WHEN one discovers new musicians their backstory and ambitions are…
hardly the stuff of originality and wonder. That is very different when you consider Miles Glyphers. Born in the Ivory Coast; Glyphers was lucky to get out of the country alive – escaping a torn and divided nation ravaged by conflict. Making his way to Australia, the Sydney-based Hip-Hop star still holds the scars and is feeling the effects of a turbulent and tumultuous childhood. Luckily, in some way, that vivid and unique story is filtered into his music – rich with story, candour and emotion. Dollar and a Dream is a song that espouses hopefulness one can get from having very little: having to battle and overcome obstacles and hard situations. It has been interesting talking to Glyphers about the new single and forthcoming record, Third World Child. There are few artists are fresh, unexpected and honest: that raw, humble and dogged determination comes through hard. Glyphers talks about his upbringing and idols; the musicians he feels strongly about and an insight into his current creativity.
Hi Miles. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey hey. I’m tired but doing well. My week’s been a little wild with late nights and things. But now the songs out, it's all worth it.
For those unfamiliar with your music: can you introduce yourself, please?
Well. My name is Miles Glyphers. I am from Down Under - trying to come up right now.
I am unlike Hip-Hop artists - if there’s anything such as that. I dropped my debut mixtape - Twisted Youth - a year and a bit ago but I been doing music for a while now and things got serious (I’ll say) three years ago.
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Dollar and a Dream is your latest single. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Yeah. Dollar and a Dream is a real personal one - especially the first verse. When I was growing up, I didn’t have anybody around to look after me properly so I was always in the streets. When I came to Australia it was the same issue. In high school, my rap was pretty much a joke to everybody around me. I grew up in a real poor family we never had anything. I left home when I was like fourteen - trying to make something out of life. It gets deep but I guess that sums my inspiration behind Dollar and a Dream.
The track addresses alienation and lack of identity. It seems to, in a wider sense, address the state of the modern world. Were events like Trump’s election and ongoing issues in the world part of the song’s influence?
‘Alienation’ is definitely the key word. Since I was like eight years old I was always on my own: I was really that kid sitting quietly in the corner or somewhere in the dark over-thinking - so I can relate to other young people in the same position. Dollar and a Dream was really about me telling you that no matter the problem or issue you’re going through, you can make it and become whatever you want to be - so it’s not so much influenced by America; more the state of the world for all young people. We are all connected now and are sharing our experiences through the internet. I think whatever you put your mind to you can become with hard work and dedication. No matter what others think of you, you’re actually a somebody.
You were born in the Ivory Coast but live in Sydney. What compelled the move and do you ever get a chance to return to the Ivory Coast?
I remember Ivory Coast was really crazy in terms of struggle and our living condition wasn’t great. Life was real and yet again the streets were where I found myself around the wrong crowds. To be honest, I am lucky to be alive right now. We had to leave because of war we ended up and a nearby country called Guinea - where we stayed at a refugee camp. And, somehow, we were lucky enough to come to Australia. I honestly don’t want to go back with nothing: I want to go back like "Look what I’ve become!"
Sydney has a huge and varied music scene. What is life like there for a musician and who are the local artists you are tipping for success?
Sydney is really on some serious stuff right now. I reckon this city is next.
Diffusely, my good friend Sampa the Great - she is special and does her own thing – is all about empowering people through poetry and music. Ones to watch are also my good friends of Veeno and Maverick.
Listening to your music, it seems you have a definite niche and unique sound. Is it hard to get opportunities in Australia or is the music community there quite supportive?
Yeah. I am really trying to be myself and have my own vibe going. Right now, It’s something that’s a bit hard for Australians to get their head around as they are not used to it. Some are starting to accept it, though. As for opportunities, you have to make them yourself here: the Hip-Hop scene is still growing, but its early days. As long as I am getting support from you guys, and whoever else feeling the music, then I am good. That’s all that matters: the love and support from the ones that feel it.
Third World Child is where Dollar and a Dream will feature. What can you reveal about the E.P.’s themes and what we can expect from it?
Third World Child is based on life and experiences. Expect anything and everything as there are no restrictions. I don’t really want to say much about it at this point - I really want to show people, A: what I am about and B: this is what I live for and am out here doing whatever it takes.
It has been over a year since you released your debut mixtape, Twisted Youth. How would you say you’ve developed as an artist since then? What changes and new elements have you incorporated into your music?
Yeah, it’s been a crazy period where I had to stay strong; put my head in and stay focus despite everything going on around me.
I worked and focused more on my melodies because that’s my favourite thing right now. I am just trying to get better and better every day as I feel like I am ready for the world and what it has to offer in terms of music.
You have been supported by the likes of Complex, Sampa the Great and i-D. How does that acclaim feel and is it quite daunting at such an early stage?
Not really, no. It’s what I’ve always wanted so it’s just been a great start to what is just the beginning of my story. I really appreciate the love and support from them and everyone. Sampa' is mad-cool and complex and i-D are just too awesome to not be happy when they say something good about you.
Big thanks to all of them.
I know many here in the U.K. would love to see you play. Any plans to come over here and experience our wonderful (translate: cold and wet) winter?
Coming to the U.K. has been in my plans for some time now. It will happen but when the timing is right - so maybe early next year.
I can’t wait to do something over there: as long as you guys out there keep giving me support. I don’t think we’re far off from something coming to the U.K.
I can imagine your upbringing saw you exposed to a wide range of sounds and artists. Who were the musicians you idolised growing up?
When I was a bit younger we used to go to church where we would sing all the time. Growing up, I was mainly used to the African drum sounds and music. I actually got into Hip-Hop music late because I only heard them on the radio back home and I didn’t know what the genre was, ahaha. But, yeah, when I came to Australia that started changing. Discovered Snoop Dog and Ice Cube through a magazine from a local newsagent - I found the fashion and style real interesting; started digging into the whole West Coast culture thing - and that was it for me.
Are you quite an ambitious musician? Are there places you have yet to perform in and goals as-yet-unachieved?
Ambitious is me all day, every day - even when I perform at bigger venues; I feel like that isn’t enough.
I am always thinking there’s more we can do better and I don’t think my mindset will ever change.
Looking ahead to 2017: what plans do you have and can we expect to see you tour in the coming months?
Well. I have a new project in Third World Child. I might drop some singles and other things in-between. A tour is definitely something I am looking forward to - and one is in the process.
Christmas is coming up. Are you spending it at home and what is top of your Christmas wish-list?
I am not so excited for Christmas right now because last year I spent all my Christmas and New Year in the studio finishing off Twisted Youth. By the looks of things, I am about to be stuck in the same situation with what I am trying to do with Third World Child. Hopefully, I can get some chill and travel somewhere nice to take my mind off it for a bit. But right now I have no major plans for the break other than making music.
For anyone looking to follow in your footsteps: what advice would you offer up to them?
My best advice is that nothing is impossible. the way I see it you can do anything you put your mind too. Never give up and also keep pushing and when things get tough as life does - take it as a motivation.
Stay humble and also give anything and everything your best. Most important thing is to know why you’re doing what you do in the first place.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song and I’ll play it here (not one of your own as I’ll include that).
Run by Baby Veeno and Maverick.
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