Introducing yet another NEW FEATURE this month in addition to LTR (Long Term Review) introduced last week.  This one’s called Questions for.  Could be 5, 10, 20…

It’s a nice alternative interview to our pop quiz.  Don’t ge me wrong, I love our pop quizzes and those will continue as well, but you gotta’ change up from time to time.  This one’s more individualized.  Gotta’ change the game, not let the game change you. 🙂

Right now I’m thinking of alternating them with the pop quizzes on Fridays, but we’ll see how that goes.  In celebration of the kick-off month, you’ll get 3.  A BONUS next Friday and another the following week.  The next pop quiz will still post as regularly scheduled.

Our debut artist for this feature is Miz Metro, a fairly new artist on the scene, who seems to have quite an impressive resume already.   She’s a New York hip-pop artist who participated in SXSW 2009, here in Austin, in March.  She ‘s releasing her debut album, Unlimited, next month.  She had a lot to say, so grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy.

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1. For those who don’t know, who is Miz Metro? Laura Marie O’Reilly born July 20th 1986, conceived in a college dorm room on the east coast.  I’m a New York City girl raised in Manhattan and grew up playing street ball and watching my parents act.  I started acting when I was 8 years old and I started singing in Gospel choir when I was 12.

I’ve always loved singing and grew up listening to really good songwriters.  My Dad would always play me a wide range of music, he loved good lyrics —  a big Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison fan.  He’s also an actor and taught me at a young age to have a respect for art and to work at developing a craft.

Miz Metro is my melting pot of media, music, and art; I’m a storyteller, an entertainer.  I wear many hats but the stage is my home and I’ve lived the life of a gypsy, I want to plant my roots all over the world.

2. Now, your look is definitely part of the package.  Are you going for an ‘80s vibe? I’m not really going for any one thing specifically —  I dress based on my mood.  I like to be comfortable, honestly, I’m a bit of a tomboy — up to me, I’d wear uptowns every day (usually I do), but I like getting all dolled up as well.  I’ve always loved to play dress up, to get into costume.

I was born in the ’80s, but I wouldn’t say I’m going for a straight up ’80s look, I’m very influenced by the ’60s, ’40s, and 1920s and the future, of course.  “I’m from the past and the future”(“Who’s that Girl?” from the Urban Gypsy Circus project I’m releasing in the fall).  I’m going to be going for a classic Hollywood music star vibe on some of the artwork for my upcoming debut album UNLIMITED which is being packaged and designed by COCO Black, which I’m super excited about  — she’s amazing.

3. You played SXSW in March — both performing at and hosting events.   How do the two compare?  And what did you think of SXSW overall? SXSW was an amazing experience!  Producing and hosting events is something I’ve been doing since I was 17 years old.  I started out throwing shows in Gardens on the lower eastside, and eventually went on to pack 5,000 sq foot lofts in Soho with my Urban Gypsy Circus parties.  I was a professional event producer and promoter at one time, before I decided to get my degree in New Media and Music Composition.

Now, I only have time to be a full time performer and student, but I still get an itch to produce an event every few months.  The HIP HOP HOWL Showcase we threw in Austin during SXSW was amazing because of the team of people I got to work with to help make it happen and the community of artists that came together to make it an amazing success. Crosby my co-presenter and I along with Cathleen (FelicaCruz) our stage manager managed to get 28 acts up and off the stage at LUCKY LOUNGE in 3 hours!  The show ran like a live mixtape and we handed out mixtapes mixed by MELO-X along with free pizza all night and give-away bags sponsored by VICE Magazine and IMEEM.

I really enjoyed co-hosting the event, I know when I’m performing there is nothing like having a great introduction before you go on — it helps amp the performance.  So, I like to try and give other performers a high energy introduction!  Hosting and performing aren’t that different, you have to command the stage doing both — I’d say a host has to work the hardest sometimes because they have to keep the audience engaged for the next act.  Overall, SXSW was an incredible experience, shout out’s to Eyeris, Yarah Bravo, Davey D, Mr. Lif, Blu, Lady Sov, The Beatards, and everyone else I met and ran around with!

4. Is your heart only with hip hop? Or do you see yourself as a Queen Latifah in 5, maybe 10 years earning Oscar nominations and releasing jazz standard CDs? Funny you say that, I love Queen Latifah — my aunt Bernedatte O’Reilly who’s a music business veteran always compares me to Queen Latifah.  If I’m anything at heart, it’s a jazz singer — that is what made me want to start singing and is what in my own renegade way I’ve studied for the past 6 years — not really reading music, but memorizing Dextor Gordon solos off GO (“Cheese Cake” is one of my all-time favorite songs).

I would like to have a career like Queen Latifah, I definitely am going to get back into acting in the near future, really I never stopped.  I went to Laguardia H.S. of the Performing Arts and was in the drama department there.  I’m sure to do a few student films every year to keep my feet wet, and continue to build my reel.  I want to graduate college and establish myself as a musical artist and personality right now before I take even more on to an already intensely full plate.  I have a deep respect for acting and it deserves my full attention. Sometimes you have to live, gain life experience —  acting is all I’ve known my whole life, music for me — in my family is rebellious.

5. Where will Miz Metro be in 5 years? Running an my Miz Metro Media company — which [will] includes the multi-media network Urban Gypsy Circus, selling millions of digital albums, with a hit TV show and a thriving non-4 profit “Project Playground” that helps revolutionize the public school system.

…in 10 years? I will be one of the highest grossing women in the history of the entertainment business.  My main focus will be to help heal the planet and create platforms for global communication through media and art.

We are what we think.
We are all
the debut album JUNE 2009
be on the look out!

Now, listen to Miz Metro perform, “Everyone Wants 2B on TV,” from the Hip Hop HOWL: SXSW 2009 Edition Mixtape.