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Miki Vale hails from Oxnard, California, making her musical debut on The Awakening, a 2004 compilation album from SGM (Sleeping Giant Music). In 2006 she collaborated with fellow Oxnard hip-hop artist Kankick for a 7” single from Ramp Recordings called “Yes Yes (Suite 3).”

Last year Vale cofounded San Diego’s Upliftment Project, which stages music and art events to raise money for charities. “The project grew from a desire of myself, my partner Niomie, and several of our peers to help with some of the social imbalance we see going on all over the world,” says Vale. “Though we’re all struggling to get by as individuals, we recognize that there is strength in numbers and that we can be more effective by, first, bringing attention to the needs of those who are less fortunate and second, raising funds to help,” says Vale.

“I think it’s important that, as humans, we should do what we can to help other humans…it’s unfortunate that our society is not set up so that everyone eats or housing is affordable for all, so I believe it’s left up to us as individuals to ensure that we help uplift each other if we are in any position to do so.”

Miki Vale appears April 3 at the Static Lounge.

What’s In Your CD Player?

1. “Talib Kweli, Eardrum. One of the hottest albums Talib has put out in a long time.”

2. “Kankick, untitled mix tape. I love it ’cause it’s very mellow, and his beats are nice background music to relax to.”

3. “DJ Niques, Spoonful of Soul. His song selection is divine, bass-heavy, soulful hip-hop.”

4. “Blu & Exile, Below the Heavens. This stays in constant rotation; Blu is one of my favorite emcees right now.”

5. “Jill Scott, The Real Thing. This album is sexy — not a single track worthy of the fast-forward button.”

Guilty Pleasures?

1. “Hell Date. More addiction than pleasure.”

2. “Happy hour at Ichiban on University. More pleasure than guilt.”

3. “Rum and Coke. More rum than Coke.”

Desert-Island DVDs?

1. “The Color Purple. I’ve probably watched it over a hundred times, and I still cry each time Shug and her dad hug in the church.”

2. “Misery. I have a thing for crazy women.”

3. “Mommy Dearest. See above.”

4. “Casino. Sharon Stone is gangsta. In the beginning, anyway.”

Favorite Websites?

1. “accesshiphop.com. Lots of underground hip-hop and info on local shows.”

2. “allhiphop.com. Pretty much all things hip-hop.”

3. “myspace.com. I can spend hours listening to all the independent music on there. I prefer it over the radio.”

Dream Lunch Date?

“I’d like to sit down to sushi and sake with Oprah. I think if she heard some of my ideas, she’d be down to be a sponsor.”

Favorite Book?

The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. It’s a story about how glamorous life can take a bad turn, told in eloquent and descriptive prose. It’s one of those books you can’t put down.”

Best Magazine?

“I like The Fader. Interesting articles, and the photography is dope.”

“I Live In San Diego Because…”

“…I always thought it was a good place to make a mark on the music scene.”

Worst Job?

“Babysitting my high school English teacher’s four children, all under five. Their parents would leave, and those kids would turn into little Tasmanian devils.”

Biggest Political Concern?

“My main concern with the presidential race is the emphasis on external factors, like making history by voting for the first woman president or for the first black president. I think the emphasis should be on voting for the first president with integrity or the first president with enough love and compassion for the people that they are truly able to be a voice for the people. We need a president who is more concerned with tackling and rectifying issues in this country such as homelessness, health care, and education. Why should there be any cutbacks in our schools if billions are being spent on Bush’s war?”

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