About Mica Millar
Following sold out headline shows across the UK this summer and packed out festival appearances everywhere from Love Supreme to Cheltenham Jazz Festival plus opening slots for Gregory Porter at Royal Albert Hall and Lionel Richie at Blenheim Palace, Mica has announced dates for her upcoming UK/European Tour including a landmark show in the UK’s capital at the iconic, Union Chapel as part of London Jazz Festival’s opening weekend. Ticket are now on sales for the first dates announced including:
1st Nov - Blue Note Jazz Club - Milan, Italy
5th Nov - Leverkusener Jazzstage - Leverkusen, Germany
11th Nov - Union Chapel - London, UK
14th Nov - Belgrave Music Hall - Leeds, UK
24th Nov - Konzerhause Dortmund - Dortmund, Germany
19th Dec - Sage - Gateshead, UK
Amassing almost five million streams on Spotify alone, Mica’s and her highly revered debut album have been championed by the likes of Trevor Nelson, Jamie Cullum and Craig Charles at BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music as well as receiving five star reviews and acclaim everywhere from Jazzwise, Record Collector and Wordplay Magazine to The Daily Express, Music Week and The Official Charts.
Picking up champions across Jazz FM with on-going A List support, Mica also won Jazz FM's prestigious 'Soul Act of The Year 2022' award alongside receiving a nomination for 'Breakthrough Act of The Year' and featured on the front covers of Blues & Soul and Echoes Magazine, the latter citing her album as one of the top 5 Soul record of the year. She recently announced she'd been welcomed in to the fold of the Grammy's prestigious Music Academy class of 2023, meaning her second album and all future work will be eligible for Grammy Nominations.
Mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, ‘Heaven Knows’ is self-written, arranged and produced, as well as being released independently on Mica’s own self-managed record label, Golden Hour Music Ltd. Mica’s timeless songs explore themes of human nature, spirituality, love, oppression, inequality and empowerment, drawing inspiration from a plethora of vintage soundscapes, most notably, soul, blues, gospel and jazz.
Mica’s distinct vision is one that’s earned her renowned credibility within the industry and it’s her creativity, drive and attention to detail that has made ‘Heaven Knows’ the album it is - a timeless collection of modern soul showcasing a new and unique voice in British music.
The album’s initial recording sessions took place at Middle Farm Studios, in Devon with a tight-knit team who laid the foundations for what became ‘Heaven Knows’. Alongside guitarist Miles James (Michael Kiwanuka, Tom Misch, Cleo Soul) were Jonathan Tuitt (Drums), Arran Powell (Bass), Marc Morrison (Piano) [members of Emile Sande’s live band], lead engineer Lewis Hopkins and assistant engineer and photographer Andrew Thomas (who Mica later captured the album's sleeve photograph taken in Manchester's Albert Hall).
Against all odds, ‘Heaven Knows’ was completed during a tumultuous time in Mica’s life. Not only having to adapt to the effects of COVID on the industry - shifting from studio sessions to remote recording under lock down restriction, a big enough feat in itself, but in 2020 Mica broke her back, narrowly escaping permanent paralysis from the waist down. In extreme pain and having to learn to walk again, all recording came to a halt and nine months on Mica found herself still recovering from her injuries, amongst which, her core muscles, formerly powering her ever present, soaring vocals, had deteriorated. But instead of giving up, Mica pushed through these challenges with determination, taking on rigorous rehabilitation and never losing sight of her vision for the album.
“I didn't want Covid or my accident to impact my vision for the record. In fact, the time in recovery and lock down allowed me to think bigger and better in the end and ultimately become a much more experienced producer. Working one on one with musicians remotely opened up new possibilities for collaborating with other musicians on the record - people I had always wanted to work with (particularly musicians in the US) and this was so important for being able to achieve both the performances and sonics I wanted for each song on the record".
Notably, the fourteen track debut has been mixed by multi-platinum Producer/Engineer Brian Malouf, known for engineering Michael Jackson’s Bad album and working with Motown legend Stevie Wonder amongst many other Grammy award-winning works. Completing mixing sessions with Mica via Zoom from his state of the art studio facility in LA, Malouf credits Mica as a talent that is “every engineer’s dream” with a clear vision and outstanding songs, likening her production approach on single "Flashlights" to that of the legendary Quincey Jones.
Amongst those also credited on ‘Heaven Knows’ are esteemed bassist, Jerry Barnes (Whitney Houston, Nile Rodgers, Chic) who adds his signature bass sound to single ‘Preacher Man’, pianist/organist Bobby Sparks (Snarky Puppy, Kirk Franklin) who performed on single 'Will I See You Again', bassist and engineer Vince Chiarato (Black Pumas), bassist Brandon Rose (Marcus Miller), and Ricky Peterson and David Z Rivkin (long standing collaborators of Price and Etta James). Rivkin contributed to the album as a second arranger on "Fools Fate" and also linked Mica up with Prince/Fleetwood Mac organist Rickey Peterson to perform on the same track.
“It was been really amazing to work with people who have played on some of my favourite records of all time. Doing that from my home studio in Manchester was incredibly surreal", says Mica.
Recorded between Manchester, Devon, New York, Minneapolis, Nashville, LA and other locations across the US and Mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, Mastering Engineer, Geoff Pesche (Adele, Ed Sheeran), cited 'Heaven Knows' as his "favourite album project at Abbey Road Studios" in 2021 and 2022 consecutively. Continuing, “I work on around 50 albums a year at Abbey Road” and citing himself as a big fan.
“You need a lot of self-belief and a strong work ethic to complete a project of this scale independently. I never lost motivation but I certainly had periods of doubt about my capabilities and at times the challenges of this album were completely overwhelming. Finishing the record and overcoming these doubts has been a massively liberating experience. I’m really proud of what I've achieved. I'm very grateful to the many talented people who have put so much time and effort into 'Heaven Knows' as well as all of the amazing support I’ve received from fans and across the world. It really is very humbling and I’m so grateful”.
Mica’s distinct vision is one that’s earned her renowned credibility within the industry and it’s her creativity, drive and attention to detail that has made ‘Heaven Knows’ the album it is - a timeless collection of modern soul showcasing a confident new artist, quickly establishing herself as a new and unique voice in British Soul music.