"Music has been my only outlet," says 21-year-old Misha B, opening up about her main focus as a young child growing up in the rough neighborhood of Manchester's Moss Side in England. It was at the tender age of 14 when the then-aspiring singer knew that music would drastically change her circumstances, and her passion for music continued to blossom throughout her teenage years.
"As a youngster, I listened to the likes of Stevie Wonder, [Michael Jackson], Elvis, Tina Turner, Elton John, 2Pac, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and the Spice Girls," she says. "All of those artists I just mentioned stood/stand strong as individuals, with individual taste and flavor for their craft."
Misha B, born Misha Amber Bryan, came to notoriety in 2011 as a contestant on "The X Factor," the popular talent show created by international music mogul Simon Cowell. Her Lauryn Hill-like rap-singing talent propelled her through all of the stages leading up to the live shows, and she eventually reached the finals. Although she didn't win, Misha B remains thankful for the opportunity that the show has given her.
"I experienced not only highs but my share of lows on 'The X Factor,' but it has set me up with the thick skin needed for this industry," she adds. "It's given me the experiences I need to get by, so I will always be grateful for my time on the show. I mean, it got me to where I needed to be, and it meant that I can do what I'm doing now."
After the show ended, Misha B signed a deal with Sony Music imprint Relentless Records. Her first release, the clubby "Home Run," cracked the top 20, landing at No. 11 on the UK singles chart. Her follow-up, the soulful, dreamy "Do You Think Of Me," did even better, entering the UK singles chart at No. 9. In fall 2012 Misha B opened dates on Nicki Minaj's UK tour. Her most recent single, "Here's To Everything (Ooh La La)," was released in April.
She is appreciative of her success up to now, but feels there's still more on the horizon.
"Getting a Top 10 single and touring with Nicki Minaj have to be my biggest achievements so far. The best is yet to come, though."
(From grime and UK rap to bassline and house, and even a bit of pop, Joseph 'JP' Patterson has played a vital part in promoting the UK's underground music scene over the years, with his no fuss, straight-to-the point writing style. He is MTV IGGY's UK Correspondent, a senior editor at Stark magazine, and a contributor to Vogue, MTV RapFix, Mixmag, and NME. Follow him on Twitter @Jpizzledizzle.)