Producer and singer/songwriter Benjamin Joseph Edwards, aka Miller Blue, incorporates R&B, hip hop, jazz and soul into his music. Following on from ‘Marigold’, Miller Blue’s latest is ‘Rhythm in the Dance’ - we spoke to him about his influences, writing and latest releaese.
Being played on Radio 1 and 1Xtra is something that, if you had of told me just a few years ago, I never would have believed.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
I don’t think it was one thing in particular… However, growing up music was always around me in some sense. I grew up in a village so although the live music scene wasn’t exactly popping off, I was always in my dads studio with him fiddling around with synths for as far back as I can remember. My mum loves to sing too so I have many fond memories of being in the kitchen with her singing along to songs.
I didn’t start producing music or playing any instruments at all until after leaving secondary school, but I think subconsciously it had been the combination of my parents love for music growing up that really first got me in to music.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Again, my parents. They always find ways to inspire me when I need it most. But musically I draw inspiration from so, so, so many different artists and genres. Erykah Badu, Prince, Otis Reading, D’Angelo, N.E.R.D, Outkast, Earth Wind & Fire, MF Doom, Frank Ocean - I could go on all day.
How would you describe your style?
More recently I’ve been describing it as electronic soul with notes of R&B, hip hop and jazz. However, each track differs so it’s hard to put it in to a genre, as I find with a lot of music these days.
What have been your best moments of 2018 so far?
I’ve had so many. For me having one of my tracks premiered by Complex was crazy as I always kept note of the magazine growing up. Also being played on Radio 1 and 1Xtra is something that, if you had of told me just a few years ago, I never would have believed. But I think the craziest moment for me was seeing myself on TV. 4music asked me to do a session for them… I felt so blessed to have such an opportunity.
Tell us about your latest single ‘Rhythm in the Dance’. What’s it about?
‘Rhythm In The Dance’, to me, is a reflection of how I think it’s massively important to find joy in day-to-day living regardless of the many non-idealistic situations that many of us find ourselves in. It’s not me saying, be happy all the time, as this, quite frankly, cannot be the case, but simply try to focus on the good side of things that you’re blessed with and spend less time worrying about things you cannot change.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I began writing it around a year ago when I was living in Leeds. It has parts recorded from me being there as well as Norfolk and London. I didn’t wanna rush the song so only added what I felt necessary at the right times.
How does ‘Rhythm in the Dance’ build on your style?
I think it better sums up my love of different genres, drawing attention to my love of Boom Bap drums, jazzy chord progression and soulful but flowing vocal. Also, it’s much more up-tempo than everything else I’ve released prior, so it’s good that people get to hear that side of my music.
What’s been the response so far?
I just feel blessed. I’ve had so many lovely messages about the track; I really didn’t expect such lovely feedback. I’m glad because I felt confident with the direction I’m taking my music so it’s nice to see that others feel the same.
Your self-produced debut EP ‘Cotton’ will be out later this year, what can we expect from that?
I plan to have six tracks on the EP. It’s really a mixed bag in terms of theme, however it does reflect on me growing in to adult and just as a person in general. I talk about happiness, mental health, love and, well, just how I’m feeling. But I’m very excited to be able to show people a body of work that I’m so proud of.
Where can we see you live next?
I will be performing for a headline show for the release of the EP, but, as the date is not yet confirmed, I do not know the exact date.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Very hard question… Off the top of my head the first person that comes to mind is Frank Ocean.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Stop making so many decisions based around other peoples opinions of you. Just do what makes you happy and roll with it, if others don’t like it then that’s okay.
Listen to Rhythm in the Dance on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates visit the Miller Blue Facebook page.