Afro-gospel artist Miriam Nyarko continues to prove her talents in all different forms, particularly in the way she shares her beliefs and passion through her work. With a love for musical theatre, R&B, and a gift for storytelling, Miriam perfectly showcases that to be an artist is to celebrate the love you have for your art. We got the opportunity to speak to the multi-talented sensation about her inspirations and her future plans.
Kickstarting your career at such a young age with the likes of musicals such as ‘The Lion King‘, how do you think your love and experience in musical theatre have influenced your style of music?
My love for musical theatre has definitely influenced my career in so many great ways. I would have to say my technique when singing has definitively thanked me for it. But, also, since storytelling is such a huge part of musical theatre – it’s reminded me how important it is to tell a story in and amongst your music. Because then the listeners have a journey to go on too!
You said when speaking about your debut EP, the songs were “the most accurate and vulnerable representation of me and my faith.” Why is it important to you that there is a representation of faith and belief within the music industry?
For me growing up, I couldn’t find a lot of faith-based music that had modern/contemporary influences. So in a way, creating this music was for the younger version of myself – and anyone else out there that wanted to hear worship/faith-based music they could relate to. I think this is important because we live in such a “worldly” dominated industry when it comes to music. And as believers, it’s so lovely to express our faith, to show we’re “in the world but not of the world”.
What is the most important message for you as an artist to get across to your fans or anybody new listening?
I’d say the message I try to get across is that Christianity is not about being holier than thou, but about knowing how imperfect you are & how perfect the love of Christ is. I feel like God has placed a calling over my heart to make afro/gospel and spread His praise! Away from the faith focus, I hope listeners can also pick up themes of resilience and eventual perseverance, sort of like at the end of the tunnel. In fact, my EP tracklist was curated to convey that exact message!
While mixing your love for R&B with your upbringing of singing in church, there must be all types of different music that influence you. Who or what do you take most inspiration from?
Hmm, this is difficult because I listen to so many different kinds of music. In terms of worship, I’ve been loving Jonathan McReynolds, Annatoria, and Laura Ehio, at the moment! Also, shout out to my girl Kaye-Marie for holding the R&B/Gospel scene down! I also love the R&B sounds of Tori Kelly, H.E.R., and Madison Ryann Ward! There’s just so much to choose from.
You really are a jack-of-all-trades. Following on from your love of musical theatre, is music and acting something that will always come hand in hand for you?
Definitely! They’re both such beautiful ways of expression so they’ll always have special places in my heart. I love how I can talk about different things in my music career, like God and my faith, whilst in my acting career, I’m able to convey different messages! Hopefully one day, I’ll work on a project that can combine the two (songwriting and acting) in one project!
‘Built On You’ was inspired directly by the Bible verse, Matthew 7:25. Do you feel writing about your personal relationship with your faith grounds you and your work?
100%! I also think it strengthens my faith, as my lyrics are like physical manifestations of my dedication to God. I believe it also plants strong roots and gives my work a ‘firm foundation’! In fact, with God, anything is stronger. It also reminds me what is truly important and reminds me that when nothing else remains, God stays the same.
Whilst using this inspiration, what does a songwriting process look like for you?
I normally come up with the melodies first. I search for beats or play about on the keys for chord progressions that depict the sound I like and use them as a vehicle for my melodies! After I’ve done a few passes and solidified the vibe I wanna go for, the lyrics normally just flow out of me. Especially when I’m talking about God or a subject close to my heart, I find that the words often write themselves! Before I know it, I have the whole song and I’m ready to record.
With ‘Blackwool’ premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, how did you find working on this set?
Working on the ‘Blackwool‘ set was the biggest pleasure! Our director Eubha Akilade was the most warm spirit and encouraged me to make the role my own. Her vision was so distinct but she was able to weave me in so effortlessly. In such an emotionally tense film, the set can often carry those same vibes, but Eubha was able to create such an amazing environment filled with so much love! I was also going through a lot at the time but (in) a way that really helped my emotional acting thrive!!
As the short film focuses on using your inner power, what do you think is the best way for someone to harness their inner power?
Looking inside yourself and understanding what it means to be unapologetically yourself is a true superpower. I always say that when I know who I am and WHOSE I AM, no one and nothing can rise up against me. When God says yes – nobody can say no. Identity is so important and as a Christian, I know that my identity in Christ is something that will never change.
With your debut EP ‘The Journey’ now out to the world, are there any other projects fans can be excited about coming soon, whether that be another musical endeavour or acting-related?
At the moment, I’m in rehearsals for ‘Hadestown‘, which is a Broadway musical that’s transferring to the West End! It opens soon, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve all been working so hard on! I also want to continue my musical endeavours this year and experiment with different sounds and vibes. Whether these make it out into the world, who knows, but I’m still developing as an artist behind the scenes!