We’re Inside Out


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SKU: 4324800052558887


Miriam Aziz was born in England and raised in Brussels, Belgium to a father who was born in Tanzania but whose parents came from what is now Pakistan, and a mother who is Austrian. (English is her mother-tongue but she also speaks fluent French, German and Italian). As a child, she studied the piano and sang in the school choir as well as playing the percussion for the school orchestra, band and jazz group. She started writing songs at 11 and by the age of 15 she was writing and performing her material as part of a band called quot;Foreign Affairsquot; (each member of the band came from a host of different countries). When it came to deciding whether to opt for a career in music, Miriam ducked the issue, took a year off and travelled and worked in Europe and the United States and then went to England where she enrolled as a law student. quot;Perhaps I should have gone on to study music,quot; she says. quot;But I was never very good at theory, I enjoyed listening and playing all sorts of music, it was hard to know where to go to learn what I felt I needed to learn. I looked at a few university courses in music and some music schools but I felt that I didnt really fit in. I was always a bit of an autodidact. And then I had competing interests and passions. I wanted to write, I wanted to travel, to read, I was politically very aware, and I felt that I needed time to acquire some skills that would enable me to be economically independent so that I could live the sort of life that I wanted…which was the life I had when I used to skip school.quot; She smiles. quot;I spent my days reading, writing in note books, going to the cinema, the art galleries in Brussels, I would sit in cafs and observe and then I would walk through the city. I didnt like school, I hated the pressure, it always felt like you were being pushed around. It was hard to hear yourself think, and to distinguish what you thought from what you were encouraged to think…I was good at school but there was something – or someone – missing…quot; She passed her final exams, took a year off and travelled, promising her parents to return to start a law degree in Manchester, England. quot;I still kept up with music. In fact, the hall of residence I lived in had a grand piano in this dining hall with high ceilings which was the main reason I applied to live there. I stayed for three years. That piano was the main reason!quot; Every now and again, she would play piano and sing in the odd concert. She also sang in a choir. quot;At university, I read, I listened to a lot of music, went to concerts, to plays, I thought that Id get back to music and writing after my degree…but I got sidetracked…!quot; She went on to qualify as a barrister and then moved to Edinburgh to do a doctorate. quot;I know, I know,quot; she says a little sheepishly. quot;I started to enjoy the law. I wanted to be the best lawyer I could be which meant practising and then doing some research. I worked in Berlin, in Florence…the years just flew by! Do I regret it? Not really. I have a passion for analysis, I enjoy research and I love teaching. I do feel a little sad though that I was so consumed by the law that I started to sing less, to write less and I stopped progressing, I stopped evolving. I only realised how painful that was years later when I started to work on my first album.quot; She had, she confesses, a bit of a crisis. quot;I woke up in the middle of the night, I was half asleep actually, and I felt as though I could see someone at the foot of my bed. I heard


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