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Mia Doi Todd

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Mia Doi Todd was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Trained as a classical vocalist in her adolescence and teenage years, Mia began writing songs while a student at Yale University, inspired by the mid-90’s Indie Rock movement. She recorded her debut album The Ewe and the Eye – just her voice and acoustic guitar — in one evening at the “Spaceshed” studio run by the LA band Further who then released it on their label in 1997 just as Todd was graduating from college. She relocated to New York City, playing downtown clubs and recording a second spare, acoustic album Come Out of Your Mine (The Communion Label, 1999). Mia spent a year in Japan studying the avant-garde dance form, Ankoku Butoh, and began to write longer, intricate songs. On her return to Los Angeles, Mia went to work on her third album and formed City Zen Records to release Zeroone in 2001. These first three records all featured minimal, acoustic instrumentation, emphasizing her soaring vocals and finely wrought lyrics, the latter redolent of romantic poetry, but employing puns, alliteration, homonyms and many other verbal experiments.

In 2002, Mia found a new home with Columbia Records’ Columbia Jazz imprint and re-recorded songs drawn from her previous albums with fuller instrumentation and more involved production, aided by Mitchell Froom and Yves Beauvais, resulting in The Golden State album. When Columbia Jazz was shuttered, Todd moved on to the Plug Research label, continuing to pursue more orchestrated arrangements on a significant portion of her fifth album, Manzanita, 2005.

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