MUSIC

Jan 2024

Miller's Meant for More

It’s a cold January day and in southwest London, the editorial photoshoot for Miller is well underway. January, a month filled with ambition, drive and momentum. An era fitting for Croydon artist Miller as he is in the midst of building up to his debut project. I refer to him as an artist as he doesn't exactly feel like a rapper, he feels like a multipurpose artist who uses different avenues to express himself, music being his forefront at the moment. 

“It's weird because I feel like I don't want to say ‘I make music’ because I feel like I don't make music.” he explains when asked about what he does, “I feel like I just express myself on beats and then it comes out in the form of music. But apart from music, I'm an athlete as well for Team GB. I’ve been doing that since I was eight.”

Miller also known as Michael is not only in the already hectic schedule of releasing a project but also training every day ahead of the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics. When asked how he manages the juggle both at the same time, he explains “I feel like they go hand-in-hand, without discipline from training the music wouldn't be on the trajectory it is now.” 

“You know, a lot of people ask me like, how am I going to do it all? But I feel like if you're passionate about certain things that you want to do, you will make it happen regardless. I mean, if it's something you really want to do, you'll find a way to just kind of knuckle down and make shit happen I guess.”

After a brief time spent with Miller, I could already tell he is someone with a lot of ambition and a load of targets he hasn't reached yet, when asked where he sees his future self Miller expressed his vision. Do you know what? I feel like a lot of people get that question and they say ‘on top of the world’, you know, like X, Y, Z. But  for me, music is just one vehicle to a whole load of other goals. For example, there's fashion I want to get into. In terms of establishing a brand, in terms of modelling, in terms of just various avenues within the scene. But I kind of want to go down that road, so I guess in ten years I see myself with my hands in a lot of different industries, to be honest.”

Miller isn't part of a group or a particular sound however he is part of a new generation of artists coming out of London and the UK, one that takes inspiration from British musical heritage and also new sounds that are ringing out from across the world. When asked if he takes inspiration from American music Miller states “ Yeah, 100%, because I feel like I listen to a lot more underground, kind of like alternative sounds anyway, as opposed to London's scene.” However Miller originates from South London and grew up in a different generation of music “Because I grew up in South London, I've grown up listening to ‘Section Boyz’ I've grown up listening to ‘67’” 

“I feel like I've been able to put my spin on my music because 50% of my listeners are from America and the other 50% are from Europe, London, France and all that type of stuff. So I feel like I've been able to kind of like capitalise on things that I like and kind of just blend it all, make a pretty unique sound.”

I find that a lot of people struggle to pinpoint their favourite artists at any given time, for many reasons but this isn’t something that Miller has any issue with.  “Oh my gosh. I will be able to tell you this!” He acclaims. “ There's a guy in America called Lucki, and he's just sick, sick with his beat selections and his flows and cadences. He has a very acquired, like, sound, if that makes sense.” Miller is referencing Lucki the 27-year-old artist from Chicago, whom I was semi-familiar with, especially after his song “2021 Vibez” was plastered all over my social pages a few months ago. “But I also like a bit of ‘Lancey’ and ‘Playboi Carti’ So I find a way to kind of bridge that gap between alternative but also the more street sounds if that makes sense.”

Throughout the day we spent with Miller and the multiple locations that hosted the photography element of this interview, he changed outfits at least three times and had a bunch more on standby. Fashion, something that makes up a big part of any artist's aesthetic and way of communicating who they are, is also something that Miller takes very seriously, “I'm from South London, so it's difficult sometimes when I was trying to venture into that whole fashion side, I'm wearing fits, right, and I'm walking on the high street and I'm getting looks. Yeah, maybe let's not try to be  Lil Yachty right now.” He jokes “Since the music's come along, it's definitely helped my confidence, if people in my area are not wearing that, that's cool. I can wear that and maybe it will start being cool to them if that makes sense” 

Miller also understands that what you wear can have a huge impact on how you feel Like even in the studio. Sometimes il even put on a full fit, like a sick fit, just because mentally, when you wear something, you look good you walk differently and you talk differently. So I feel like sometimes when I go to the studio, I try to trick myself into a certain mindset and whatnot.”

A week or so after that cold January day, some behind-the-scenes phone calls confirmed the release date of Miller's upcoming project but back then Miller spoke briefly about his anticipated project “I have been getting a lot of backlash. As I originally said, it was meant to come out in December, but I'm an independent artist, so there have been a lot of things that I've had to kind of like figure out, however, it is coming out at the end of January, and I can happily say it's called Meant for More. That's what it's called until I decide to change it.”

“I wanted to kind of bring my vision to life, so I'm very excited to see how people receive it.”

After the interview, we dived into a roughly one-hour-long conversation about marketing, growth and trends. Shortly after that, he left heading for a 5 AM start the next day for training. I think Miller has a unique combination that sets him up for greatness, a mix of ambition, talent and discipline. The traits that will put him, and keep him ahead of the crowd for the foreseeable future.

CREDITS:

Words: The Coact

Interview: Courtney

Photography: Shua & Isaac T

Production: Crematics 

Prod Assistance: Ollie J & Trmyn 

Special Thanks: Ashwin