YLC’s Nina Uddin has some fangirl confessions to make as she’s getting ready for new releases from Miriam Bryant, the powerhouse vocalist who had her breakthrough in Sweden last year with the song Push Play.
– Didn’t you see her just the other day?
– Well yeah, but it’s Miriam…
– But why again?
– You have a thing or two to understand about fandom, dear hubby!
Not that I’m really counting, but that exchange took place in August when we were on our way to see Miriam Bryant for my 13th time (only the third for hubby, if I’m correct), and I was planning to make it 14 by that weekend…
There is something about Miriam Bryant that draws me to her shows – I’ve made it there even for short showcases or those occasions when she’s performed just one song. She’s not the only object of my live music obsession and fangirling ways, but there’s no one I’ve seen live (and photographed) as many times as her – and all this in the relatively short time that her career spans so far. There is something truly wonderful about finding new favorites in the early stages of their career and following their way up.
Miriam made an impression the first time I heard Finders Keepers, which would have been some time in the autumn of 2012. It was her debut single, and she had found her way to the record company through a school project her friend did about artists profiling with Miriam as the artist.
I kept hearing and reading about her from different places and found out she had a Finnish mother (like so many other young Swedish artists do. There’s always a Finnish mother…). It goes without saying that gave her instant plus points in my book, being a Finn myself.
When I finally had the chance to see her live in January of 2013, the capacity of her amazing voice in a live setting totally cemented my fandom situation. Her stage presence may still have been somewhat hesitant, but that voice was something special.
During last year I followed her closely as she went on to release another single and an album, and on to having her Push Play become one of the most played songs of the year on Swedish radio. In the meanwhile she had also had some radio play in Germany, which turned into a career defining moment when young German super-DJ and producer Zedd heard her song. He found out who the girl behind the voice was and ended up signing her to American label Interscope (where Zedd himself was at the time busy producing an album for Lady Gaga).
Miriam then released an EP of her songs stateside, and her Push Play was included on Zedd’s album in his revamped version. She also ended up joining Zedd and Matthew Koma for Find You, which featured in a Super Bowl commercial and then on the Divergent movie soundtrack. This led on to appearances on everything from the MTV Movie Awards to Jimmy Kimmel and Good Morning America (live from Central Park, New York). She also spent time writing new material in the US and played showcases.
On returning to Sweden, Miriam joined legendary Swedish rockers Kent on their tour as a back-up singer alongside Naomi Pilgrim and Ida Redig. The young super trio seemed to give the Kent song catalogue a whole new dimension. On the larger Kentfest dates in Stockholm and Gothenburg she also got to play her own sets. Throw in shows at Gröna Lund and the We Are Sthlm festival, as well as TV and radio appearances. Seeing her live again after the absence from the Swedish stages it was evident that she had gained so much confidence and authority during her months in the US.
The next chapter of the story is about to start now, as Miriam releases her new single Dragon on September the 19th and her EP in early October.
I may be somewhat biased with my fangirl glasses on, but I recommend you check out the new stuff for yourselves as soon as it’s released. And do make your way to see Miriam live, because that voice needs to be heard IRL.
Catch her at the Musikplats Stockholm at the Radio House on the 19th of September (at 12:30 – it’s free, but be there in time to guarantee a seat), and/or at Debaser Medis on the 3rd of October.
All photos: Nina Uddin