Jake Miller: Celebrating an ally

Jake Miller
Music artist Jake Miller seen here in a photo by Derrick Freske

Jake Miller is a must hear artist on the rise

It’s not enough to celebrate our LGBT brothers and sisters during Pride month. It is equally important to celebrate our allies. One talented ally recently showed up to celebrate with us. He reminds us to be ourselves, to celebrate ourselves, and to keep going. His name? Jake Miller. His body? A total 10. His voice? Stunning.

Music artist Jake Miller
Jake Miller seen here in a photo by Derrick Freske

Entertainment Weekly recently called you the “must hear artist on the rise.” Can you tell us what you’re working on?

Jake Miller: I just came out with a new album! It’s called Based on a True Story. I’ve been working on becoming a better songwriter, producer. Most of the songs you hear, I’m writing all the lyrics, I’m producing all the beats, I’m just trying to level up every day, to learn and become the best artist I can be. I think I just put out my best project yet and I’m very proud of it. We’re on tour right now promoting it and playing the whole EP every night as well as all the old songs.

You’ve mentioned quality relationships in life versus quantity in previous interviews. Tell me how you manage friends, family, and dating with your tour schedule.

JM: Managing my friends and family isn’t hard while on tour; they’re the reason that I do this in a very hard industry where there are a lot of ups and downs. So, it’s never a challenge to balance them because they’re always my priority. They’re the ones that are going to keep me level headed, and just remind me always of what’s important and guide me on this whole journey. I think that’s the reason that I became as successful as I have. Not because I’m the most talented person in the world, but because I stay grounded. I keep a really great team around me and I think that’s really the most important thing. I talk to my parents every day, all the time. And it’s like, you know, that’s the kind of motivation I need and that’s the kind of love that I need shown to me in order to keep going. That makes me happy and motivated.

The way that you describe your journey reminds me of having a faith journey. Does having a higher power or faith in what’s to come help you?

JM: Definitely. I’m not the most religious person in the world, but I believe in Karma. You know, I believe in God, I talk to Him every night. I say my prayers every night. But I really believe that if you give back and you’re a good person, good things will happen to you. This is not to say that you should only be a good person so that you get that Karma back. There are many more reasons to do that. But I do think that that’s a reason that that’s why great things happen to you. Whether it’s people who you have loved having passed away, who are now up there watching over you and kind of pulling strings for you. That’s kinda how I see it. I think they make sure that you’re guided in the right direction as long as you keep doing the right thing.

Your music is reminiscent of many iconic artists, certainly with a flavor that seems uniquely Jake Miller. What artists are some of your inspirations?

Music artist Jake Miller
Music artist Jake Miller in a photo by Derrick Freske

JM: My favorite artists are John Mayer and 1975. In terms of hip hop, I like J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Pack. My dad had me growing up on the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett. It depends on what mood I’m in. I have like 20 different play lists that I turned on depending on what mood I’m in. I just really appreciate music. You know, Frank Sinatra, Al Green, Jazz … I just love music.

In the beginning of your journey you took a risk and bought a grand piano. Is that true?

JM: Yes, within the last year and a half. I have no idea how to play it, but it’s inspiration to me. And I knew if I bought it and put it in my room; I would be inspired to learn how to play. I also have a saxophone now that I’ve never played, but I know I’m going to learn it at some point. That’s just kind of my thing. I like to take risks and just, you know, kind of do things that are a little wild to inspire myself to learn.

That’s certainly a risk! So your music videos, let’s talk about those. They’re sexy and attractive, using unique color, style and light. How would you say that your videos reflect your character and personality?

JM: Very colorful! I think that how I’m feeling these days. I’m feeling just very energetic and it’s a lot going on in the video, a lot of different things. It’s kind of abstract and I think that that’s kind of the next step in my music career. I wanted it to be a little artsy, I wanted it to be a little bit more mature. There’s no storyline, it is just a bunch of weird visuals to look at. It goes along really well with the music because “Wait for You” as a song is very dynamic and has very different parts in it. It feels like multiple songs in one. Altogether, it kind of feels like a cool art piece or something like that. It’s very cool. We’re very proud of it.

Music artist Jake Miller
Music artist Jake Miller in a photo by Derrick Freske

I was really impressed by it. It’s very good! What do you hope your music and work as a musician does for the LGBT community specifically?

JM: I hope my music can help people realize that they can be whoever they want to be, and they don’t have to hide anything from the world. I hope I can help people be brave enough to realize that it’s okay to be exactly who they are. In 2019, it’s very important to be yourself and to be transparent. That’s when other people will connect with you, you’ll have a light that people will be attracted to because other people will say, “Oh wow, he’s completely himself, I want to be like that.” I just want to help people to be brave and proud of who they are.

You had a recent performance in Asbury Park. Asbury is the Jersey beachside hub for our community. Can you tell us about that performance and a little bit about what your Based on a True Story album represents for you?

JM: I love Asbury Park. New Jersey fans are always so supportive. Based on a True Story is really just an album of a bunch of things that have happened to me over the last three years. A lot of thoughts and experiences that I go through on an everyday basis, and that’s why I named it Based on a True Story because everything is real. Everything is straight from my heart. Every lyric is right from my brain and I’m playing on the keys, I’m playing all the instruments and it’s all real. It’s all based on a true story. It goes back to what we were saying. Things only work when you are 100% yourself, and when you’re not hiding anything. That’s what I take into my music as well.



Johnny Walsh is Out In Jersey’s special features editor. He is a pianist, writer, and entrepreneur who has performed in over 20 states and two countries. Johnny is passionate about human rights, creativity, and the arts, and longs for the sentiment of social justice to flow through his writing.