Beyond the Record
Music news, album reviews & interviews
Beyond the Record: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about you are, where you're from and how long you have been interested in music for.
WM: Hey you guys! My name is Walter Miller. I’m eighteen years old and was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. I’ve pretty much been listening to music for as long as I can remember.
BtR: At what point did you actively pursue a career in music? When did you start singing?
WM: So the first time I ever sang was when I was five years old for a kindergarten talent show, and I remember falling in love with performing in front of an audience. While I was in a bunch of musicals growing up, it wasn’t until middle school that I realized what I really wanted was to be an artist on the radio.
BtR: You're very young. Are there any challenges associated with being as young as you are and trying to pursue a career in music?
WM: Now that I’m eighteen, hopefully this won’t be as big of an issue, but mainly when I was younger, there were some adults that wouldn’t take me seriously whenever I would be singing songs with more mature themes and content, thinking that it wasn’t believable. What was funny was a lot of these “serious songs” I had written myself, so whether it was believable or not didn’t really matter since I was writing about actual things going on in my life. When Aaliyah said “age ain’t nothing but a number” she wasn’t lying!
BtR: Do you feel as though your childhood played a role in your artistic outreach?
WM: Definitely! Growing up, singing wasn’t the most popular thing at my school. Everyone was super into sports, so I kind of was doing my own thing and learned how to be independent at a very young age. I would spend a lot of my free time listening to any music I could get my hands on and reading up on different singers and performers’ careers and artistry.
BtR: How many instruments do you play and which is your favorite?
WM: Besides singing, I play piano and guitar. While I think the guitar is an easier instrument to get the hang of, I’d much rather play piano. One reason is because I’ve been playing it longer and am more comfortable on it, but also I find it easier to capture the vibe of a song while playing it. I also think it’s more fun to play to a crowd with a piano.
BtR: Where do you see yourself in five years?
WM: Hopefully having had some success in the music world! Fingers crossed that I’ll have another album out and may possibly be touring! I also would love to get more involved in acting on either TV or in film.
BtR: How exactly would you define your creations? What genre are they associated to?
WM: I hope this album and my music can function as a voice for my generation to give some idea of our thoughts, feelings, and the type of real world stuff we go through every day. So many of my friends and people I knew seemed like they had everything together on the surface, but underneath it all, they were going through the same stuff and that so many people our age are going through, and are just too scared to speak up about it. They’re mainly associated with Pop and R&B. I’ve always loved the mass appeal of Pop and how it seems to bring together such a wide range of people. I also feel such a strong connection with R&B music for the honesty and vulnerability usually shown within the lyrics and the instrumentation.
BtR: What makes you stand out from others within your genre?
WM: While I grew up loving many artists dubbed as “teen singers,” I never felt like they really sang about how it really felt to be at this age or that I could relate to their music very much. While there are many songs on the radio about falling in love and dealing with heartbreak, it’s usually sung by people that are twice our age. I feel like many teenagers would like to know how other people their age think and feel about similar struggles that they’re facing. I feel that my album provides a certain amount of honesty that will hopefully appeal to a wide variety of people, and will hopefully become the style of music that finds its way onto the radio airwaves.
BtR: Sort of along the same lines, but what makes you so unique?
WM: I think my voice will surprise a lot of people. I’m not that big or tall of a person, and I feel like a lot of people don’t expect my voice to be so big and loud. Also, my voice is kind of high for a guy!
BtR: If you could change anything about the current music industry, what would you change?
WM: I feel like so many singers my age that have so much talent are reduced to singing kind of mindless pop songs with no real substance. I really admire artists such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Taylor Swift that I feel have pushed for a higher level of lyricism and song quality and brought it to the forefront of pop music. Also, I hate how much of a factor age is when people my age listen to music. Anytime I ask a friend if they’ve heard a song by a veteran singer or performer, the first question they’ll ask is “Aren’t they fifty or something?” I just feel like age has nothing to do with the quality of a song, and that a lot of people my age are missing out on some good music just because an artist isn’t as young as they used to be.
BtR What is the next move for you and where can we find your music?
WM: I’m mainly focusing on building a bigger presence on social media before I release my album so that it has a better chance of reaching a larger audience. I’ve worked really hard on it and am trying to make sure that it doesn’t just fall into the catacombs of iTunes. I’m also getting ready to shoot a couple of music videos for the songs that I’ve picked out as singles and am preparing myself to do a whole lot of promo! You can find my music on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, and many other online sites, as well as on my website, www.waltermillerofficial.com!