Learning in an Industry
That's Constantly Changing

Passenger Profile: Misha Williams

By Kenny Kerner
taxi member success misha williams
Listen to 'Unexpectedly' by Misha Williams:

A veteran at 21? How is that possible, you ask? Well, Misha has been performing and singing since the ripe old age of 11. And now, with her music available in the UK and Japan, and still going strong as a TAXI member, the sky's the limit for this fine young performer.

When did you first start singing?

I've always sung along with the radio and loved singing, but I first started really performing when I was 11. My mom and I passed by some kids performing on stage at a shopping mall, and we got information from the people running it. The next week I started performing with them, and the performers would take turns singing. Before I knew it, I was singing every weekend at malls, festivals, race tracks, weddings, private parties, the Texas oprys, and anything else that was going on. I started off with Country music, but once I started writing my own songs, I realized that my natural sound and writing style was more Pop/Rock.

Tell us about the very first song you wrote.

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Smartt, really jumpstarted my songwriting. I'd wanted to write songs but didn't know where to start, so I just didn't start. We were reading a book in English class called Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, and Mrs. Smartt wanted everyone to write a paper about the book. She knew all about my singing and approached me about writing a song about the book instead of writing a paper. I was kind of nervous about it, but it was an amazing challenge because I knew I had to finish the song one way or the other so I could turn it in. Once I had finished that song, it was like this fear had been lifted because I knew I could write songs and there was nothing stopping me. The song was called "Feels Like a Swan." It was about an older woman character in the book who was near the end of her life but was reminiscing about the amazing life she had, and she felt like her young self again. I wouldn't say it was an amazing song, but it completely opened my mind to the possibilities for future songs!

To date, what achievement are you most proud of?

The best thing about doing what I do is when people hear your music and tell you how much they loved it or how much it inspired them. My inspiration feeds off of them. I want to give them more and more to enjoy and be inspired by. Also, it's been amazing getting the opportunity to release my music in the UK and Japan and learn from different cultures and different people. I have so many ideas that I can't wait to write about because of these experiences.

When did you first decide that you could make money singing?

It's definitely a hard thing to devote your life to a career that is so hard to succeed in and make a living. I guess I just knew music is what I had to do. There are lots of opportunities with songwriting, which is great because with places like TAXI, talented writers from around the world can have a shot at getting their music heard and recorded by other artists.

You've had worldwide successes with your songs. Why did you feel it was important to join TAXI?

Every opportunity to get your music heard is an important opportunity. You never know when or where your music will fall into the right hands. TAXI has relationships with so many music industry personnel and companies, and the amazing thing is that TAXI wants to open those doors for you! It's so hard to get your music heard by the right people, but I think it's great that TAXI can give you that chance.

How has TAXI helped you with your career?

I have had some amazing experiences with TAXI so far. The Road Rally was truly a beneficial trip for me. Not only did I get the chance to learn from successful producers, engineers, songwriters, film/TV pluggers, A&R, and journalists, (and listen to an interview with one of the hottest writers out there), I got the chance to introduce myself and my music to these people. My name got picked to perform for one of the open mics, and from that performance alone, I have gotten responses from my music that are beginning some great opportunities with TAXI. Getting involved with everything that TAXI has to offer gives you a good shot at getting noticed by key people who can take your music to the next level if you've got the talent to back it up.

Do you read the song critiques? Do you find them helpful?

I love reading the critiques! It's a great service that TAXI continues to do for all of its members. Sometimes feedback can be the most important part in the songwriting process. As a writer, it can be hard sometimes to judge your own songs objectively. I always find myself asking people what they think about a song idea or a melody, because sometimes what sounds good in your own head isn't so pretty when it comes out! The reason I love the critiques so much is that you get real feedback from real people in the industry. I like comparing different critiques on the same songs and seeing what the overall opinion is about certain characteristics in my songs. When I'm writing new songs or re-writing old ones, I can keep in mind what the screeners liked and didn't like so I can try to set myself up for good responses from the industry. I actually received a response from a screener I had met at the Road Rally this year, and she noted in the critique that she remembered meeting me there and loved my music! How cool is that?

What have you learned about the music industry since joining TAXI?

There's always more to learn, especially in a music industry that's constantly changing. To be actively current in what's going on and what works, I've learned that I have to stay open minded to changes and listen to what people are looking for. You might have an amazing song, but if it's not what people are looking for, they'll pass. It was an amazing experience to attend the TAXI Road Rally this year! It's such a great place to meet passionate, talented people in a similar situation as you and learn from the experience of panelists who've already had successes. It's definitely one great way to keep up to date in the industry!

What are your plans for 2008?

I'm so excited to see what the future holds! I'm hoping that 2008 will bring some amazing opportunities! I'll continue working on new songs and co-writing as well as beginning the production process for my second album. I'm also hoping to get things prepared for releasing my first album in the U.S.! I'll be working hard and staying busy!

The one thing I learned from reading this story is that Misha is really taking advantage of all that TAXI offers its members. The critiques, the networking, the Rally, the dozens of possibilities of getting your music heard by industry movers and shakers. Is it any wonder she is a success? Can't wait to hear that CD, Misha!

See How TAXI Works

"I have spent my life playing and singing in bands and this is the most real thing I have ever seen."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member

"My writing and production skills have improved 200%! Although some credit belongs to me for such hard work, a lot belongs to you!"
— Chris Musulin,
TAXI Member

"I am in awe of the sheer volume of amazing ideas to help musicians that you not only come up with, but make into real opportunities."
— Mara,
TAXI Member

"I've had several meetings at Dreamworks Records and made several new contacts as a result of belonging to TAXI."
— John Scott,
TAXI Member

"We appreciate all that you do and try to do to help us struggling songwriters!"
— Pat Harris,
TAXI Member

"You are making an incredible difference in the lives of musicians and artists trying to break into the business!"
— Rob Khurana,
TAXI Member