Los Angeles-based musician John Miller has been making waves in the music industry with his unique blend of alternative and pop sounds. With a background as a violinist and a passion for incorporating diverse musical elements into his songs, Miller’s journey as an artist blends evolution with creative exploration.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Miller began his musical journey playing the violin. He had anticipated that his path would lead him to become an orchestral violinist, but his family’s move to California opened new doors. It was in California that Miller’s musical direction took a different turn, thanks in part to his father’s influence.
“I have to credit my dad a lot for showing me a lot of older songs and giving me a different perspective on music,” he says. “I’m really grateful because I feel like that shaped my music.”
Miller’s musical journey continued in college, where he studied musical theater. However, he found himself drawn to other genres of music, like pop and alternative. This shift marked a rebellion of sorts against the traditional musical theater compositions he had encountered. Miller wanted to create music that resonated with listeners on a deeper level and left a lasting impression.
“I really enjoy musicals and their storytelling. But the thing is, a lot of them weren’t written in a hook-driven way,” he says. “I decided that I’m going to dive even deeper into writing these songs and make sure they have a damn hook.”
Inspiration for Miller’s music comes from everyday experiences, especially in relationships. He finds that channeling emotions into his songwriting allow him to capture poignant moments authentically.
“You don’t always want to dive into emotions right away, whether they’re happy or sad,” he says. “When it comes to writing music, it’s almost like suppressing emotions and then letting them come out in really emotional bursts.”
Miller’s melodies often come to him spontaneously, with his voice memos capturing snippets of potential hooks. He then fleshes out the songs on his guitar, ensuring that the flow and structure align harmoniously.
“The melodies just kind of come into my head,” he says. “I go on a lot of walks to find the words. Sometimes I just keep walking around until I’m like, wait, where am I?”
When finishing a song, Miller’s process can vary greatly. Some pieces have taken him as little as ten minutes to complete, while others have required more time and refinement. Nevertheless, he strives to maintain an open-ended approach, where he can make tweaks and adjustments while ensuring that his creations see the light of day.
Miller’s upcoming album is set for release in May, featuring a selection of meticulously crafted songs. While his musical style is often described as alternative, with pop influences, Miller continually pushes the boundaries and explores new sounds. The album showcases his guitar-driven performances, featuring a band that complements his vocals and songwriting abilities.
As for the future, Miller aspires to include his violin skills in his music one day, blending the classical instrument with his unique pop sensibilities. He envisions a fusion of styles that will add an extra layer of depth and emotion to his compositions, creating a sonic experience that is both captivating and innovative.
“I would love to incorporate the violin into my music because it’s something people aren’t expecting you to do,” he says. “But you don’t want to throw the violin in. It has to fit with the song.”
Reflecting on his musical journey, Miller’s desire to connect with his audience on a personal level is evident. He aims to deliver a message of hope and resilience, exploring both the ups and downs of life.
“I’ve always been a fan of the light at the end of the tunnel kind of message,” he says. “When encapsulating a whole album, I think you can talk about all the awful stuff, all the crazy stuff, all the heartbreak stuff, but then end it with what life at the end of the tunnel will look like.”