Miller Blue Is Ready to Be His Own Best Friend [Q&A]
Whether you’re falling in or out of love, madly infatuated with or disoriented by the feeling, allow us to introduce you to the UK artist who will gently soundtrack you through the whole process.
Racking up Spotify numbers by the millions, Miller Blue is a singer-songwriter you immediately want more of upon first taste. With a sound perfectly catered to any Soulection set, his lyrics are medicine for the soul, paired with an entrancing voice that commands your body’s full attention.
An honest artist, Miller Blue’s devotion is not to a genre but to his truth. With an essence that speaks to Spooky Black and Chet Faker, he moves fluidly through musical identities, remaining consistent only with how fully he shows up in every layer of himself.
His music feels like the scent of freshly brewed coffee, warm and invigorating with depth and body. With a soulful voice that could only come from his gut, you’re moved whether you relate to the lyrics or not. He doesn’t sell a brand—he encapsulates a feeling.
With his debut album on the horizon, there’s much anticipation to see where this shooting star will land. Luckily, we got a chance to sit down with the artist in bloom and get to know the human within the vessel.
Ones To Watch: So first off, who is Miller Blue?
Miller Blue: For so long, I was unable to detach Miller Blue from Benjamin the human being, so now I try to walk in as Benjamin the human being. I put too much self-worth on what it meant to be an artist for so long and I’m trying to stop doing that now. I just come in as me.
I find your music to be very honest, so I’m curious to know if there were parts of the real you thatyou needed to shield when you were in your artist embodiment?
I used writing as a way to externalize what I was scared to show to others. Putting it in the music meant I didn’t have to be that; it was a safety net. For a long time I had these insecurities that I hadn’t looked at within myself, and when I was in person with people who may have heard the music, there was always a little bit of a front. I struggled to create a coherence between me as a human and who I was when I walked into a room. There was an expectation, but it was my own. I’m past that period now and it’s quite nice, I’m feeling very good about it.
When you’re putting your raw experience of something into a song, does it feel like you’re reopening a wound every time you perform it?
It can! I like to put everything into a performance, so I try to get back into that mindset and where I was at the time. It can be exhausting, so after a show when everyone wants to chat, I can feel very jarred. It depends though, the further back the song, the more I’ve healed from the experience so the less it has a hold. Whereas, for example, I wrote a song called “Easy” on my last project and that relationship ended shortly after the song came out and I was in this place of heartbreak while singing about how easy it is to love this person. It was very interesting to see how the song’s meaning changed, which is quite nice because it’s still honest but now I’m singing it from a different perspective.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
Up until the project that’s coming out next, I never thought about that. It’s always been “I just want them to be honest with what they feel and what they get from it.” There’s never been an intention for why I do certain things, I just make stuff that is honest to me, and if you can relate from your perspective, amazing. One of my favorite things about songs is that the lyrics can be so direct about a specific scenario, yet as a listener, you can still take something from it. However, with this next project, it’s much more intentional. I want to create a world that’s very zoomed in to a certain aspect of our emotional spectrum.
That’s intense! Tell us more, which emotions are you honing in on?
Ultimately, the project is going through the various stages of a relationship and hones in on the intense emotions that come up throughout. From lust and infatuation to trust and confusion, and even the healing process afterward. It’s very zoomed-in, whereas before I would make music that was my experience specifically. I’m excited.
It sounds very immersive! I think what’s so cool about your music is that it’s so genre-fluid. Do you ever struggle with feeling like you need to be within the lines of a label or the definition of a genre?
I’ve had that worry just because I’m aware that often as an artist, in order to build a solid fan base, it can work to your benefit to be a certain way. It can turn so many people off when one project sounds so different from the previous. But the more I feel I understand myself, the less I feel the need to get validation from anyone else. I’m not looking for any feedback; if you like it, great. If you don’t, great. But I cared for a long time because I attached my value to the music, and when you’re in the industry speaking to A&Rs and labels and they’re talking about what people want to listen to, it can be hard to hold your own energy and work out exactly what it is you want. But I’ve got an R&B record coming out and then the next one is all written on guitar. I’m just trusting it. I think I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t just go where it feels right. Trust your heart, it’s the most powerful thing you have.
What was the key for you to begin self-resourcing your validation? What triggered the shift?
Noticing patterns in my behavior. I often attributed that to others who were doing wrong, but then when it repeats I realize “Oh, it’s actually something I’m lacking within myself and no one else can give me that.” It caused unnecessary pain in my relationships which ultimately I’ve grown from, and I realized that I have to be my best friend first before anyone can be mine. Even if they wanted to be, my reflection of how I view me is going to come through them anyway, so I’m never going to see it. It’s been the most difficult thing but it’s beautiful, I love what it’s bringing out of me.
Self-betterment is the most rewarding commitment you can make, and I’m sure you’ve watched it inform the art that you make.
Oh, definitely. The better we know ourselves, the better we’ll be able to express that externally. And that’s why it’s so scary for me. I’m writing my debut album and it’s so raw because I’m bringing up real truths from childhood and subconscious behaviors from what happened when I was a kid. Really understanding my upbringing and now that it’s coming out in this way it’s terrifying. Am I really going to let people see that, everything I can’t ignore anymore? But that’s where my favorite albums come from, that level of honesty, so I hope it translates.