the first time i heard matthew’s music, i had no idea who it was; all i knew was that i was diggin’ it. his song ‘Money in the Bag‘ immediately caught my attention and was added to my soundcloud feed. i didn’t think much about who was behind the music until his tunes kept popping up in my feed and i noticed that other people were diggin’ it too. while listening to his soundcloud, i checked out his other social media accounts and quickly realized what a talented artist he truly is. matt miller is a 19 year old from hermantown, minnesota- a place you’ve probably never heard of unless you live in that area. his small-town, midwest vibes are what sets him apart from the rest. he has been making music most of his life, with his first song being released last october. his passion for creative writing and doing this all on his own, in his own way, is what drove me to want to share his story with all of you. his music is inspired by many artists of then & now which include: frank sinatra, bob dylan, the beatles, dean martin, ed sheeran, mac miller, ron pope, luke christopher, russ, quinn xcii, j cole, chance the rapper, and blackbear. not many people at his age have the bravery and the drive to follow a passion that might be unorthodox or too risky to others. his journey is relatable, inspiring, and admirable. stay tuned for his latest project- Wildnerness, which is set to be released on spotify sometime this fall.
read along to find out what this small-town minnesotan is doing to make a splash in the music making industry.
tell us about your journey.
“I guess my journey started before I can even remember. I’ve been so blessed to be able to grow up in a well structured family, with parents who truly love and support me. If I put my mind to something, they will always let me run with it. At a young age, I was always hooked on singing and everything to do with music. I would sing almost everywhere we went. I remember I would put on shows for my parents and their friends, and if anybody ever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d always tell them “A rockstar”. As time went on, I started to write funny songs that I’d sing to my middle school classes at snack time (lol). I laugh about it now, but that was really just me wanting to create and perform for people. I loved how music made me different, and still cherish that today. Freshman year of High School, I remember finding a video of Ed Sheeran singing and rapping his song “You Need Me Man, I Don’t Need You” and I was hooked. I started to obsess over his stage presence; how he could go in front of thousands of people with just his voice and guitar and silence a room. He made me learn how to play guitar, and that’s when I started to write more structured music. I started posting little snippets of songs on my Instagram and got a pretty decent response somehow. I found one of those videos on my old phone a couple weeks ago and trust me, some of them were horrible! As time went on, I saved up money to buy my first keyboard and beat pad, and that is really when I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue. My first introduction to hip hop was Mac Miller and Blue Slide Park. Me and my photographer/ life long best friend, Devin Lenz, would listen to that Album religiously, I swear I can probably rap it front to back without missing a word. From there I started to learn about composition, and how to put a song and a melody together. Songwriting is something that means so so much to me. I love sitting down and just writing, trying to tell a story. Learning to make beats and produce myself is something that I am progressively getting better at as time goes on. In this next project coming up here, I think my fans will really get to know my beat making style and message. My journey into music has definitely been unique, by I’m so ready to run with this.”
who are you?
“My name is Matthew, I’m an Indie hiphop/ pop Artist. I have a very unique sound that encompasses my midwest roots, and I love to make music.”
where are you from?
“The city of quality living, better known as Hermantown. A little hockey town just outside of Duluth, Minnesota.”
what’s your passion?
“Music. Always has been and always will be. It really is all I think about and all I have ever dreamed of doing.”
what is your purpose?
“I’m not sure I completely know my purpose yet, but God has given me enormous opportunity and talent that I’m ready to share it with the world. Music is such a great outlet for me because it all allows me to express emotion in a constructive way. Growing up, I’ve always felt very awkward and out of place in many situations, but music is a place where I feel I fit right in. I know that my purpose is to create.”
how did you discover your purpose?
“I really discovered my purpose in the past couple of years. When the end of senior year rolled around, and I had to make plans for college, there was nothing that had me really excited. I was planing on studying Business Management and minoring in music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, but I ended up bailing on that right before the school year started and going college in my hometown instead. It was ok, but it definitely wasn’t fun. I would go to class, but I was never really there mentally. I didn’t care at all about what the professors were talking about, and it was discouraging for me. All I wanted to do is run back to my dorm and bang on a piano all day. When winter came around, I put out a song called “Lost Among Translations”. The song is based from my perspective, talking about my battle with anxiety and mental illness growing up. I posted a video on Twitter of me rapping the first verse, and in a night my DM’s were flooding with people talking about how crazy it was, and how they could relate to what I had to go through. It is still my most played song on my page (even though I think the production quality on it is horrendous), but that was really when I knew I had something for the first time, and that I had a voice that could change how people felt.”
what are you most excited for?
“I’m excited for loads of stuff! I can’t wait to keep learning and progressing with music, and meeting new people and making connections! From just me, my laptop, and a mic, I’ve already been opened up to this community I never thought exists! I’m ready to absorb as much information as I can about music and the industry, and show people my full potential. I’m also very excited to be releasing my first project, “Wilderness”, this fall on Spotify! It’s something that has been a long time in the making, and I know my fans are going to really enjoy it. It is 100% made by me; produced, mixed, mastered, written, everything. Be on the lookout!”
what inspires you?
“I’m inspired greatly by nature. As hipster as that sounds, that’s what it comes down to for me. I grew up barely watching TV or playing video games, I was always outside creating something. Coming from Duluth, I’m surrounded by a lot of natural beauty that is unique to anywhere else in the world, and I treasure it. That being said, the title of my debut project is going to be called “Wilderness”, and definitely carries on the midwest vibes. So much of my time growing up has been spent out in the woods on at the lake with my friends, the wilderness is really my second home.”
what legacy do you want to leave?
“At the end of the day, I really just want to be remembered as a positive, respectful, humble person who made dope music. I want to leave behind the drive to be creative and think for yourself. I also want people stay true to who they are and stay focused on their dreams. If I would have stopped when someone told me all of this was stupid, I would have been done a very long time ago.”
what is most important to you?
“I would say Faith, Family, and Friends are truly what’s most important to me. Without them I don’t know where I would be or who would be. Music wise, my fans are the most important thing to me. Even though I am still at a small scale right now, I am determined to always put my best foot forward, and present myself in a positive way making the best music that I can.”
interview & content written by:
good vibes created by:
the desert iris team