Wishful thinking leads to musical success

Wishful thinking leads to musical success

Miranda Fling started singing at a very young age. She has notebooks from elementary school

full of silly childhood lyrics. Miranda never shared this side of herself with the world until the past

two years. Although new to the scene, success came quickly. Miranda won the Sonic Spotlight

in 2020, landing her a spot on the virtual stage with some of the biggest music names at the

Colorado Sound Radio fifth birthday bash. Miranda also released her self-recorded, self-written

freshman album, Wishful Thinking, on March 1, 2021.

Miranda couldn’t meet with producers face-to-face during quarantine, so she set up a studio in

her closet and started experimenting. “I just have a Mac book, and I lived in a basement

bedroom with a little walk-in closet. I took all my stuff out of the closet and set up my Mic, my

Mac book, and some lights. I don’t have anything besides my headphones, my microphone

interface,” says Miranda. “I had to make sure it was soundproof enough. It was a really creaky

old college house, so I definitely had to wait until my roommates were not jumping around

upstairs.”

Miranda captures moments of inspiration on voice memos on her phone. No matter when the

moment comes, she tries to record it and build on it later. “A lyric pops into my brain, and

usually I try to put that to some sort of melody. And my first step with recording is usually trying

to find some sort of chords that go along with it, laying the chords down, then laying one vocal

track down. And then from there, I try to build with harmonies and background vocals as much

as I can because I feel pretty limited in my instrumental capabilities,” says Miranda. “Typically

just goes from phone-voice-memo, then I try to record a little demo on my laptop and just build

from there.”

Miranda finds the most critical step in her writing process is to listen. She listens with a very

critical ear and tries to imagine the song in various scenarios. She lets it come to life a bit,

building the song piece by piece, editing, and processing as she crafts the tune. The process is

unique, but she feels it helps her get the song’s vision to listen to the recordings. “A lot of times

I’ll completely change it. But it definitely helps me. I play it in my car sometimes and say, okay,

what could be better? Where do I want this to go? And then sometimes I end up combining

lyrics from another song and just making it into one.”

This past year, Miranda has been focused on this process. Her first song came when COVID

started, and she just kept receding into her room. The process has been long, and she finally

ended up knitting together five of her favorite songs for Wishful Thinking. “There’s no song

called Wishful Thinking, but a lot of my songs come from a place of living in this reality that’s

never actually going to happen or wanting something that I can’t have,” says Miranda. “Probably

like 70 percent of my songs are about some dumb boy that I don’t like anymore, but I just like

the emotion behind it. The drama that’s in my heart, I guess, comes out in my music because I

don’t really super open up about it any other place. So it just comes out like 10 times bigger in

my music.”

Before the full album release, Miranda had two songs on Spotify; she heard about the Sonic

Spotlight, a virtual music showcase for youth ages 22 and younger in Larimer and Weld

counties and gave it a go. She is new to the music industry but took a risk. Miranda submitted

her songs. To her surprise, she landed in the top finalist and won the whole competition.

The Sonic Spotlight is a partnership with the Bohemian Foundation, The Colorado Sound, and

the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. The goal was for participants to work with industry

experts, connect with creative peers, receive radio airplay, create a professional music video,

play festivals, win prizes, and level up their music.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect. ‘Cause I was very new to the Fort Collins music scene. I

didn’t realize how many talented people there were and how many cool bands are here,” says

Miranda. “It was really awesome for me to learn about all of that and make connections with

really cool people who are my age and who are trying to do the same thing, just making their

music on their own. They taught us a lot about how to make connections, how to market your

stuff, which I’m still really uncomfortable sometimes doing.”

Upon winning, Miranda got to perform a virtual concert for The Colorado Sound Radio, a

fundraiser for NIVA Save Our Stages Act, and viewed it on their website. Winning Sonic

Spotlight got Miranda an entirely produced music video as part of the 53:14 Music Video

Experiment, a full day of recording at Stout Studios, a $500 gift card for Music Go Round, and a

performance in the FoCoMX music festival.

As for what advice Miranda has for someone in her shoes, “A little bit of push goes a long way. I

think that it took a long time for me to realize that people are actually interested in what I have to

say,” says Miranda. “And they do support me. It’s easier to build a community than maybe you

initially think, especially in Fort Collins. So I guess my advice would be to share it. Just put it out

there.”

Miranda is just getting started. Her immediate success shows that she has what it takes to really

make something happen. “I have a lot of ideas, and I feel like I’m always thinking of new things,”

says Miranda. “I want to see if I can take my style to new places. I really just want to get better

at producing and see if I can do as much as I can on my own. Because I feel like I understand

the fundamentals. I just need some push. I need to get a better computer and better

equipment.”

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