All About Mimi
Singer/Songwriter Jameela Ahyana Fluker, known affectionately to friends, family, and fans as MiMi was born July 5th, 1980 in Berkeley, California. She was born somewhat into a musical family, being that both her mother and father (whom was also a body guard for soul legend Larry Graham) sang. MiMi started her musical journey as a young girl, with a beautiful voice that had power beyond her years; often entertaining her friends and family.
At the tender age of 10, when most girls were playing with Easy Bake Ovens and outside jumping rope, MiMi was indoors penning her first songs. MiMi realized, at an early age, that the style of music she gravitated towards was not the same style of music her friends liked. Although she listened to and enjoyed the music of that time, and was a big fan of mega stars Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Her music life changed when her aunt introduced her to Guns & Roses.
MiMi was opened up to a whole new genre of music and she was hooked. Very soon she was exploring groups such as Nirvana and Linkin Park. Songs such as “Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and “Barracuda" by Heart really spoke to her spirit as an artist and a songwriter. When she heard the classic “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, she was forever changed as an artist.
“I love chord progressions and the ways songs are arranged,” she says. “Dust In The Wind” spoke to her in such a way that it inspired MiMi to write her emotional song “Invisible”, a tale of going unnoticed by a love interest and the toll it takes on ones psyche.
In 2003, American Idol hit the T.V. screen inspiring millions of artist (and people yearning for attention alike), to journey in droves at a chance to exploit their talent on national T.V.. After watching the first 2 seasons of Idol and being encouraged by everyone from family and friends to your average passerby who might have heard her singing a tune out loud, MiMi decided to throw her name in the hat of millions and audition for Season 3. Although it was intimidating lining up with 70,000 other hopefuls, MiMi braved the early morning San Francisco weather for her shot at stardom, making it through to L.A. with a rendition of “A Song for You” by the late and great Donny Hathaway.
Upon her arrival to Los Angeles, a nervous and very grateful MiMi realized that her dreams were closer to coming true, as she made it through to the next round singing Barbra Steisand’s “The Way We Were” from the 1973 romantic movie of the same title. Showing the diversity and range that at the time was the hallmark in which American Idol was based upon as MiMi made it to the top 53 singers out of a pool of 70,000 contestants. As the next round began, the competition became more stiff as Mimi had to compete with a talented field of vocalist that included another Bay Area hopeful Latoya London (who went on to the live shows and was a fourth place finalist), Jennifer Hudson (Who went on to win a Grammy,Golden Globe, and an Oscar), and eventual Winner of Season 3, Fantasia Barrino.
When the smoke cleared the judges had to make a decision between 2 huge voices to move on, MiMi and Jennifer Hudson, and although the judges decided Hudson was to move on, MiMi won something just as important; validation. She had competed with some of the best vocalist in the world and won some battles and held her own in others and upon returning home to the Bay Area she was met with much fanfare and media attention, everyone wanted to share in her journey and hear her story.
Overwhelmed but very humbled MiMi knew this was what she was supposed to do and could not just rest on her laurels. After the hype died down, MiMi focused herself on becoming a more well-rounded artist/sonwriter/producer; self-teaching herself on a guitar she had been gifted from a friend, MiMi’s songwriting reached another level as she now had the underlying composition to go along with her lyrics. MiMi began singing everywhere she could, whether it was on the street or at the Bart station in order to hone her skills. By doing this, she was able to cancel out any fear of performing in front of any type of audience. She received a range of emotions from listeners.
Often times, laughter would become tears as MiMi played and sang as the perfect blend of powerful vocals, songwriting, and melody drew listeners in, keeping their attention, and had them yearning for more. This solidified her mark of being a truly gifted artist. While doing local shows and building a name for herself, MiMi garnered the attention of Bay Area Legend and Grammy Award winning Artist/Producer D’wayne Wiggins (Destinys Child, Tony,Toni,Tone) and began working with D’Wayne on numerous live shows and performances.
Upon working on music with Platinum selling producer Sam Bostic (2Pac,E-40) MiMi met her manager, Golden State Management head honcho, Morchez Frazier, and soon after formed her band “The Grapes" and began performing at more shows and bigger venues. MiMi has opened for a laundry list of great artist from Dwele’ to comedian Dave Chappelle whom actually hand picked her to open for him and perform as part of his act in a very rare and impromptu performance in Oakland. “I love her voice and her stage presence," Chappelle later told reporters. “She just blended right in to the show and actually wrote a song to use the 2nd night of my act!" MiMi is currently working on her debut album tentatively titled “Breathe",which is to be released the first quarter of 2017.