- INJECTION Magazine
Miller Blue’s Music is a Testimony to the Mindfulness of his Creativity
© Miller Blue
Connecting through music goes beyond the lyrics alone for this singer, songwriter and producer, sound carries emotions just like words do.
Miller Blue embodies the figure of a genre-bending artist that isn’t confined to a singular style but instead lets his inspiration take him towards new sounds. Exploring the highs and lows of mental health, Miller Blue offers to open up a conversation on the often stigmatised topic of mental health amongst men. His music aims to help listeners understand their emotions in a deeper sense by engaging mindfully in his ever-changing creative process.
Miller Blue’s identity as an artist seems to be rooted in an openness to let himself explore his creativity without being rooted in a singular style. Originally from Shropshire, Miller Blue seeks to rediscover his English country roots through his music and rediscover a part of his identity he tried to detach himself from for a while. On the verge of the release of his new EP, Miller Blue spoke to INJECTION Magazine on his hopes for his future music and embracing live performances.
© Miller Blue
Your music blends elements of jazz, hip hop, neo-soul and R&B. Could you elaborate how you approach genre-blending in your songwriting and production?
I think it's not necessarily something I do consciously when I'm making tunes. I think it comes naturally, because of the influence I have from all those genres, by listening to them growing up.
And still recently, I find when I'm writing chords for example, that I also use chords that are related to those genres. So I think, naturally you get that sound from it and then sonically as well, it’s like choosing textures and samples. I lean towards hip hop a lot of the time, so I think it's just taste coming out into the tunes. I don't think it's necessarily that conscious. It's just kind of become what I like.
Your third EP ‘4 Degrees of Separation’ is coming out on the 19th of May. What was your inspiration behind the project and what message do you hope listeners will take away from it?
For this project, I wanted to encapsulate the idea of the stages of a breakup, starting from infatuation, moving to love, trust and then heartbreak and ultimately healing, so the record goes through each of those stages. And what would I like people to take away? Maybe just some more clarity on a relationship they've been through and have had to go through and maybe they can work out where they are in that stage and it can help them realise that there's a next stage and that it always comes back around. We're always in one of those stages, it seems.
© Miller Blue
What stage did you find the hardest to write?
I find sad songs easy to write, happy tunes just don't seem to come out of me that naturally. Maybe the hardest to write was ‘Wildfire’, it’s a song that focuses on love and trust, it’s more upbeat and happy.
Is there a particular song or piece of music by another artist that's especially meaningful to you and how has it influenced you as an artist?
As of late, my go to guy has been Dijon. I've been listening so much to this guy, he dropped an album last year called ‘Absolutely’, and that whole record has been a big inspiration for what I'm currently writing. The reason it has impacted me so much is that there's a rawness in his performance that I kind of missed in music I've been listening to, and it's helped reinforce my confidence in doing that as well in my own music.
So what is your creative process when you're writing or composing music?
That's changing too. It used to be that I'd sit and I'd be making a beat and writing along to the beat. So rhythmically, I'd be making cuts and changes wherever I'm putting in moments and afflictions. But for the last two years, I've gone away from that and now I generally just sit. Pretty much every day, I just sit with my guitar or on the piano and kind of play until something comes out and then I build up voice notes over time. And then whenever I go travelling somewhere, if I go home to see my family or wherever, I'll listen through on the journey, it's one of my favourite things. I love just sitting there, just listening until I find a bit of gold. When I get back from the trip, I try to solidify the ideas I thought were good. And that process has been great. I've just been trying to make the best use of core ideas on the guitar that can always translate back down to the music.
© Miller Blue
You've been vocal about your support for mental health awareness. Can you talk about why those issues are important to you and how they influence your music?
I mean, growing up, my mom was quite depressed and had a lot of anxiety and I think it's a common thing within the family and I didn't really know what that was growing up. I feel like those tendencies extended through to me through my late teens, but I didn't really know that that's what it was. And being in the main male friendship, we didn't really talk about those things either. And I found that music was the first place I really expressed that and I understood what that was. So it became a good, safe space for that conversation. Now I can have those chats with people and feel comfortable, which is nice also. But for people that can't, I feel music can be a good gateway into that understanding of self if you don't really feel comfortable talking about it or even know what it is, because it's not the easiest thing to understand if you don't know anything else. But it feels good, a lot of my friends are opening to talk about these things which is nice.
Yeah, it’s important to open a conversation with people. So, where do you see your music in the future? How do you see your sound evolving over time?
The sound is changing a lot right now, actually. I feel that what's been coming out of the debut album I’m writing at the moment, has lent more towards my singer-songwriter roots. I feel like that route of me being from Shropshire, being from the countryside, is something I’ve tried to shy away from that for a while because I thought ‘I just need to be cool’
I maybe have neglected that side of me for a bit. So I think the more I am coming to understand who I am, hopefully as I get older, the more obvious that will be through the music and that will just come through changes and stars and sonics and topics that go on in my life. As long as I stay honest to it, I'm happy to be honest
...It sounds like a kind of full circle...
Yeah. It feels like as a kid we know exactly who we are, then we go away from it to become this thing and then we have to spend all the time on doing it to go back to where you were anyway. So, reflection is key.
Yeah, absolutely. You spoke about the importance of mindfulness and manifesting. Are these things that you do on a daily basis? What advice would you give to beginners?
I think that one of the biggest pitfalls is this idea that you shouldn't be thinking or you shouldn't be allowed to. And I've realised there's no real wrong way. It's more about noticing you've gone to a thought, and coming back to something like a breath or a mantra or whatever it may be, that brings you back to something you can focus on and allowing the thoughts to pass, like traffic, as opposed to attaching to them.
But when you do attach, that's all right. I think the internal conversation that goes along with it is a big part of it. I changed that to be a bit more positive towards myself, it allowed other things to come through naturally.
Can you describe your experiences of performing live and how it differs from recording in the studio?
Performing live, that's been another work in progress for me. I grew up as a very anxious kid. My biggest fear was getting on stage. Then I started making tunes and realised: I’m going to have to perform this! And so I learned to deal with it. Years ago, I would hate it because it would just give me panic attacks. However, as of late, I've learned how to deal with those things and now I just love performing. It feels like a different form of release and something I can share more directly with people. It's me and you, it's not just about me, and I like bringing that to a show, I'm looking forward to connecting with people.
Find Miller Blue on Spotify, Youtube and Instagram.
Interview by Tonya Antoniou, words by Nassima Alloueche and Ryoma Deiss.