Jake Miller captured our attention and our hearts with his genuine brand of pop-infused hip hop music. Preferring to tell stories about coming up out of tough times and following your dreams in his songs, Miller is poised to become the next household name in Top 40 music with his newly released full-length record, “Us Against Them.” Check out what Miller had to say about connecting with fans, his musical influences, and what we can expect from him and his team in the future.
Emily Tantuccio: So you do something that sets you apart from a lot of other young hip-hop artists right now in the sense that you always are telling a story through your songs. These tracks like A Million Lives and Homeless off the new record get very personal, whether the lyrics are about obstacles in your own life or about the stories of other kids who are struggling to get through what life has handed to them. Why do you think it’s important to send positive messages like this and do you think it leaves a stronger impact with your fan base?
Jake Miller: I always say that music without a message is just sound. If you are lucky enough to be in a position like mine, where you can reach out to half a million people with just the click of a button, you better take advantage of it and use it wisely. It’s one thing to make catchy songs, but I want to take it a step further and change the world with my music. I remember how I used to look up to artists when I was a kid and look to them for motivation and inspiration. I want to take on that role for my fans, and help them through tough times. If I can travel the world with my best friends, make music, and change the world in a positive way all at the same time, that’s true success.
ET: What’s been that one defining moment to you, career-wise, over the course of 2013? Now that “Us Against Them” has been released, where do you hope to see yourself and the team a year from now?
JM: There hasn’t really been one specific event that has defined my career. It’s been a long journey of many stepping stones that has led me to where I am today. With the album finally out, my team and I plan to continue touring, promoting the album, and making as many videos/songs as possible. Hopefully a mini Europe tour next year is in the pipeline. In terms of how many records I want to sell or what kind of awards I want to win, I don’t set goals like that for myself. I just want to make as much positive and inspiring music as possible and see where it takes me.
ET: In regards to “Puppet” – what has it been like adjusting for you, to being on the road so much and being away from home? What do you do to stay grounded through it all?
JM: I love being on the road. Touring is one of my favorite things to do in the world. A different city every day, meeting new fans every day – it’s a dream come true. But everyone gets homesick sometimes. I just remember how lucky I am to be in this position. In order to be successful, you have to make sacrifices. It’s very easy to stay grounded and humble when you have an amazing group of guys surrounding you at all times. We are all very hardworking and focused people.
EM: Which artists inspire you the most and who would you love to collaborate with on one of your tracks?
JM: The artists that inspire me the most are Drake, Justin Timberlake, and Macklemore. I would be so lucky to collaborate with any of them.
ET: If you could have any of your songs featured in the soundtrack for a TV show, which song would it be and why?
JM: Probably “Hollywood”. It’s a song about how my team and I are “living life”. We’ve worked so hard over the past few years and I feel we truly deserve to be where we are now. It’s been a long time coming but we are finally in a good place. And “Hollywood” reflects this.
ET: You constantly stress the fact that you never accepted being in that number two spot and how important it is not to give up on your goals in life. What’s your advice for your fans currently trying to live out their own dreams?
JM: Never give up. It sounds cliche but it’s true. No matter how good you are at what you do, people will always hate on you. As a matter of fact, the better you are at something the more hate you will receive. You have to tune all of that out and stay focused. Don’t let anybody stop you from reaching your goals.
Jake Miller’s record is available for purchase at music retail outlets and on iTunes. Catch Jake performing at Starland Ballroom on November 17 with support from New Jersey’s own Action Item.