The project "Voice of Lithuania. The winner of the first season of the "Children" project presents today a new single - "Higher". This song is not only strong in its message, but also in the story behind it. Milėja, who released the song "Leiskit" in October, used the lyrics to ask people to believe in her and her songs. However, the 14-year-old received not only compliments from her peers at the music school, but hurtful words that made her stop and doubt herself for a while:
"I've had comments that primary school children sing or play better than me and I shouldn't even try. I started to think I was worthless, I started to hate myself and music. It was so depressing that I had to find a way out. The solution was to look at things from the other side: to stop expecting other people's belief in me to give me a springboard, and to start believing in myself. And so I began to write a text that became the beginning and the symbol of my distancing myself from the words and actions of someone else that were stifling me."
As she was looking for a melody for the words she wrote, she was invited to perform at the ŽMONĖS 2020 awards. A few minutes on stage decided the fate of her song. Asaf Yehuda, a music prosumer based in Lithuania and London, admired the young singer's voice and asked her to write a single. "When I got off the stage, at first I didn't even realise that Asi was talking to me. I was very lost, but then I realised that the opportunity to work with a music producer who has produced a number of well-known singles in Lithuania is very rare!" - says Milėja.
It's remarkable that, although Higher was written in just 23 days, the first version of the song was very different from what we hear today. According to Asaf, the first version of the single was much more nostalgic and sounded good, but it didn't seem to be about Miley, and Miley was about the current melody. The team blamed the quarantine conditions and the voice recordings, which Miley recorded over the phone without being able to meet in the studio. However, neither the difficult recording conditions nor other disturbances prevented Millaya's voice from coming through in Asaf's new version of "Higher", which is less emotional and more about showing the strength of her voice and personality.
"The biggest challenge was dealing with myself. The lyrics of the song perfectly reflect what I've been going through recently. For Higher, I had to feel it all over again. When Asi sent me the new version of the single and mentioned that instead of negative memories I should choose strength and fortitude, I think my voice automatically sounded much stronger. I started singing about who I am now, not what I was." - Shared by Milė. By the way, the visual of the single also reflects the meaning of the lyrics. Throughout the track, the angel climbing the stairs symbolises that it is often worth taking the harder path. It strengthens, teaches and grows, and when the climb becomes too difficult, it is important to remember the wings that grow on the shoulder blades.
Asaf Yehuda has no doubt that, given Milea's age, listeners will be surprised by her mature voice. Gediminas Jaunius, producer of the creative house ELITAZ, shares the same opinion after hearing the new single for the first time last Sunday:
"While filming "Voice of Lithuania. Children" final, I had the opportunity to hear the new song by Milēja performed live and it became immediately clear - childish victories and childish songs are a thing of the past. A new, though still very young, but very talented professional is taking the stage, ready for the world of adult music. The sound of Mileja's song "Higher" suggests a unique creative co-production - knowing that Asaf Yehuda is the author of the song, it is clear where these sounds, not often heard on the Lithuanian stage, come from. It seems that Milla has managed to find her own way, not to be like anyone else. Relying on my professional hunch, I want to believe that we will soon see the Milėja-esque style, recognisable in competitions and on stage, in the performances of other artists. This is perhaps the surest sign that an artist has established themselves in the music market."