The Rocks Off 200: Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Sometimes I am just embarrassed by the talent I manage to not have heard of in the city, and right now the person most making me feel like a failure as a music journalist is soul singer Alycia Miles. Dear God and everything Hee Haw, her voice! Seriously, play the below video for "Closed for Renovations"; Miles could sing the robes off a marble statue. It's a thing of absolute, staggering beauty.
Alonzo Williams Jr
Miles has been a constant presence in the music industry since she was just 14 years old. She started out singing Xscape and Blaque covers in a girl group made up of her best friend, her sister, and her best friend. Appropriately they continued the legacy of creatively misspelled names by calling themselves N-tyse. Though she began her path pursuing more straight hip hop, exposure to a few other styles as HSPVA led her to the more rock-inspired soul that she's become know for.
After leaving N-Tyse behind to start Entyse (sigh...), she's finally found her home with The Tribe and The Paper Amp Project. Where she'll go in the future is up to God, she says, but there's no doubt we'll be hearing her singing across the night for a good long while.
Home Base: Miles works on her music in her own private recording studio, preferring isolation and silence; she also doesn't consider herself a very good piano player, and likes not having anyone around to notice that fact. For playing live she will hit any stage that will have her and expresses no personal preference among Houston venues.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "I am truly bothered by the expectations of artists in the city versus the lack of payment," sighs Miles. "Respect my purpose enough to work way hard at it and be quite good at it. Please stop insulting artists by offering peanuts for five hour long performances."
Good War Story: "My first live performance, I'm 15 years old, we're doing a really slow Xscape song in a very rowdy club and four words in there's a resounding, 'BOOOOOOOO' bearing down on the stage," she recalls. "I can laugh now, it was NOT funny then."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "It's my home," she says. "I was born and raised here. My support system is here. I would never be able to travel and work like I do if i didn't live in Houston."
First Song You Fell in Love With: "A one-hit wonder called the Voices; the song was 'Yeah Yeah Yeah," Miles thinks. "I played it so much that my sister broke my tape and left the guts on my pillow."
See more about Miles at facebook.com/alyciamilesmusic.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.