Loyola musician Mia Day takes city by storm


Macie Batson

Mia Day performs at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans on Nov. 11, 2022. Day is an up-and-coming artist that has garnered a reputation around Loyola for her work ethic, talent, and kind attitude.

Macie Batson, Senior Staff Writer

Popular and Commercial Music Senior Mia Day has taken the Loyola community by storm with her ability to connect with so many on such a deep level. Many people recognize her for the vulnerability in her lyrics, her presence on stage, and her overall kindness to everyone with whom she works.

But what most don’t know about Day is how hard she worked to become the artist she is today. Day said that she has been writing songs and singing in front of audiences since she was ten years old. 

Day began her music career in Seattle with just her guitar and a desire to build connections through opening for various different musicians at numerous venues in an effort to get her name out there as best she could.

“Anyone who asked me to open, I would say yes,” Day said . She added that she would frequently open for artists that had nothing in common with her indie-folk music, such as metal rock bands and rappers.

Day began emailing venues in high school and asking to perform her music there, and she even made a list of all the venues in Seattle to keep track of them all. After countless open mics in small coffee shops and more people asking her to open for their shows, Day recorded her debut album “Gold” in 2018, which she performed in her local record store in Seattle.

“After releasing my first album, I thought ‘I need to get a band together,’” Day said. Day wanted to start performing with a full band; previously, it was just her and her guitar. When Day relocated to New Orleans, she also hoped to play with a more diverse group of musicians, including women, queer, and nonbinary people.

“I came here, and I had to start all over again, but this time I knew how to get people together,” Day said. 

In coming​​ to Loyola, Day said there was a lot she had to learn and accomplish throughout her college career. Before coming to Loyola, Day had never had a voice lesson and understood very little about music theory.

“Loyola has done a lot for me, but the biggest thing for me was my voice lessons,” Day said. “It changed my life, and it changed the way I sing,”

Day said that her voice coach Kate Duncan, Loyola’s associate director for the School of Music Industry and chair for the school’s Popular & Commercial Music and Urban & Electronic Music degree programs, was able to bring her voice back down to basic building blocks and build it back up again.

Day was recently chosen by all of her music professors for the Mikee Jones Prize Award for the second year in a row. The scholarship is named after Mikee Jones, a Loyola alumnus who died young. Once a year, professors vote to grant the prize to generous or outstanding students in the music industry or popular and commercial music programs.

“My professors and classmates affirmed to me that I’m a musician, I belong here, and I belong in these spaces,” Day said. 

Day has always been recognized for her candor in her songwriting, and that hasn’t changed since moving to the South. Since her very first gigs, Day has never played a cover song because, in her opinion, her writing is what makes her good.

“Writing my own music makes me feel like I matter, and I hope that people can connect to the things I have to say,” Day said. 

Loyola alumnus and New Orleans bass player Nelson Capote says that Day’s kindness and compassion that she shows the artists she plays with shines through her lyrics. 

“I love how raw and vulnerable Mia allows herself to be with her music,” Capote said. “There is no hiding behind any closed door, she leaves it out in the open through her lyrics.” 

Day has so far released three EPs and one full album, and she aims to release her sophomore album in the spring of 2023. 

“With my music, I try to be as vulnerable as possible,” Day said. “Music is how I feel less alone, and that’s all I want to do, is help other people feel less alone.”

The majority of her songs were recorded in the home studios of her friends, including music industry studies senior Lilith Valentin, who said Day’s work ethic inspires her.

“She’s always gigging, writing, and recording,” Valentin said. “She’s broken out and has become really secure and established as a musician.”

Capote agreed that Day has come a long way since they first met in 2019, from the sound of her music to how she uses her voice. He said the chances she’s taking are paying off.

“Mia is just so full of kindness, you can’t help but feel inspired. Personally, Mia has inspired me to just show love and support to artists,” Capote said. “Keep an eye on Mia, she’s off to do big things.”