The Brooklyn artist will be one of several performers who will showcase their talent at The Garden of Dreams Talent Show 2018 at Radio City Music Hall later this month.
The Garden of Dreams Foundation is MSG’s nonprofit helping kids in the tri-state area facing obstacles such as homelessness, poverty and illness.
This year’s Talent Show is the 12th annual event and it enables kids the opportunity to live out their dreams of performing onstage at Radio City to a packed audience.
Multiple rehearsals and the Talent Show itself have attracted many notable guests as mentors such as Shawn Mendes, Susan Sarandon, Dave Chappelle, Liam Neeson, John McEnroe, The Strokes, Miguel, Hoda Kotb, Whoopi Goldberg, Kate Upton, Kevin Jonas, Chloe Sevigny, Victor Cruz, Billy Crudup, Seth Meyers, Jane Krakowski, New York Knicks players, the Rockettes and Broadway stars.
“My mom said that when I was a baby I used to scream in a high-pitched voice,” Hardamon said. “Singing at such a young age, when I didn’t even know I was doing it, showed that I was going to do it regardless.”
Growing up in an impoverished household, Hardamon’s family suffered difficulties due to his mother’s problems with alcohol, which ultimately led to his parents’ separation. Throughout his life, music has been therapy for Miles.
“Music means a lot to me, it’s what keeps me going,” he said.
Hardamon used to work at a program where he’d learn music and perform as well as assist other kids in learning music. Although he was unable to continue with the program because of his college schedule, he kept a few connections. One of those connections was Mr. Dewalt, a man who taught Hardamon about music and eventually the person who introduced Hardamon to the Talent Show and encouraged him to sign up.
At the show, Hardamon is planning to perform one of his original songs called “Writing Mascara.” The song, which involves love and overcoming heartbreak, is a part of his upcoming pop album.
“I’m a huge fan of pop, it’s sort of my lane,” Hardamon said. “Some of my favorite modern-day performers are Bruno Mars and The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake definitely, but I’m very old school.”
He finds inspiration in superstars like Stevie Wonder, The Police and Michael Jackson.
He first picked up a guitar at the age of ten when he found it in his father’s closet.
“I was like this is cool and so I walked up to my dad and said ‘hey, can I play this?’ and he said no,” Hardamon said. “One day I picked it up and he saw me using it so he finally said I could use it.
After I learned a few chords and a few songs, I started performing in front of grocery stores when I lived in New Jersey,” he added.
When he moved back to New York, he took it one step further by performing on the subway.
“It’s where I started to get a lot of feedback and a lot of practice, and in a way, it helped me start perfecting my artist,” Hardamon said.
Though he found it daunting at first, he took the approach of adjusting to perform in front of a diverse group of people.
“The way I looked at it was that each train car was a new audience, and you don’t know where they’re from, although most were probably from Brooklyn,” he said, adding that “it was always new people and I gave it the best I got every single time.”
As he starts to share his music, through gigs, small competitions and his Instagram account @milesmusic_, the Garden of Dreams Talent Show is the opportunity for Hardamon to expand his reach. The Talent Show, which will occur on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.
“Music brings people together and it’s so natural,” Hardamon said. “I just love to see the reactions of people once they’ve seen a great performance.”
“It’s one of those things where I was blessed with a gift and I want to share it with the world,” he added. “I want to get as great as I can get because it just makes me feel more grateful for being able to use this gift.”