Marie Miller’s “Letterbox” Gives A Glimpse Into Her Life [INTERVIEW] BC ARTIST PROFILE: MARIE MILLER
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Marie Graciela Miller is a singer-songwriter signed to Curb Records who has achieved success with her catchy, folk-pop melodies. Her 2013 single “You’re Not Alone” charted at #1 on Billboard’s Christian Hot AC/CHR chart, she had a song featured on the hit show Dancing With the Stars when James Maslow and Peta Murgroyd danced to “6’2” and she’s toured with some big names like The Backstreet Boys, Andy Grammar and Plain White T’s … and let’s not forget to add that she also sang for The Pope back in 2015 at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia.
With a new album set to be released later this month, we were able to catch up with her at SXSW and talk to her about it.
How did you get your start in the music business?
I actually got started when I was really little. I played bluegrass music with my family. Yeah, I started at 12 years old performing at little festivals and churches and stuff and I just loved it. I always have loved being on stage.
Were your parents professional musicians?
My dad was for a while. He mainly played in California in the Bay area.
Does your family still live in California?
I live in Nashville … some of the time … and my family lives in Virginia out in the woods. I just love living out in the country, so I go home a lot.
It sounds like you got your feet wet real early with music. It must have really shaped the way you play and write today, huh?
Yeah, totally. So even though my music is pop, you know … it’s folk pop … so the bluegrass music I grew up playing, there’s definitely an influence there. Also, a lot of the singers my family listened to way back when… al the covers we used to do … there’s a lot of influence there…
So, growing up I was such a nerd … I watched all these old movies so I learned a lot of standards. Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James … Then I started listening to the new grass, Alison Krauss and … the classic folk artists. I love the Eagles. It’s all over the place (laughs)
What projects are you working on right now? I understand that you’ve got an album in the pipeline.
Yeah. It’s super exciting, my album Letterbox is coming out April 28. It’s already up for pre-order which is so, so exciting. It’s been in the works for 3 years, so I’m psyched about that.
What can we expect from your album? Is there a theme or a concept that you focused on for it?
Yeah. Totally. It’s called Letterbox because the songs are basically letters to people. As artists, when we can’t say what we want to say to someone, we tend to [write] a song about it, and [let] the whole world [know about it]
Basically, all of the songs are things that I’ve wanted tosay to […] someone and I just couldn’t do it… So, I wrote a song about it. This album [is] my letterbox. My letters to people. It’s crazy relational.
It sounds like a really personal album.
It is. Every song is something that is really true to me. Yeah, there’s no music in a vacuum for this album.
Is there any particular song that’s particularly emotional for you?
I think all of them are kind of emotional. There are a few of them that are special to me, but the one called “Angeline” is very meaningful. It’s a song about a best friend I had growing up. We were in a close knit group and as I went to do music, and they went to do their own thing, we lost touch. It’s all about the feelings involved when you have to “let go”. There’s also a song called “Glitter Gold” which is about people in your life that have an addiction and how that struggle will always break your heart.
And that’s based on a personal story?
Yeah, so everything’s… yeah, you’ll cry.
Guaranteed tears. You heard it here first.
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Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.