WITH a brilliant single out…
there are more eyes and ears pointing the way of Million Miles. I have been talking with her about If Only and writing it alongside Bruno Major. The songwriter tells me about a precious musical memory and reveals some new artists to look out for – she talks about spending time in the U.S. and how important that was.
Million Miles looks ahead to tour dates and reveals her musical inspirations; how she spends time when there is a chance to chill; the advice she would give to upcoming artists – she ends the interview by selecting a rather good song.
Hi, Million Miles. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello, there. The week has been fabulous. We’ve had brilliant summer weather in London lately and it was also the first week back at home after a couple of weeks in the U.S. - so, perfect timing.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer-songwriter with a deep love for Soul music and extensive experience in heartbreak.
If Only is your new single. Can you talk about its background and inspiration?
If Only is about timing: never quite nailing emotional availability. You may be ready to be with someone who might not be and vice versa. In a world that is overwhelmed with possibilities and a very short attention span, I feel it’s something people may have experienced a lot and I wanted to talk about it.
It was written alongside Bruno Major. What was it like working with him?!
I’ve been a fan of Bruno ever since I heard his live E.P. - before A Song for Every Moon started. It goes without saying - you can hear it just watching him play any of his songs - that he’s an amazing musician and songwriter. It was a delight working with him; very inspiring.
Do you think there will be more material later in the year?
Absolutely. I’ll be releasing a new E.P. in the fall and I’m really, really excited about it. Stay tuned!
How did you get into music? Were there particular artists and albums that inspired your choice?
I fell into it when I was born…
Always been around it. I come from a musician’s family with a strong love for Blues and Soul music. I started playing the piano from a young age. All those elements naturally led me to constantly think music and make music. The records typically playing at home would be '70s Soul records. Later, I discovered Jazz and Blues and that had a massive influence on me. So many albums, though…Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness is one I can think of at the minute.
You were born in Paris but spent time in America. How important was that time in the U.S. regarding your development and aspiration?
It was absolutely crucial for me because I was a music student then and it’s actually while in the States that I got into Jazz and Blues, the Great American Songbook as well as artists like Carole King, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. I was around so many amazing musicians; it made me want to up my game and really dig this singing thing - I hadn’t been singing for long when I got there; it was fairly new to me.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
I just came back from a U.S. tour. I will play some shows in the fall in Europe and probably in the U.S. as well. It’s all in the works but dates aren’t confirmed yet but. You’ll be the first informed as soon as it’s all in place. But, in a less-distant-future, I’ll be playing Camden Assembly on 26th July in London for War Child UK.
Is the stage the place you feel strongest and most free? How important is it being up there and performing to the crowd?
To me, it’s vital because that’s really when the songs come alive and when I can fully enjoy the audience’s reaction to my music It’s the best. It’s also a great opportunity for improv and I love improv.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I would really love to keep working with some amazing people all-round and writing songs; recording and releasing more music. I love the feeling of having finished a song you think is your best yet…and lots of shows.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I went to see Ray Charles play as a kid. That was the best show I’ve ever been to. I was dancing on my chair. One of the musicians noticed me, went to talk to Ray Charles and asked him to sign a card for me. I must have been blushing loads. I was ecstatic.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It has to be Bill Withers.
Hopefully, he’d let me kit-share his Wurlitzer and I’d happily do that for a packet of crisps and a couple of anecdotes from Bill.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Do your thing. It’s a hard road so you might as well do what you want to do.
IN THIS PHOTO: Courtney Marie Andrews/PHOTO CREDIT: Laura E. Partain
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I’m a dab hand with some watercolours and pencils - it’s a great way to spend a day off.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Rina Mushonga – AtalantA
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