Holly_Miranda_Photo_Lindsey_Byrnes_600The singer-songwriter on her crowd-funding project, coming out and fan proposals.

For fans of Ani DiFranco and Missy Higgins, a new indie singer is ready to rock your world: Holly Miranda. Her sound is an ambient, ethereal rock flavour that’s soulful, soft, yet powerful. We caught up with Miranda as she was hard at work in the studio to get the skinny on her second forthcoming album, the woes of the music industry and “Rapid Pelicans,” the song she wrote for the It Gets Better campaign.

You created the Record a Record crowdsourcing campaign to gain creative freedom over making the new album. What kind of control did you have on your last record, The Magician’s Private Library, and what would you have done differently?

It was a costly record to make. With The Jealous Girlfriends, it was like using our bandmates’ studio in the middle of the night when no one was there. So this was the first record where my publishing company, Chrysalis, put out a chunk of money to pay for the making of the album. The difference is that once it was done, any label that wanted to put it out would have to purchase the record from my publishing company and not all the brands that I was talking with could even afford that.

Also, it gives me less choice of where I can go and what I can do. I don’t even own the masters to it because I didn’t pay for it. Chrysalis held the master, and now Excel owns the masters. I’ll never own that record. I realised that a couple of years out — that I don’t want to do it like that again. I don’t want to relinquish control of my masters. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m not with the label anymore and don’t own the record.

How did you get these fantastic ideas for the pledge rewards, like the handmade chocolates and the high fives in the sun?

The high five in the sun was a kind of joke. If somebody wants to do it, I’ll do it. [laughs] Chocolates are something that I already make and that my friends love. So I thought, Why not? I just kind of thought of what can I offer? What can I do? I can sketch, I can record covers, I can make chocolates…the possibilities are endless when you start thinking about your creativity and what you can do. And I just wanted to be different. I looked at other people’s pledges, and they’re all kind of the same thing. And I also get creeped out with having lunch or dinner with somebody. Cause that makes me feel – like putting a price on having lunch with me made me feel weird [laughs]. So I decided to avoid those types of things and do more unique things that I’ll never offer again.

How did you hear about the I Live Here organisation you’re donating money to through your Record a Record Campaign?

I met Mia as she was getting ready to go to Malawi on her last trip. I was trying to tell her that she needed to videotape because they hadn’t videotaped anything. And she got permission to videotape and returned with all of these videos. I was helping her sort through those, and I can do rudimentary video editing, so I was trying to help her with that. And then she asked if I wanted to play the charity; I did right before I came out here with Uh Huh Her. And then when setting up the pledge, you have an option to make the donations to a charity, so you know, I thought it was another way that I could help them out. They opened the school, but they’re trying to raise money to build a structure because they’re still in the prison courtyard during school, which is uncomfortable and difficult. But I think what a great thing. It’s one of those things that would ultimately be overlooked if she hadn’t happened to go there and said I want to come back here and start a school and then actually did it. It’s taken her years and years to do this, and I think, good on you. What can I do to help?

What is the craziest thing a fan has ever said or done?

The marriage proposals are a little insane. You don’t know me. [laughs] I don’t know, I guess probably the artwork. I don’t think that’s crazy, but those are always my favourite. Someone gave me a drawing, but I had a skeleton face. And then their dog chewed on the paper’s corner, so they just drew a little arrow that said, ‘puppy bite marks’. [laughs] I’m like, all right, whatever. [laughs] I mean, that’s not the crazy, crazy shit, but we don’t need to give any attention to that.

You said that you wrote the song “Rapid Pelicans” for the It Gets Better campaign and that you imagined singing that song when you were 14 years old. Was that a time when you were processing coming out?

Yeah, I started writing that song during the Prop 8 stuff that was going on, and we played it a little bit then, but then I started playing it live with my band on the Tegan and Sara tour last year. And you know, sometimes I’d just be looking and thinking, maybe they’re gay. Perhaps they’re straight. Many of them kind of look gay [laughs], but I’d look at them and think about where I was at that age. And how confused I felt and like I couldn’t come out. Or I couldn’t be who I was inside because of the religion that I came up in, the way people thought around me in Michigan, or whatever.  So when I sing that song, I feel like I’m talking to those kids just saying it’s all right. It’s okay who you are, whatever it is. It doesn’t mean you’re anything evil or wrong. I think the hardest thing to come to terms with is feeling guilty almost because of who you are. As proud as you are, there might still be some more questions happening inside.

Was there ever a coming out process in your music career?

No. I never really even thought about it. There was a conversation when my last album was coming out. When my publicist said to do it, I wanted to be out. I was like, what do you mean? I am out [laughs] … But I was out in my life, so why wouldn’t I be out in my music? I don’t think they have much to do with each other. I believe that I said this before. But at the same time, to keep it a secret, to go out of my way to say no is wrong.

Watch Miranda’s Record a Record video and ooze in contemplation awesomeness about how cool it would be to pledge here.