Openly exposing the vulnerable, raw side of her life to others through her singing, the soulful music of Mika Hale became a catharsis for her chaotic and unusual start to life. Being born in Rikers Island prison during the heroin craze in the late 1970s, Mika Hale survived constant challenges through her private life and in the limelight.
In her music career, she was singing background for R&B artists, opening the historic “bite” fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield with the national anthem, and spent decades as a solo artist developing her uniquely resonant and intense singing voice. She saw it all in her career and wanted to take it all in a different direction.
Stop screaming and start singing
Mika grew up never knowing her parents. She was adopted from an orphanage in New York City at the age of two by Ms. Prichard, a quiet, single woman who adored children and had a gift for bringing out their best qualities. Finding a home in Ms. Prichard’s arms, Mika also found in her a sparked interest in music. “The way I became a singer,” Mika said, “was because I used to scream because I didn’t want to leave her for our visitations. She told me one day when she left me to go to work to stop screaming and start singing, so I did.”
At the age of 17, Mika stepped into the professional music industry as a studio and background singer for Angie Stone and Jay-Z’s group, Christión. At the peak of her singing career, Mika was a guest on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and had been offered a half-million-dollar deal with Sony. Mika was battling through major hardships and depression at the time and her manager turned down the deal to give her the space to pull her life back together. It became a turning point in Mika’s life.
In her recovery, Mika said: “Beautiful melodies started to come to me as I woke up in the morning. What a beautiful God-given gift. I wanted to be able to write it down so the rest of the world would be able to hear it.” She devoted herself to learning classical music to reproduce those melodies.
“I find a lot more fulfillment and diversity in classical music … when you are listening to instrumental music, it can speak through an array of messages and stories to your heart, sometimes beyond what words are capable of.”
Courage is found
After devoting her career to classical music, Mika was approached by Kay Rubacek, a Director filming Finding Courage, and was asked if she would be willing to add her voice to a song called Courage Is Found that Kay had penned for the film. Finding Courage is a character-driven documentary about a family in China that underwent severe persecution because of their faith and their attempts to seek justice for a murdered family member at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
“It was a week-long process before I decided I would sing it… I had to do the research and see if it was for me to sing. At that time I had taken a vow to only do classical music,” Mika stated. “But the more I thought about the family and their story and all of those who lost their lives, and what kind of person I would be if I didn’t allow my voice to be the voice for the voiceless … it was about a week before I could even sing the song without crying. The whole experience changed me as a person, it helped me become less critical, and start thinking more about what God’s purpose for me is and not being so self-directed.”
Mika said her life had been redirected in the process of adding her voice to the song. “I’m so glad I sang this song, and now say something that has become so crucial in the world around us and how many of us have lost sight of finding courage and are moments away from just giving up, on ourselves, on others, on our lives, losing faith. This song for me, is an anthem to all. When I hear this song, it makes me feel I can bring hope, faith, and courage to others.”