Interview: Jake Miller
Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:18:56
Jake Miller successfully strikes a delicate balance between pop and hip-hop on his new album Us Against Them, which releases November 5. It's a grooved-out good time worth experiencing again and again. If you don't know Miller, you will now as this has the makings of his big breakout moment.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Jake Miller talks Us Against Them, artists that shaped him, Entourage, and so much more.
What ties Us Against Them together for you?
This is the first time I've put out a project where the feeling I have right now is different than in the past. In the past, I didn't really know if I was going to make it in this industry. I was struggling. I was losing friends. I was doing what I loved, but I didn't know if it was going to work. This time around, I'm in the happiest place. I've never been happier. I wanted this album to reflect that. I didn't want to brag and be cocky. I didn't want to just talk about all these things I have, but I wanted to show I'm doing what I love and I'm finally achieving my dreams. I'm trying to spin it around to say, "You can achieve your goals too, if you work hard enough". Nothing's impossible. I think this album is really fun and has great vibes.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, whether it's a song about falling in love or something like "Puppet" that I wrote for this album which is about what I'm stressing over now and the ugly side of this industry, I always want to tell a story. There's that hip-hop element. I learned it from Eminem, and I put a lot of depth and meaning to these lyrics. I always want to put out songs with meaning and a story behind them.
What's the story behind "Number One Rule"?
That was actually the first song I wrote from the entire album. I wrote it on the tour bus in the middle of my last tour. My "Number One Rule" my whole life was never to accept number two. Always strive for the best and don't accept anything less than the best. I think it's a cool way to end the album telling people, "No matter what you do, always go for number one. If you work hard enough and stay focused, you'll get there!"
Where did "Hollywood" come from?
That's probably one of my favorite songs I've ever made. I've never really put out a song like that. It's borderline. I'm always putting out inspirational songs. I was nervous to put out a song like this where I'm bragging about what I'm doing. I don't want to be labeled as one of those rappers who's materialistic. There's a sarcastic tone to the song. It's just about how within the last year six of my best friends and I have traveled the world together and done all of these crazy things that .0001 percent of people ever get to do. It shows if you stay focused and work hard, anything is possible. Now, it feels like my team and I are going Hollywood.
What artists shaped you?
Emimen sparked my passion for hip-hop back in the day. I'm just a music lover in general though, whether it's John Mayer, Jack Johnson, or blink-182. I love all kinds of music. I respect it in general.
If the album were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
Wow, that's a great question. How about a TV show? I would compare it to Entourage. It's about a guy and his friends who moved out to LA and made it big. That reflects it the most.
Don't forget to catch Miller on his fourty-three date tour, which kicks off November 1!
Have you heard Jake Miller yet?