Jake Miller opens up about 2019 tour, Wait For You, and advice
After signing with Sony Red as his new record label, Jake Miller released his latest track ‘Wait For You’ in late 2018. Now, he’ll be touring across the U.S. beginning in early April.
The singer, songwriter, and producer has been working on even more new music, and with many plans for 2019, it’s clear that this year is going to be beyond busy for him. In an exclusive interview with United by Pop, Miller opens up about his fans, new music, and his goals for future collaborations.
What can you tell us about your single ‘Wait For You’?
That song is the first song I just put out with my new label. I just signed with Sony Red! I’m very excited to have a new record label behind me and a team of people who really care and support me. This is the first single [with that label]. I wrote it, I produced it, and I did everything out of my bedroom. I played all of the instruments in my room. I mixed it, I mastered it, and I’m very proud of it. The lyrics are about when you want to be in a relationship with somebody and they might not necessarily be ready…maybe they just got out of an old relationship and are scared to jump back into [a new] one. The whole point of the song is if that person is worth it, you’ll wait for them. You’ll give them their time because they’re worth it in the end. Musically, it’s one of my proudest songs I’ve ever produced because it feels like a bunch of songs in one. There’s kind of a Zedd feel in the verse and the chorus and then there’s a drop that feels almost 80s [like]. There’s a really cool driving bass and 80s drums.
What do you think makes this track different than other songs you have released in the past?
There are different kind of piano chords that I’m not used to. There are some darker chords. It’s an 80s feel and I’ve never really produced anything like that. I listen to a lot of 80s inspired music, so I really wanted to experiment with those kind of drums and that kind of driving bass. I love how it came out because it kind of has the perfect blend of 80s [vibes] mixed with modern pop. I think any song that takes you on a rollercoaster ride and feels like multiple genres and multiple styles in one is a big win if you’re the person producing and writing the song.
What are your plans for your recently annoucned tour in the U.S.? What makes you most excited to perform live for your fans?
When I’m on the road and when I’m on stage, that’s when I feel like I’m the greatest version of myself. Seeing the fans and staying connected with them is so important. Not only is that so much fun to see them face to face and all of the people who have supported me for many years, but it’s also so much fun to get on stage and play the music I just created a few months ago. To see it correlate to thousands of people singing along across the country is the coolest thing to me. I can’t wait to get on stage and play these new songs!
What do you love most about your fans and having that strong support system?
My fans have really stuck with me since the beginning. There’s fans who have just discovered my recently which is really cool, but there’s a cool group of fans that discovered me back in 2011 when I first started and they are my ride or die. They show up at airports waiting for me just to say hi, giving me gifts [and] showing me their lyric tattoos. There’s probably four or five people at every show or my meet and greets that show me my lyrics tattooed on their skin. Most of the time it’s handwritten. People will come to the meet and greets and ask me to write a lyric of mine and then they’ll go get it tattooed and I’ll see it months later. I see that all of the time. They’ll sleep in camping bags and tents the night before the show out in the cold or in the rain or in the snow. It’s really crazy how dedicated and passionate they are. I would do anything for them and they’re the reason that I make this music and make sure it’s perfect. I want to make sure that they love it and have music to make memories to and hopefully [the music can] help them. I see so many people and they come up to me and tell me about how my music has helped them stopped harming themselves or getting them through depression or chemotherapy when they’re in the hospital. That’s the power of music. That’s the most beautiful thing in the world. I really think I have the best job in the entire world.
How was it to start out on YouTube and how has that experience shaped you into the artist you are today?
Every since I started, music has changed so much. Social media has changed so much. The way people listen to music has changed so much. I think Youtube was the first version of social media for me. When I first started putting out songs, I didn’t have a Twitter or an Instagram or a Snapchat. It was my Youtube and my Facebook page. I would upload videos to Youtube and then I would post the link to Facebook and that’s it. Youtube really started my career. My core fanbase found me through my Youtube channel. It’s really cool to see every time I post a Youtube video, there’s always the people in the Youtube comments and I can tell [that] those are the people who have been here the longest.
What advice would you give to your younger self or someone younger who may be trying to follow a similar career path?
My biggest lesson that I’ve learned in the past few years is [to] take everything into your own hands. Never rely on anyone else to do your job or help you because no one is going to wake up in the morning and think “Ok, how am I going to help Jake today?” I’m the only one driving my ship. Never lose control of the steering wheel. Make sure you’re always the captain of your ship. Try to learn as much as possible. If you want it badly enough, you can literally Youtube anything these days. Spend an hour or two on Youtube each day and you’ll be a pro at your craft. That’s what I did! I bought a bunch of equipment I didn’t know how to use. I bought a saxophone and I bought a piano. I still don’t know how to play saxophone actually! I haven’t learned that one yet. I’m very good at piano just because I wake up and go straight to the piano every day. I dedicate my time to getting better. If you want to get better, one hour on Youtube! That’s all you need. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Looking further into 2019, do you see a larger body of work like an EP or album coming after this single?
Definitely! I’m almost done with the EP. It will be out right before the tour. I will have a six song EP ready to come out for everyone to sing on tour. It’s gonna be great! A lot of new music coming.
Who are your inspirations currently or who do you find yourself listening to a lot?
I listen to a lot of different genres. I listen to a lot of Jon Bellion and John Mayer. I listen to a lot of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. I’m listening to Lauv and Charlie Puth when it comes to pop. Troye Sivan! I kind of try to do my research on artists as much as possible. I want to study other artists. I want to see where the bar is at. I want to see how far I have to go to get to that level. I’m always doing my research and trying to learn as much about other artists as possible.
Going forward, maybe including those artists or some other ones, what are some of your dream collaborations?
I would love to collaborate with Ariana Grande [and] Selena Gomez. I would love to do a song with John Mayer because he’s my favorite of all time. I don’t want to ever reach out to somebody to collaborate with me as a favor. I want to get to the point where I’m very big on my own and other people want to be working with me just as much as I want to be working with them. It’s all about timing.
If you were stranded on an island for a week and your phone could only play three songs, which songs would you pick and why?
I would pick “Stop This Train” by John Mayer because that’s my favorite song ever. I have it tattooed on my arm because it’s just a song that makes you appreciate life and it’s all about not letting life pass you by too quickly. I really love that song. It’s helped me a lot. I love “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett. It reminds me of being young and being in the Keys with my family and being on a boat. That would be a great soundtrack song to be playing while I’m on the island. I love “Trophies” by Drake. It’s probably my favorite Drake song. Those are three completely different songs, but for different moods.
Thank you, Jake Miller, for taking the time to speak with us about everything coming up for you in 2019.
Be sure to check out the tour dates for Jake Miller’s tour here.
Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 1st and “Wait For You” is impacting radio now.