Britain’s brightest new soul star Mica Miller is set to visit Lighthouse Poole on Friday 19 April as part of her latest tour of the UK and Europe. Since releasing her debut album, Heaven Knows, in 2022 to widespread critical acclaim, she has clocked up some five million streams on Spotify alone and been championed by the likes of Trevor Nelson, Jamie Cullum and Craig Charles at BBC Radio 2 and 6Music, as well as winning Jazz FM’s prestigious Soul Act of The Year 2022 award and a nomination for Breakthrough Act of The Year.

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. Its 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.

The album’s initial recording sessions took place at Middle Farm Studios in Devon with a tight-knit team. Alongside guitarist Miles James (Michael Kiwanuka, Tom Misch, Cleo Soul) were Emile Sande band members Jonathan Tuitt (drums), Arran Powell (bass) and Marc Morrison (piano).

​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, 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,” she says. “In fact, the time in recovery and lockdown 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 14-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 has 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 Abbey Road where Mastering Engineer, Geoff Pesche (Adele, Ed Sheeran), cited Heaven Knows as his favourite album project at Abbey Road in 2021 and 2022 consecutively. “You need a lot of self-belief and a strong work ethic to complete a project of this scale independently,” says Mica. “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 has resulted in Heaven Knows, a timeless collection of modern soul showcasing a confident new artist, quickly establishing herself as a new and unique voice in British soul music.


Mica Millar