We had the good fortune of connecting with Allegra Miles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allegra, what matters most to you?
This, of course, is not a simple question, as it’s so multi-dimensional and all-encompassing. However, in the grand scheme of life and from what I’ve experienced, I think empathy — and remembering HUMANITY above all — is one of the most important things we can do to be the best version of ourselves and make the world a better place. Empathy, different from sympathy, is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes in order to better understand them — in order to FEEL what they are going through — even if you have not experienced exactly what they have. I believe we all have the innate ability to practice empathy in our everyday lives, it just may take a bit of soul-searching to access that part of ourselves. If we all could put our pride to rest, get off our high horses for a moment, and simply SEE another human for who they are, meet them where they’re at at this given moment in time — what a different world it would be. Becoming aware of our humanity and how much more connected we really are than we think, is what the world needs in order to collectively heal. Further, simply being aware of our innate humanity is the essence of empathy. We desperately need to take care of one another from a place of love and understanding, as we really never know what someone is going through. We as humans are unbelievably complex and multi-faceted — we usually don’t show the world the battles we face internally every single day. Simply keeping an open heart and mind for our fellow humans, and remembering that we’re so much more together than we perceive, will uplift and mend our beautifully pained world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a singer-songwriter — I play piano and guitar as well. I come from a really musical family; we all play various instruments and sing together along with lots of jams with friends. I grew up doing musical theatre and dance, and I started writing songs when I was 12. I was also just on NBC’s ‘The Voice’, Season 18, earlier this year which was an incredible and very eye-opening experience. I play gigs in the South Florida area at restaurants, festivals, private events, and more. I also have original music out on all platforms. Music has always been the core of my identity and soul. It’s the only way I’ve ever made sense of the world around me and the things I’ve been through, and has always been the one constant in my life. I have struggled with mental illness for as long as I can remember, beginning with severe, debilitating OCD at a young age which later morphed into crippling depression and anxiety which I still deal with from time to time. Throughout all of this, music is the one thing that has given me any bit of hope, any glimmer of light at the end of the long tunnel. Music understands me when no one else does, and especially when even I don’t understand myself. Music is my home and my safe haven that makes everything ok, even just for a brief moment. Writing songs specifically has been so healing for me, as I am much more able to process things I’ve gone through with music, rather than talking. Music allows me to FEEL and to simply be, which is something my mind has so often tried to prevent me from doing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that music has very much saved my life, and for this I am eternally grateful. Doing music professionally, in and of itself, is unfathomably difficult. There are endless rejections and times where you think you’re SO close to getting somewhere, only for it to fall through yet again. The sheer competition in the music industry is very intense; so many people want to do this yet there’s a minuscule percentage of those who actually do. You can put your heart and soul into a song or an EP, think it’s your best work yet, only for it to be turned down by everyone who hears it. There’s also the inevitable internal struggle and pain as an artist. Being an artist, of any form, HURTS. It is PAINFUL. It’s very hard to FEEL that much and bear so much of your soul for others. It definitely can take a massive toll, yet at the same time, there is nothing else us as artists could ever do. I could never and will never do anything else, as I would simply be living a lie. My soul is screaming at me every single day to do this, and to keep pushing and creating even when it gets hard. There is no alternative/ backup plan — I will keep going till I get there, and I encourage all other artists to do the same. Going forward, I plan to consistently release more music and connect with people through it as much as possible. I want to travel and experience the world through and with music, and make the world a better place along the way. I want to put more love into the world to the best of my abilities, and maybe be a source of hope for someone else, as music has always been for me. I will continue to make music from my soul that is authentic to me, always working to continue growing, and collaborating with other artists and creatives to make more art happen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I haven’t spent too much time in Miami, but I absolutely love what I have experienced. I think Wynwood is a must-see for everyone; the area is so beautiful and the walls are so creative. There are tons of really cool places to eat and hang around there as well. Bayside is a really nice area as well. Bunnie Cakes has great cupcakes with vegan options too!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL. I grew up doing theatre, dance, singing, acting, etc here, eventually being apart of their college training program and performing in their professional shows. I credit a great deal of my growth as not only an artist, but a human, to the Maltz. The community of this theatre encompasses the essence of empathy and humanity, as does theatre, music, and the arts as a whole. I know for a fact that I would not be the person I am today without this place, and I know that many others can say the same. It’s a safe haven where you feel at home, yet at the same time challenges you to your wits’ end and pushes you out of your comfort zone. I am eternally grateful for the Maltz and all the people that are apart of it, whom I will hold close to me forever.
Greer Baldwin Oliver J Stewart Dylan Levin