Calling Out the Millertary
by Shana Bergmann
Jake Miller, 22-year-old hip-hop/pop icon, took the stage this past week at Philadelphia’s Theatre of Living Arts. Even hours before the show, his fans, who call themselves “Millertary,” adorned the streets with their camouflage outfits and signs professing their love for Miller. Good energy was flowing about and everyone in the crowd was more than ready for him to take the stage.
Jake Miller began posting his original songs to YouTube a few years ago, which is where he began his steady rise to fame. Now selling out smaller venues nationwide and signed with Warner Bros. Records, the Miami-based rapper is quickly becoming a name everyone has heard of.
Miller independently released two EP’s: 2012’s “Spotlight” and 2013’s “The Road Less Traveled,” before dropping his first full album Us Against Them in late 2013. Us Against Them sold over 33,000 copies and secured his spot as one of the biggest names in hip-hop today. Since then, he’s released Dazed and Confused, an album that marked his debut with Warner Bros. Records. And just recently, as a surprise to his fans, Miller released his EP “Rumors” the same day he announced it. He’s quite obviously a crowd pleaser.
What may be the most prominent thing about Miller is his extremely strong and consistent social media presence. With over 605,000 Twitter followers alone, he keeps his fans active by tweeting and interacting with them multiple times a day – and has over 67,000 tweets!
Miller’s relationship and love for his fans is ever-growing and even boasts about them being “the best in the world” in our recent interview with him. To show his appreciation, he is following almost 100,000 of his fans on Twitter and has favorited nearly 25,000 of their tweets. It’s reassuring to see an artist who puts copious amounts of effort into his fans, rather than having a self-entitled attitude about it.
The young star is now in the midst of his Dazed and Confused tour and will be hitting a total of twenty four venues. By the time it ends, it will have lasted a little over a month. That means that he’s performing nearly every day for over thirty days straight! It takes dedication to give it your all for such a long period of time. He’ll end the tour tired, but proud, accomplished and even better than before.
Since we hadn’t talked to him since the Jingle Ball holiday music festival back in December, we sat down with him again during his tour stop to Philly. We talked about his new EP, what inspires him, his current playlist and more before the show.
By the time the interview was over, he was just minutes from going on for his set. Typically, an interview takes place hours before. Very rarely does it happen only minutes before! With that said, it was quite simple to see the sheer excitement radiating off of him. Miller had a certain glow to him, and I couldn’t help but to smile and get excited for the show. There was absolutely no stopping him from giving his fans on the best concerts of their life.
It was nearly 9 o’clock when Jake Miller sprinted out onto the stage. One thing that stood out was the fact that he took a moment to sit in awe of what stood before him: a packed venue full of screaming girls (and a select few boys.) You could see he was so happy to be there, and in the moment it was a fantastic sight to see. He played his biggest hits, along with a cover of Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk” and a few Drake songs. He even busted out a totally impressive drum solo!
Jake Miller never lost a bit of energy, and it almost seemed as if the longer he was on stage, the more hyped he got. He really took his fan’s energy and turned it into his own. The night was a success and ended with two encores and a few teary-eyed girls in the audience.
It’s clear to see that Jake Miller, as an artist, is only getting started. Look below for our interview and some of the great things he had to say.
How are you today?
I’m good, how are you doing?
I’m good, how are you liking Philly so far?
I love it. I just got back from the game. I threw the first pitch at the Phillies game. It was a strike, so everybody’s happy.
Awesome. So let’s just get right into it. You released your brand new EP “Rumors” four days ago, talk to us a little about that.
Yeah, I just dropped a new EP. It’s called “Rumors” and it has five songs. It went straight to number one on iTunes in like, ten minutes because of how great my fans are. I just wanted to put out new music for the tour and it’s gotten a great reaction playing the new songs. Everyone is loving it.
If you had to describe it in one word, what would it be?
Hmm. It’s like, summer-ish sounding? Beachy maybe?
Yeah, summer vibes. How do you stay inspired through your hectic life?
I just get inspired by whatever I experience. Whether it’s something I see with my friends, or a night out with my friends, or talking to my fans. Just whatever I live through and go through. That’s what inspires me and what gets the wheels going in my head.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m always listening to Drake or John Mayer – and Big Sean, and artists like that.
Around what time did you know that music was going to be your career?
I started making music when I was 18, but I never saw it as a realistic goal to be where I’m at now. When I really looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Wow, I’ve really got a shot at this” is probably when I went on my first tour about two years ago. Kids were coming out from across the country and packing out rooms. I had never performed outside of Florida at that point, so going around the country and being able to bring out that many people was really eye-opening.
What are some of your favorite song lyrics?
Pretty much anything by Drake. It depends if I’m feeling swaggy, like in the gym and I want to tweet a cool Drake lyric, or if I’m on an airplane listening to John Mayer. A few of his deeper, more poetic lines really get me. I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head but “Stop this Train” by John Mayer is one of my favorite songs of all time.
Just recently, you posted an Instagram picture showcasing a few of your fans’ tattoos of your lyrics in your own handwriting. What was it like the first time you saw someone with that type of tattoo?
Oh man. I think it was my first tour and this kid, who was waiting in the snow at night, lifted up his shirt. Right on his ribcage was a huge design with my lyrics tattooed on him. I was just so blown away by it. I actually brought him on stage to show everybody because I was just so blown away – and now it’s happening all the time. Every night I’m writing out at least ten tattoos.
That’s great. So, where has been your favorite place to perform?
I love going anywhere. As long as the fans are having fun and energetic; it doesn’t really matter the size of the crowd and it doesn’t really matter the city. As long as they’re having fun, I’m able to reciprocate their energy. So as long as they’re having fun, I’m having fun.
Is there a place that you haven’t performed yet that you’d eventually like to?
I’d like to go to Europe, or something like that.
And lastly, do you have a final message for all of your fans?
Sure. Hey guys, it’s Jake. Just wanted to say – what’s up? I also want to say thank you for downloading “Rumors” and getting it to number one. I want to say if you haven’t gotten it, go on iTunes and get it. Go watch the music video. I’ve got a lot of videos coming out soon, just for you guys. Come see me on tour; get your tickets at jakemiller.com. Thank you for being the best fans in the world. I’ll see you soon.
Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 28, 2015.
Photos ©2015 Abigail Bekele. All rights reserved.