ve basically been toying with ideas without putting too much pressure on myself. Mostly I’m excited to get out there and put everything I’ve learned on the programme into action and make this my full-time job.”

MICAH’s already recommended Unsigned to some of her musical friends and uni mates.

“It’s such an amazing programme for anyone looking to start out in the music industry. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The mentors’ expertise has been truly so valuable, and I can’t thank The Garage enough.”

You can find all of her upcoming gigs on her website. You can also find her music on DistroKid, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Bandsintown.

MICAH will be performing at our annual Unsigned showcase, which this year is at Voodoo Daddy’s in Norwich. Get your tickets here.

Also on the line-up are:

Nyree Williams is an actor and singer-songwriter from Wales. She uses music as a connector. She believes storytelling through song is a way to make peace with ourselves, and connect more deeply with others. Humour’s an essential part of her style. Her music has been described as “bourbon-soaked folk”. Her songs range from bawdy, theatrical numbers to narratives sung in a more traditional folk style with old-timey jazz, blues and country influences chucked in for good measure. Her debut single Penelope can be streamed on most platforms. Find out more about Nyree on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Performing moody pop ballads, Ewan Martin has built his sound around struggles with mental health to attempt to fight his own demons and inspire other people with their own battles. With bright open chords, aggressive yet fragile vocals and lyrics that give you the key to his mind, you’re in for an emotional adventure. Find out more about him on Instagram.

Expect a dynamic performance from Amber Sky fusing the power of Paramore, the pop sensibilities of Taylor Swift, and the classic edge of The Cranberries. Cutting her teeth on busking, live-streaming on TikTok, and shows at venues across Norfolk, she has emotive, strong vocals, affirming lyrics, playful narratives and a commitment to authenticity. Alongside dates in the studio and performing, she’s currently preparing for summer festivals. Join Amber’s community on InstagramTikTok, and Facebook to find out more.

Unsigned is our artist development programme which offers musicians a year of mentoring from industry professionals, with recording, promotional and performance opportunities. You can find out more about it and all our other courses and classes by visiting thegarage.org.uk

Keep up to date with our new shows, classes, offers, community projects and more by signing-up to our twice monthly e-shot. Or follow us on XInstagramFacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube.

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