“At school I was too shy to even sing in front of the class, so I got an ‘F’ for music. Back then I didn’t really like my own voice.” When Miriam Bryant talks about her musical background, you can always hear a hint of pride in her voice. And at only 21 that’s understandable, because her debut album “Raised In Rain” is worthy of praise at the highest international level.
It was no surprise to those who know her in Sweden, where Miriam was born, when the popular tabloid newspaper “Aftonbladet” crowned her its “Newcomer of 2013”. After all, Miriam had wanted to be a singer since she was a small child. “They say I could sing before I could talk”, she says with a wry wink, knowing full well that her talent is a gift she had to learn to use. “After awhile I finally began to simply accept the compliments I got for my voice”, she says in all humility.
And although she’s keen to play down all the hoopla by saying she “…just wrote a couple of songs”, there’s no denying the role played by her background. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, Miriam’s father is a British baker, while her mother is a teacher from Finland. It’s easy to understand with a cultural recipe like this that Miriam’s music refuses to be pigeonholed.
Genuine attempts to do so reveal both British humour as well as Finnish melancholy in evidence on “Raised In Rain”, all combined with the irresistible melodies Scandinavia is famous for. But even this is not the result of some “master plan”. Miriam says, “I tend to react more to my gut than to my head”, pointing out that many of her songs, including the outstanding debut single “Finders Keepers”, were written within half an hour.
So it’s hard to imagine that this confident young woman virtually had to “…force herself onto the stage and radiate confidence”, but she taught herself well. Miriam explains, “If you’re going to sing in front of lots of people who have paid to see you, you can’t afford to have any self-doubts”, adding that in the meantime she’s also able to handle negative criticism by “…always trying to keep both feet on the ground”.
Miriam Bryant hasn’t experienced stage fright for years now. She chalks this up to experience, adding “Of course I still get nervous before I go on stage. But it’s a positive kind of nervousness that pushes me forward”.
As a child, Miriam enjoyed unreserved support from her parents. There was never a “Plan B” she says, commenting “If I hadn’t gotten a record deal, I would have just kept on trying”. Her former classmate Victor proved to be a soul-mate as well, encouraging her to write her own songs and pushing her to the level she has now attained with “Raised In Rain”. The album is brimming with emotional soul songs in modern arrangements, carried by a voice well beyond the years of its young owner. And her lyrics, with a pronounced atmospheric, metaphorical density, tell of her own experiences with unmistakable authenticity in every syllable. Miriam explains, “My lyrics are all personal, and above all honest. But I don’t signpost the way or dictate the interpretation. I think it’s more interesting for the listeners to do that for themselves”.
And the listeners keep tuning in. Her first self-penned song “Finders Keepers” now boasts almost two million hits on “YouTube”, and special showcase shows in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Baden-Baden and Frankfurt along with a sold-out club tour and a host of TV appearances last December have all received high praise. Now “Raised In Rain” is finally being released here, and Miriam, trusting her “gut”, is “very excited to hear how the people will respond. Up to now all the feedback has been positive. That’s a good sign, isn’t it?” It looks like the rainclouds are finally parting for Miriam Bryant and her voice.