I recently conducted a Q&A session with singer/songwriter, Mikki Daniel, before the premiere of RIDE TV’s Unbridled Song, where Mikki is the featured artist. She gave me great insight into the foundation for her music, where she finds her inspiration and what her interests are outside of the recording studio. Enjoy!
Will: What are you looking forward to seeing the most from your episode of Unbridled Song?
Mikki: I've just never shared so much about myself and the way I was raised with the public before, so I think it's neat that y'all were able to turn my story into an episode for Unbridled Song. I'm very honored and grateful for the chance to hopefully expose more folks to my kind of music--maybe it will become their music, too!
Will: Describe when you first fell in love with music.
Mikki: I'm not sure that it was a specific moment. I was just raised with an appreciation and love for music, and that only grew with age.
Will: What was the first instrument you learned to play and why that instrument?
Mikki: Piano, and because my mom recognized the importance of learning that as a first instrument at an early age. So, she placed me (as well as each of my siblings) in piano from age 4 to 5 all the way through high school. When I got to about 13, I chose to also pick up guitar and bass.
Will: Do you have a process for songwriting? Some artists have a set routine when writing new material, do you have a routine?
Mikki: No, I don't. I just write what comes to mind whenever I feel inspired. Sometimes I get a melody stuck in my head first, or on some occasions, I have an idea for the lyrics and I start to write and then it turns into a song. I've been inspired by just about everything at some point-from people to places, animals, events, books, beef jerky packages. There's inspiration to be had from it all. :)
Will: Do you have any superstitions?
Mikki: Haha, no. I believe the Bible is true, and I follow God's Word to the best of my human ability, with His help, of course. But no superstitions.
Will: Do you have any pets?
Mikki: Yes, obviously my horses. But, outside of all my horses, I also have two dogs, a cat, and a hedgehog named "Two".
Will: Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Mikki: Vocally, Ella Fitzgerald and Carolyn Martin. Instrumentally, Eldon Shamblen and Fats Waller. But the list is truly endless!
Will: What/Who attracted you to become a swing artist?
Mikki: Devon Dawson influenced me at the beginning of my journey, and then I quickly became inspired also by Bob Wills, Frank Sinatra, and many of the big band artists. And then, I fell in love with the Time Jumpers.
Will: What is your favorite memory from traveling on the road with your band?
Mikki: I think it was when we played Ruidoso, in 2016. Having all six of us up on the big stage, in matching clothes and with our songs down...it was a moment when I was so proud to be able to say "we're Texas Wildfire, from Fort Worth, TX", because I knew that they knew their thing. They had my back. We're not just band mates, we're friends, too!
Will: What is your favorite concert you’ve ever played and why?
Mikki: That's tough! They are all my favorite. Every concert I've ever played has meant so much to me; but one of the coolest was when I was invited up to Indianapolis, IN, to open the PRI (Professional Racing Industry) at their morning banquet, and then guested with Tim Wright (the Wright Brothers) and his trio. It was a very exciting and somewhat intimidating performance. I really enjoyed the experience.
Will: What is your favorite song you have ever written and why?
Mikki: That's a tough question, mostly because there's a piece of my heart in all of my songs. My favorite is probably "She Could Ride", off of my Cowgirl Swing album. I wrote it for the girls I know who can ride the wind, and they wouldn't trade living on the back of their pony for a million bucks. If there is anything these girls could do, it's ride.
Will: If you could have a dinner date with anyone on this Earth, who would you choose and why?
Mikki: My dad. Because I don't get to see him as often now that I'm older and in college, and I miss our daddy-daughter dates. He's always been generous with his wisdom sharing, and has a hysterical sense of humor. And I always have so much fun with him. We like to get Barbeque. ;)
Will: Outside of music, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
Mikki: I love to train horses, and make purses out of rabbit pelts. Often times I don't have much time for the crafty stuff, though, so music and horses are my whole life.
We cannot wait to see what Mikki accomplishes during her career. This is an artist to watch! To discover more RIDE TV Unbridled Song artists, click here.