We’re back again with more great music, and another incredible artist, to join us for another Music Chat, and start the weekend off right! Today, it’s all about singer-songwriter Miles Graham. Back with a brand new single, and first release of the year; last month, Miles dropped his latest track (and first release off of his upcoming EP), Don’t Change. With a catchy bassline, and some addictive upbeat soul/funk vibes; Don’t Change channels heartbreak and sorrow into an uplifting track with a message of positivity and encouragement. With an eclectic blend of pop, soul and R&B; Miles’ vocals and style is the perfect blend of retro funk and modern pop, perfect for all your summer playlists! And if you’re anxious for more music from the talented singer; his upcoming EP, All The Right Things, is scheduled to drop in July which you can check out here. So keep on reading for the full interview with Miles Graham down below!
TSU: For those who don’t know you already; what’s the first song of yours people should listen to, to get a sense of your vibe as an artist?
MG: Well i’m hoping that this EP kinda resolves that question, If you visit my Spotify artist page you’ll notice i’ve done some Dance/House music collabs which I love doing and then there’s my own releases like ‘Let it Shine’ and ‘Save it for the one’ which are quite different to each other in production style as I recorded them with different producers. I don’t think I’ve released a song that can define me as an artist yet, that’s the exciting thing about it. Maybe it’s on the new EP 😉
TSU: Tell me a bit about when you first got started in music…
MG: I’m a late comer to the music business as such. I’ve been writing songs and melodies since a very young age but only in my early 30’s did I actually release any music. I suppose I’ve lived a normal life and wasn’t career minded really. Music has always been a huge part of my whole makeup, how I think, my daily soundtrack or playlist of melodies as I go about my day, back as far as I can remember, i’ve been creative with melody in my own head. I always have several pieces of songs floating about in my head like all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that I have to figure out where they all fit. I’ve figured out from my recent photoshoot that that’s why I always look confused 🙂
The strange thing is, i’m not happy unless I have some unsolved pieces for me to put together. I always need a song on the go.
TSU: Your new track of the year is your latest single, Don’t Change. What was the inspiration behind the track, and what was the message you wanted to get across with this release?
MG: Lyrically, the message is don’t let loss or bereavement change who you are in it’s process. It’s about keeping yourself and your values intact. It’s a tough thing to do, but even though the process comes with a lot of turmoil and emotion, anger etc , it’s important to recognise the good in each other.
TSU: On the back of Don’t Change; what have been some of the biggest changes you’ve experienced as an artist with the release of the single, and since your last release in 2018 – Live Recording at Orphan Studios – EP?
MG: In 2018, I took a break from music. I’d been working really hard but suffered a personal tragedy. I didn’t expect to be releasing music again. I ended up writing some songs to help me through the process and a friend of mine sent them to Peer Music in London. They liked the songs and before I knew it I was in a studio with Paul Herman recording them. The difference is that this is the first time I’ve had a proper label and publishing deal behind my music. These are really good people at Peer that believe in my music. I’ve never had that before and it feels like I’m part of a really good team.
TSU: You also released a live performance music video for Don’t Change. Tell me a bit about that day and that performance?
MG: I love the band, I’ve got incredible singers with Aisling and Straobh and musicians in Eoin and Conor. They’re so brilliant at what they do. We all get on really well which is very important. The music chemistry is just there. With a band, ya just want things to be easy and flowing and everybody needs to be genuinely interested in their craft and what they’re doing. We just had lots of fun in the performance on the day. I can’t wait to record more and meet with the band again. hopefully soon!
TSU: What’s your overall song-writing and creative process like? Do you have more of a structured approach, or does every track and project come with its own unique process?
MG: I love the initial buzz ya get when a tune or melody enters your head, if it’s something unique. That sets the endorphins going, the thrill that you may have created something unique. I always tend to start with melody or a couple of chords. That might develop into a lyric or maybe a riff or bass line. In the Single ‘Don’t Change’ the melody that lays under the verse was initially supposed to be a bass line or guitar line but when I sang it, It just seems right as a backing vocal line. I work hard on my lyrics, I like things to make sense to me. Sometimes this can be a tedious process, I’m a bit OSD with lyrics. they have to fit, the frazing, the attitude, the meaning. Then the scary part is letting it go out into the world.
TSU: When it comes to song-writing, are there ever any topics that are entirely off the table; or do you just go with the flow and embrace entirely what, and how, you are feeling, when you put pen to paper?
MG: On this EP, I let things develop naturally which can take a longer process. It was very personal for me so to be honest it was hard to see it through but I got there. I wrote a song called ‘Love for The People’ a couple of year ago that was more political but I tend to stay mostly away from the type of concept. I’m not politically minded but I believe in fighting for what’s fair for people. Often Folk music or gospel music can speak to me in that way.
TSU: How has your childhood influenced your work, creative drive, and artistic style; if at all?
MG: I grew up in a place called Neillstown, on a council estate in west Dublin. It was known to be a rough area. I remember having to put a different address on my CV so i’d have a chance at getting a job interview. There was a lot of intimidation in that area from gangs. I was lucky though, I had a very large family that all supported each other. I’m very proud of my family growing up. I was quite a recluse in the bunch, at times I’d stay in my room listening to old soul records or writing songs. That was my escapism, that was my happy place.. but not just in my room, in my head anywhere, walking to and from school every day. I’d look forward to walking home so I could finish a verse in my head. Even though I live in very different circumstances now I still use that method for writing.
TSU: What is the main thing you want listeners to take away, or understand, from listening to your music?
MG: Hope. I’d like to think there is some kind of watermark imprinted in the music that has hope in it. Even if the concept is dark, that they can find hope in the melody or the music. Something that uplifts them. That’s the message.
TSU: What does music, and the ability to create, mean to you?
MG: It’s exciting to me that I can create something that didn’t exist yesterday, but now it exists today, this song that i’ve created, from my imagination today. It exists! This kind of thing for me makes me feel alive, it’s like a magical power that I developed in my childhood brain :-). It makes me feel i’m making a contribution because I know how music helped me growing up, to have the ability to create it feels like a duty, a calling, a privilege.
TSU: What does the rest of 2020 hold for you as an artist?
MG: The current single ‘Don’t Change’ is out now, I’m really excited, nervous and terrified about the EP. The songs are quite personal and very diverse so maybe showing a different side to me. I’m doing lots of lockdown IG session and we have a virtual tour planned after the EP is released. I hope we can get playing live soon. I really miss the live gigs. We won’t know ourselves playing songs without a wifi delay or lag at the end of every sentence 🙂 People can follow me on Spotify for all the tour and new music info for 2020.
Such a pleasure to chat to Miles; make sure to keep up to date with him on social media; and keep an eye out for his upcoming EP dropping very soon!!