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Jae Miah: A rising force in R&B


Texas State alumna Jaelen Miah Lopez poses in her cap and gown in a recording studio, April 2023, at Fire Station Studios.

Jaelen Miah Lopez, who goes by the stage name Jae Miah, graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in music performance. During her time at Texas State, she released original music, opened for rapper and singer Tink and was featured in a GrammyU playlist. And she’s just getting started.
Music was always a constant in Lopez’s life. From six-years-old performing at her cousins’ quinceañeras in El Paso to posting covers on social media when she was in high school, she said she never realized her dream as a kid could come true.
“I always wanted to do this since I was little,” Lopez said. “This was my big dream but I never thought it could actually happen.”
In 2016, when Lopez was a sophomore in high school, she released her first song on Soundcloud titled “You”, a song she described as “sad and sappy.” The song got a couple thousand listens and attention from lots of people in El Paso.
Lopez said although she is a private person, telling her own story and releasing her own music felt like an outlet where she could write about her experiences and learn more about herself in the process.
“Releasing music really changed my life, how I viewed myself and how I coped with things,” Lopez said. “It’s kind of like a release for me.”
Lopez’s first major release was a single called “Heartfelt” in 2018. She said it was a popular song and was a favorite among many of her friends, including one of her best friends Gernizia Robinson, an aquatic biology junior.
Robinson has been a friend of Lopez’s since sixth grade when they instantly clicked in music class. She said she was obsessed with “Heartfelt” when it was released and would even play it on repeat in the car, embarrassing Lopez.
Not only does this song mean a lot to Lopez but to Robinson as well, and captures a time when the R&B singer was finding her voice.
“I love how pure and young she sounds in it compared to now and [it] shows how much she’s changed,” Robinson said. “It’s a really special song.”
Lopez would go on to release more original singles, gaining musical and vocal inspiration from artists such as Billie Eilish, Kehlani and Destiny’s Child. She also took some creative breaks along the way to focus her time on school.
In 2019 during her freshman year at Texas State, Lopez joined Texas State’s chapter of Hip Hop Congress. She praised the group for inspiring her throughout her college years.
Ray Cordero, executive director of TRIO programs and Hip Hop Congress advisor, met Lopez when she began her journey with the chapter. He said from the beginning she was always hardworking, sticking with her passion and running with it.
Lopez performed at Hip Hop Congress events around San Marcos, sharing her love of music with the audience and her fellow students in Hip Hop Congress.
“It’s been great to see her and all our students become successful individuals,” Cordero said. “She’s very talented and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.”
Sierra Simien, one of Lopez’s best friends, remembered her first time seeing Lopez perform at an open mic night at the local restaurant Industry in San Marcos. It was the first time Simien heard her original work and said she was truly inspired by the hard work Lopez puts in to make her dreams become a reality.
“The amount of drive she possesses is crazy,” Simien said. “She’s not stopping until she reaches where she wants to get to, and I love that.”
In 2022 during her senior year, Lopez got the opportunity to open for an artist she admires, Tink. As the main opener for the Tucson, Arizona show on Tink’s Pillow Talk tour, she got to perform right before the singer took the stage.
Lopez said the crowd was incredible and that she even gained some new fans after that show. She also got to meet Tink and quickly realized that things had gotten a lot deeper for her music career.
“It was an experience that definitely opened my mind,” Lopez said. “Things are really just beginning and it’s cool to see the process of growth.”
In addition to being an opener for Tink, Lopez also had her song “Midnight in Gardena” on GrammyU’s May monthly member playlist, which features graduating GrammyU members and their music.
“It was cool to think they only picked 20 people to be on this playlist and I was one of them,” Lopez said.
The future is looking bright for Lopez as she’s packing her bags to move to Dallas to work as a behavioral therapist. She will also be focusing more on her music and potentially releasing a collection of songs once everything is settled.
“Even though I’m not all the way to the end destination, I’m already on the pathway to where I’m going,” Lopez said. “It can really just go up from here.”
Jae Miah’s next single, “Forget About Him” will be released on June 3 and is currently available for pre save on Spotify. To keep up with Jae Miah, visit her TwitterInstagram, and Linktree.

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