15 Minutes: More Forward Than Back
“Growing up, I was a pretty quiet kid. I was a shy kid. This music industry has been so cool for me because I’ve been able to flip the switch and turn into a character I wasn’t used to being growing up,” says Jake Miller who didn’t think he’d be here touring, making music, and living his dreams. Originally from Weston, Florida, Miller didn’t originally see himself in the entertainment industry. After high school, however, he made the decision to forgo college and pursue his dreams, citing the lack of passion for anything other than music. “I thought my whole life that I was going to go to school and get a job,” he recalls. “It wasn’t until the last few days of my high-school career that I decided I wanted to take my life in a completely different direction.”
Miller went from making rap songs in high school for fun to trying it out for real. He posted the songs on YouTube along with a few music videos, and gained a small fan base. “I don’t think there was ever that moment where one person discovered me and blew me up. It’s been a lot of stepping stones,” he says. “It’s been a lot of steps forward and a few steps back – definitely more forward than back.” His diligence earned him a recording contract with eOne Music that would eventually help bring him to the next level as an artist. After his full-length debut Us Against Them, the rapper-turned-singer then signed on with Warner Records (formerly known as Warner Bros. Records) where he spent about three years of his career.
With his tremendous vocal range with distinct instrumentation, Miller writes all of his own music and decided to learn how to mix and master his tracks, too. He cites Eminem, Kanye West, John Mayer and Charlie Puth as some of his favorite artists, and concludes that his music taste plays a big role in making him a unique artist: “I pull from everything I listen to. It’s hard to box me into one genre but I think that’s the coolest part about my sound. You don’t really hear anyone out there that’s similar to the music that I’m making,” he elaborates. As he becomes more well-rounded, Miller remains dedicated to his life as an artist, touring almost 6 months out of every year, something he’s become very accustomed to (“To me, the perfect schedule is three or four shows, then an off-day. That’s all I really need”).
When he isn’t on tour, at the gym, or hanging out with former NBA star Dwyane Wade (Miller’s favorite athlete), he spreads positivity and hope by supporting a myriad of non-profit organizations, including The Dylan Schopp Sunshine Foundation – created in the memory of Miller’s longtime friend who took his own life – that promotes public awareness of suicide prevention through community outreach, and Musicians on Call, whose aim is to bring live performances and recorded music to patients’ bedsides in healthcare facilities. “I just think it’s very important to do my part,” he explains. “It’s just my way of giving back the best that I can.”
Writer: Alain Clerine
Photographer & Videographer: Mason Kim
Photographer Assistant: Joseph Chang
Stylist: Loren Robles
Men’s Grooming: Phoebe Dawson (using Hora Skin Care)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Yuca's Restaurants (@yucasla - www.yucasla.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)