For our latest music interview, we interview singer/songwriter Mirel Wagner. Mirel Wagner is a 23 year old born in Ethiopia and raised in Espoo, Finland. Her bluesy voice. and haunting Folk music has gained her an ever increasing fan club across the world.
What is it like growing up as an Ethiopian in Finland?
That is very difficult to answer. I was adopted as baby from Ethiopia by my Finnish parents so I don’t really consider myself as an Ethiopian. I consider myself a Finnish woman. Finland is all I have ever known.
When did music become a big part of your life?
It has always been a par of my life. My family always sing together. I started playing the violin at 7 years old, and then at 13 I learnt the guitar. That was when I started to write songs just for my own pleasure.
What are some of the things you are trying to say through your music?
I want people who listen to my music to feel something.Feel an emotion. I don’t have a message to be honest, but just want people to connect on that human emotion level. I don’t care how people want to label my music. I just write to, and for human beings.
Aside from music what are your other passions?
I like books and I read a lot of books. I enjoy art, watching it, seeing it. Sometimes I draw but I am not that good!
How do you see your music evolving from here?
The songs on the latest album are constantly evolving as I play and perform them. The songs have a life of their own. For new songs, I don’t know where they will take me. I don’t have plans to go in a certain direction.
I know that you were in the UK earlier this year, any plans to come back for future tours?
I would love to come back to the UK. In September I am going to the USA for a while on a kind of mini tour. And then of course next month I am in Texas for SXSW. the summer is full of festivals across Germany and France, and you never know maybe even the UK. I leave those plans to other people, I just play and write songs.
Is there any music in the UK that excites you at the moment?
I don’t really listen to new music. I just love old music. Old English folk music like Mick Gregory, and Fairport Convention. I really love old Blues music like Mississippi John Hurt and Muddy Waters. Also Jazz like Sarah Vaughan and Bessie Smith.
Mirel Wagner album from Bone Voyage is now available on European release on Vinyl and CD.