Next Wave #1127: Miller Blue

Jazz-leaning R&B that excels in its honesty...

Miller Blue is, above all, honest. Authenticity has been the alt-R&B artist’s primary focus since his debut back in 2018, and his latest EP ‘4 Degrees of Separation’ is no different. Each song follows the different stages in romance, from infatuation to heartbreak, amounting to a tender exploration of a relationship’s life cycle. Miller marries soul-stirring lyricism with a gliding sound palette and smooth vocals, taking his listeners along for a cathartic ride.

“I was always really vulnerable with my lyrics because I didn’t think anyone would hear it,” he shares. No longer writing in obscurity, Miller had to face the daunting reality of having an audience. “I still try to maintain that honesty, but there are more mental battles with how I’ll be perceived. I try to make sure my self-worth is whole without the validation of others.”

Building a discography of jazz-infused R&B, indie, and neo-soul is only possible with a penchant for discovery and curatorial know-how. A challenging prospect when growing up in rural Shropshire. “The lack of people that were into the same sort of music forced me to delve further afield, but the intimacy of growing up in a village also helped me delve into myself. I was on my own a lot, and that helped me feel out what was me without the noise.”

Miller’s own soulful sound is the product of half a music technology degree and a childhood soundtracked by his dad’s analogue synths. “I see myself as more of a scientist than a traditional live musician. I feel more out of place in a live jam than I would producing a song.” Preference aside, the post-pandemic scene led Miller on a quick ascent from bedroom producer to headline performer. Fresh from his first UK tour, he’s found it to be a gratifying learning curve. “It was interesting on tour, feeling the different energies from each crowd and adapting to that. It taught me to have that live fluctuation between you and the audience.”

“If I’m honest though, I just make music for myself. I think it’s wonderful if it helps anyone else. But ultimately, I’m making it to understand where I’m at.” ‘4 Degrees of Separation’, saw Miller translate the feelings emanating from Hong Kong-based director Wong Kar Wai’s films into his tracks. “The way he shows beauty, love and seduction is so subtle. I just tried to relay the feelings it brought up into my music.”

What: Soothing alt-R&B
Where: East London
3 Songs: ‘Blush’, ‘Me, Myself & I’, ‘Rhythm in the Dance’

Fun Fact: Miller had a chance encounter with Robert Pattinson in the toilet of his favourite venue.

Words: Mimi Francis
Photography: Bella Howard // @bybellazine
Styling: Sabrina Soormally

Miller Blue wears the Primary Sweater in Pale Beige, 310 GBP; the Dice Lo Sneaker, 215 GBP and the Grate Embossed Jeans, POA; all by Axel Arigato.

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.