Young British-based singer, songwriter, actress and dancer MIRIAM NYARKO just released her new single ‘BUILT ON YOU’. Louder Than The Music chatted with this exciting emerging talent about her background in acting, how she started out writing music, and what inspires her work.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
Yes, of course! My name is Miriam Nyarko, and I’m a 20 year old singer/songwriter based in Hertfordshire. I was born and raised in Northwest London by my Bajan mum and my Ghanaian dad, and started singing in church from a very young age. At the age of seven I sang at an event and after this performance, many people approached my mum and encouraged her to enrol me into singing lessons!
Since then, I continued to blossom and use singing, songwriting and performing as a creative outlet / form of therapy. At the age of 9 my mum saw an open call for West End’s The Lion King and said it looked fun … little did we know I'd book the role of young Nala! After getting that role I continued in theatre doing Matilda, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Boy in The Dress and more. However I started growing a love for TV work and then booked a lead role in a new hit CBBC show called ‘Almost Never’ and featured in Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight”!
Acting happened to take off quicker than singing but it’s always been about music for me and as I continued to write music in a season of obscurity, I am now able to release it publicly and use my financial stability from acting to follow bigger dreams!!
Tell us about your new single 'Built On You' and what the inspiration behind it was?
‘Built On You’ started out, not as a song but as a motto for my year: “View life from the mountain top and build your house on solid rock”. I am a firm believer that God always guides and provides in not only big, but small ways too. So at the start of this year I wanted to see what guidance I could hold onto. Whilst journaling and writing that prior statement above, I got the image of a house built on the top of a mountain. I’m not the best drawer so my friend drew it for me in more detail. As we both sat down to create our vision boards on New Year’s Eve; ‘Firm Foundation’ by Cody Carnes (a lovely worship song) came on our live stream. As I went to add that song to my playlist the artwork was, low and behold, a house on a mountain! That’s when I felt assured that this wasn’t just a good thing but a God thing. A month went by and I got a rush to write a song around this motto for my 2023. So long story short, I was led by God and followed that lead. I wanted this song to not only be listened to by gospel lovers but by all who thrive on a vibe.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
Yes, definitely! I have a few features coming out within the next few months and I’m hoping to release a remix of ‘Built On You’. I am also diving deep into music and currently preparing my EP.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
I want people to hear my heart and who I represent. Whether I am talking about Jesus or not, I want Christ's light to shine so brightly. Whether the song is “sad” or uplifting I want people to resonate with it. Whether it’s afro/gospel or traditional R&B, I want people to feel inspired to find their path to God, whilst listening to vibey music at the same time!
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I love a lot of music and my style of music varies. However, a lot of the time it will always have a base layer of soul to it. If I had to narrow it down, I would say I am an RnB/Afro-Gospel singer songwriter. Some of my key influences include Etta James, Tori Kelly, Madison Ryan Ward, H.E.R., CalledOut Music and many more.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
It would definitely be either Tori Kelly or Madison Ryan Ward. They are not only talented vocalists but their songwriting hits my heart on such a deep level. They are both Christian females who write versatile music that is not just listened to by Christians. And that’s what I aspire to do. Allow my faith to intertwine between every lyric, whether it’s a Gospel song or RnB track!
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I would define success as contentment. The word success is all very subjective, because if I looked at myself now from the point of view of me, as a 10-year-old, then I would think I’m one of the most successful people in the world! I have accomplished so many of my dreams, and I think as my dreams grow, and I hopefully with the help of God achieve those dreams then success is never too far away. For me, success would be touching more hearts with more music and spreading the light of Christ in every industry I enter.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Hiding Place by Tori Kelly. I feel like the album really encapsulates everything I stand for. Tori, in general, is one of my favourite artists of all time, but this project took it to a new level. The choir and the live instrumentation are elements that I greatly admire, and one day hope to incorporate into my own music. She also worked with one of my favourite male vocalists, Jonathan McReynolds. Everything about the album, its messages about faith and God, and the overall sound resonate with me on a deeper level. That’s why it's my favourite, and I can’t see anything replacing it anytime soon.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
This is one of the hardest questions, but most exciting questions that I have ever been asked! I will try and cheat the system and choose a long gospel song since they last forever!! It would have to to be “If I Could Have Anything” - by Housefires, Ahjah Walls & Blake Wiggins
What does the next year hold for you?
I have learnt very quickly that I can make plans but I don’t determine my steps. Also I leave it to He who is in control of my life. However I’m hoping that next year holds more music, and that I’m still able to use my acting as a stepping stone to getting my songs heard. I want to have my EP ready and definitely start collaborating more. The masterpieces made when two minds collide are astronomical and I want to be a part of that creativity.