Misha B Biography
Misha Bryan was born on the 10th of February 1992. She is of Jamaican heritage, and was raised in Manchester’s Moss Side and Longsight districts. Her birth mother Florence Bryan, a former heroin addict, gave Misha and her elder sister Monique (then 8) to her sister Lily to care for when Misha was only three months old. She does not know her father, as he disappeared shortly after Misha was born and has had no contact with her since. As a teenager Bryan attended Trinity C.E. High School in Hulme. While she was at school, Bryan played football for the Manchester United under-16s. She began writing poetry, moved on to rapping and then progressed to singing. Bryan started singing seriously aged 14, and says that singing was 'my way of understanding myself'. In 2010 she started the Vocal Artist course at the Manchester Music Base, at Trafford College in Manchester. There she was coached by Leanne Brown, who had a hit with Flowers in 2000 as half of the UK garage duo Sweet Female Attitude. Before Bryan defeated her stage fright at 18, she admits that she had sung with her back to the audience, being scared about their response. Prior to X Factor Bryan performed on the Manchester open mic circuit and took up busking in order to tackle her stage fright outside Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre, on Market Street.
Bryan came to prominence when she auditioned as a solo artist for the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011, covering Aretha Franklin's "Respect". Critics described as "one of the most exciting singers to emerge from the show" and became known for her creative outfits. The Daily Telegraph picked her first performance as one of the highlights of the series, saying she "oozed star quality from the start... Like a 21st century Grace Jones or an urban Lady Gaga, the teenager seemed like a proper pop star already." and noted her styling choices, describing it as a "frock made out of newspapers, teamed with a chicken-wire fascinator". During the competition she was mentored by American recording artist Kelly Rowland, finally finishing fourth.
Shortly after Bryan left The X Factor, she performed a live freestyle F64 for SB.TV on the December 24 2011. It was directed by Jamal Edwards and her rap quickly gained one of the highest view counts on the SBTV F64 playlist. Choosing a recording contract, Bryan said she had various meetings with different labels but was able to go with the one she had 'instant connection with'. In February 2012, it was announced that Bryan had signed a record deal with the Relentless Records. In the same month, she participated in the X Factor Tour from February 25 to April 4, 2012. Whilst on the tour, Misha spent time working on her first mixtape, Why Hello World, mixed by Manchester’s DJ Stylus, and released for free to download on 27 April 2012. The following week it became Radio 1Xtra's mixtape of the week. The mixtape received positive reviews and gained over 16,000 downloads and 25,000 streams. Reviewing the release, SugarScape said "it's pretty darn awesome". The mixtape features a collection of original material, as well as re-interpretations of her favourite cuts; including samples of five original songs, including "Big Dreaming", "Last Forever" and her debut single "Home Run", as well as covers of Rolling in the Deep, Mirror and Climax.
On 2 May 2012, she announced her debut single "Home Run", co-written and produced by British songwriter MNEK. A snippet of the single was first unveiled in May on BBC Radio 1Xtra Flavour Magazine described the song as being reggae-infused, and features jolting percussion and drum and bass influenced beats combined with Misha's soulful vocals. ‘Home Run’ is a fusion of multiple genres – R&B, hip-hop, grime, dance, pop and soul The single was added to both BBC Radio One and BBC Radio 1Xtra playlists, as well as the video being on the MTV playlist. The music video for the single which was directed by Rohan Blair-Mangat, premiered on June 15, 2012. Bryan cited her performance of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun on The X Factor as influencing the single's creation.The song was officially released on July 15th, 2012 by Relentless Records and charted at No. 11, on the Official UK singles chart. On the released EP the are several remixes including Kat Krazy, Zed Bias and Taiki & Nulight. On 25 June 2012, she performed an acoustic version of the song live for i-D magazine at Red Bull studios, for SB.TV on July 11. "Home Run" received mixed to generally positive reviews from critics.
On 23 July 2012, Misha B was announced as the supporting act for the United Kingdom of American rapper Nicki Minaj's second tour, Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, during late 2012. On 20 August 2012, Bryan announced the title of her second single, "Do You Think of Me", which will be released on the 28th October. Bryan says the song is about her emotions as a child without her birth mother. On September 7 2012, Misha B unveiled a Benny Page hi-tempo, dub-step and drum and bass influenced remix of the track that MTV described it as featuring "powerful and melodic vocals". On September 14, 2012, Bryan released a lyric video of the original song, co-written by herself and produced by TMS. The original studio version is described as an up-tempo R&B track that fuses urban and dance music, with its "90′s club-meets-tribal-flavour". Female First reviewing the track said "Opening humbly, its hidden depths are revealed as her exceptional vocals connect with instrumental rapture. Plunging even deeper as the dirty bass drops head first into the chorus." The Irish Times selected it as the record of the week on the 21st September. Apart from Benny Page, remixes of the track are also due from Cashtastic, MNEK, Jamie Grind, and Liam Keegan.
With a second mixtape planned for before Christmas, Bryan is currently working on her debut album, collaborating with various writers and producers, including MNEK, TMS and Naughty Boy. Talking about her forthcombing album to QX, Bryan said "I'm heavily influenced by where my family come from, Jamaica, so there's a dancehall vibe, but I’m from Britain so there;s pop, too. I started out as a rapper before I became a singer, so there's hip-hop in there and also Motown/soul vibe"; and speaking to SixtyNine Degrees it’s going be "fun, free and adventurous" and will take in "rock, indie, blues, pop, hip-hop, soul, R&B – bit of everything".