An Interview with Season 23 Voice Winner, Gina Miles

Written by on July 1, 2024

On June 13, 2024, Coog Radio had the opportunity to interview Gina Miles. Miles has transitioned into a full-time musician after winning the voice at nineteen years old in 2023. The interview, with Station Director Sorraya Gonzales, shares Miles’s journey of learning self-confidence and performing in a professional setting.

Sorraya: First of all I want to introduce myself my name is Sorraya Gonzales, station director of Coog Radio. Would you like to do a brief introduction on yourself?

Gina: Sure. Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Gina and it’s exciting to be here today. I am excited to talk to you. 

Sorraya: Thank you so much. First of all I want to start off by saying you were Season 23 winner of The Voice, that is a big accomplishment and about a year ago when that happened. Can you describe the feeling of finding out that you won such a big competition? 

Gina: I was just very shocked and taken aback because I was really not prepared I guess to win. So when it happened I was like “are you guys sure?” (laughs) It was really amazing and one of the best experiences of my life.

Sorraya: Also how was working with your vocal coach Niall Horan? How was it like working with him? 

Gina: It was amazing he is one of the best people that I ever met. He is very talented and dedicated and I learned a lot from him. 

Sorraya: Good. Also, you recently released a cover of “Wicked Game.” Can you describe the studio process of releasing that cover?

Gina: Yes, it was really fun to make. I have been singing it for a while so even before the show and on the show I just had a lot of time to sit with it so it was nice to go into the studio and pick it apart and put my own spin on things and things I have been wanting to do for years and finally go to be able to do. So it was a really fun experience to take it in a different direction. 

Sorraya: Nice. Any reason why you love to cover that song in particular? Does it have a personal background to it or is it just a song you just enjoy singing? 

Gina: Yeah. I think it’s like I feel like now it’s very personal to me. After winning the show and everything… It has just really just become something that is deeply touching to me. Also it is just a beautiful song. Chris Isaak is amazing and it’s such a beautiful song. So I just feel very attached to it and it’s very special to me.

Sorraya: Nice. Also in the music video for “Wicked Game” you’re singing on a beach. Can you describe what filming was like having the beach right behind you?

Gina: It was really fun. It was really bright. We did it earlier kind of in the morning so it was really bright. So I was just trying not to squint the entire time cause I didn’t want to look silly but it was really amazing to be able to shoot there. It was a very beautiful place. 

Sorraya: Was it like a beach in California? Where was the beach located? 

Gina: It was in Santa Monica so it was just like a beautiful place where you would want to stay there all day. Even after the shoot was over it was just really fun. 

Sorraya: Nice. Back to being a contestant on the voice. Did that experience help shape certain skills for your music career now? 

Gina: Absolutely. Definitely feel like it really aided in performing and being really prepared to do bigger performances than just like small gigs that I had done previously. Also just prepared me in a more professional sense to be in that sort of working environment. It was really amazing to get to experience that especially so early in my career and in my life. I was only 19 when I won so I was just a baby and I didnt know anything. They kinda taught me a lot and I learned on my feet so it was really exciting. 

Sorraya: Being nineteen, winning such a big competition. Did that hinder your experience a little bit knowing other contestants are a lot older and may have more experience? Did any challenges come with being so young? 

Gina: I feel like in my season in particular there were also a lot of other younger people. There were people younger than me on my team. I feel like I didn’t feel hindered in any way. If anything I felt like I had a lot to learn from the people, who have had more experience than me but everyone in my season was the loveliest and I really didn’t feel like…I feel like the only thing about being 19 about it was I just felt like I didn’t know anything and had no confidence in myself. I just continued in this competition and I did and it was amazing. 

Sorraya: Nice. How has the transition been from being a show contestant to being a full time musician? 

Gina: It’s definitely very interesting going from the show to just being regular and working. It was definitely hard and it is still hard sometimes but I think that if it’s not hard then you are not growing. And I just have to remind myself all the time that I am just in a big growth period right now and I have to let myself be able to do that. It’s been very nice but at the same time there are definitely challenges. 

Sorraya: Have you had a mentor alongside you to help you with this or is it more of a personal growth? 

Gina: It’s definitely more of just a personal growth, finding out how I can communicate, how I want to present myself, and also just like with my fans, having to build that relationship is very exciting and there are also exciting parts to it too you know? 

Sorraya: How has your interaction been with the fans? Any outlandish stories that have happened with any fans? I know different artists have different stories about their interactions? 

Gina: I have nothing but love and light, and so many beautiful things. I feel like when I meet fans in person it’s like the most exciting thing. On the internet, I feel like there has been such a close knit group of us and I am happy that I feel like my corner of the internet is a very safe space and I would love to keep it that way. But I think it is really important even the fans with each other have been able to build friendships and things like that. So I just want to continue that space for me and for them. 

Sorraya: Aw that’s very sweet, that the fans are nice to each other because I know that some fandoms can be a lot. Would you ever name your fandom?

Gina: I feel like I can’t do that. I feel like I want them to do that if they so wish. If they don’t then we don’t have to have one. I wanna be able to keep that open mind of like that we are all in this together and I just happen to be here also. They are very sweet and I have had nothing but very wonderful experiences. They are the best.   

Sorraya: That is very nice. You are on this journey together and if they come up with a name on their own that will be cool. 

Gina: Yeah! I feel like I can’t lead the train. I feel like that’s a little too forward for myself (laughs).

Sorraya: No you are good. I just love asking because I know that different fandoms have different names, some of them don’t, some of them do. So it is just very interesting to see how artists interact with fans. Also, you were able to sing the national anthem for the Stanley Cup. How did it feel singing for such a big event?  

Gina: That was insane. I just had it a few days ago. I had the time of my life and it was so fun. I am sorry I am getting so loud right now. I had so much fun. It was like being able to sing in front of a crowd that is so enthusiastic and just like so excited for the anthem. They were all singing along and they had their own chants. It was so sick and I had so much fun. And then I got to go to the game after and I am a big hockey fan now after seeing it in person. It’s so crazy. 

Sorraya: Yeah I had heard hockey is just like a completely different type of sport. The fans are so intense. They are so into it. Also, did you get a personalized jersey? 

Gina: I did! 

Sorraya: I saw that and I was like that is so cool like with your last name on it. 

Gina: They were so sweet. The panthers rock. I hope they win. They were like ‘oh do you wanna jersey?” and I was like “do I want a jersey? Please!” And it was really cool and they were so sweet to me over there. Their team rocks so I am excited for them. 

Sorraya: How did you get that gig? Did you call and ask? Did you have to contact somebody? How? 

Gina: It just kinda through connections and all those things. It just happened to be the right person at the right time kind of thing and it just worked out. So I was really excited. 

Sorraya: Yes that is an amazing opportunity because the stanley cup is such a big event and to sing for that is so cool. 

Gina: I called my dad and he was like ‘that’s insane!’ And I was like ‘it is insane.” (laughs) 

Sorraya: No, that is crazy. Also, any announcements for your fans to look out for? 

Gina: I just definitely.. I say this all the time if they read this they are gonna know what I mean. They just have to keep up with me. There is a lot of stuff happening at once and I am excited for things to come but it’s just a waiting game for me and for them. 

Sorraya: Yes okay. Also, I want to take you back to when you first started the voice. If you could tell yourself any advice to your past self what would you say? Because now so much has happened, what would you just tell your past self? 

Gina: I think I would just say it’s ok to be excited about things. I never really talked about this before but even after I got on to team Niall, after my blind audition. I was with my dad and I was just crying because I really did not like my blind audition and I wasn’t excited at all because all I could think about was the mistakes that I made. And I would just kind of tell myself that it’s ok to be excited about things even if they didn’t go the way you thought they would have. And I still have that problem now, where if I make mistakes I can’t let myself be excited even though it’s really exciting. So I would tell myself that then, and also tell myself that now. 

Sorraya: You would tell her to be excited , be proud of your accomplishments, just little stuff like that. It’s nice to hear that even like artists with success and all that, they struggle with just trying to find content like their accomplishments. 

Gina: That is so true. Also just trying to find that connection to yourself and your inner thought because I feel like most of the time I would be like “I did so bad” and then I’ll watch it back a month later and be like “actually that was so good, I don’t know why at the time I was so mean to myself about it.” I wanna be able to grow and to have a lot more peace with myself and the things that I do in real time rather than waiting and making myself feel bad you know? 

Sorraya: And would that be the same advice you would give to any aspiring artists, people who want to be singers or songwriters? Same advice to them? 

Gina: I definitely think the same advice applies if you have that because some people can be really connected to themselves. I think if you are like me and you are just a nervous person, and a perfectionist, I think that would be something I hope for you. Also, if you just aspire, I think knowing yourself is the most important thing. If you know that’s what you want to do, and what you’re good at, and what you love, like you just have to stick with it, because you got this.

Sorraya: Very nice to hear. Also, so yeah with your blind audition even though you weren’t 100% satisfied with it, what was that feeling of choosing Niall Horan to be your vocal coach and like just working with someone who is such a big part of the industry? 

Gina: Yeah it was so nice because I was so nervous and he turned around and there was a lot of talking that happened and they talked to you. And I was just like he just seems like my friend, like we’re just very good pals and immediately I was just like, I’m very comfortable, I don’t feel intimidated, I don’t feel… like held back. It felt like a very safe place to land so I was like “I think I need to go with this guy. He’s giving me the safe vibes.” And it worked out for the best. 

Sorraya: Yeah he was like the most friendly of all of them. So that is what led you to choose him?

Gina: Well they were all… every single coach of my season is so friendly and nice, wonderful but I just felt like an instant connection that like we were going to work well together. I think that the biggest thing you kind of have to cut down on everything else and focus on like this is.. We’re meant to like work together and also have a good friendship. So I was like that just makes the most sense and it felt right in my bones. So I was like I just got to go. Also you have like two seconds to decide. 

Sorraya: Yeah 

Gina: So you know I was thinking like ‘you need to think faster.’ 

Sorraya: There are so many factors that go into it and you just have a few seconds just to be like ‘yup thats my coach.’ That’s  wow. That is such a big decision to make on the spot. 

Gina: Exactly. I was there with my Dad and he was off to the side of the stage and I kept trying to look at the stage to see if I could see what he thought. And it was making me nervous because like “what if my dad thinks something else.” And he didn’t. We had the same thought but I was so funny cause I was just like “Dad what do you think?”

Sorraya: Aw that is so nice. Was your Dad with you throughout the whole season or was it mainly for the auditions? 

Gina: It was just for the blind auditions. They flew him out and it was the best thing ever having him there. 

Sorraya: That must be very good company to have your Dad there to support you and stuff. 

Gina: My Dad is my favorite person. I love him so much!

Sorraya: That is nice. Yeah when I found out that Niall Horan was your vocal coach it was just crazy to think about because he is such a big name and for him to mentor such a young artist is just mind blowing. Also, a fun fact about that he won his prior season, so two consecutive wins is just very rare for a voice coach. So congratulations!

Gina: Yeah he is doing good. I was so proud of him. I texted him like “great job!” 

Sorraya: I was going to ask, do you still keep in contact with him? 

Gina: Definitely. He is very busy because he is on tour right now, but yeah we definitely do. 

Sorraya: That’s good. Ok well thank you so much! Any other comments for your fans?

Gina: No, I think I just really hope they enjoy “Wicked Game” as much as I love it. 

Sorraya: Ok. Thank you so much for talking to me today and Coog Radio is very grateful to have this opportunity!

Gina: Thank you for having me!

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