Inspired by beats
Rarely are MTV True Life and Western Washington University used in the same sentence. Western senior Kevin Miller, a musician and music producer, recently got the opportunity to have one of his music beats air on the popular MTV show.
This past December, Miller received a phone call from MTV telling him that one of his music beats had been chosen to be background music on the MTV show “True Life,” a documentary series on various types of people.
“That was a turning point for me,” Miller said. “Just the amount of love I got from that pushed me to want to continue because it’s hard doing this thing. It’s one of those things where sometimes you want to give up, but you got to keep going.”
The last time The Western Front spoke to Miller in 2013, the then-sophomore was working on his musical endeavour the “Konscious Movement”. The movement was created to use his past experiences with being bullied to help others through music.
Today, Miller is completing his senior year as a communications major while still pursuing music. Instead, he is focusing more on the music production business and beat creating, he said. He is stepping away from his Konscious Movement name and is preferring to just be called his name, Kevin Miller.
Miller had had other music successes during his career before, but in terms of music production he hadn’t had any major successes until that point, Miller said.
The episode featuring Miller’s beat aired on Dec.16, 2015. Since then, Miller has submitted more music to an artist he works with exclusively, who pitches Miller’s beats to shows, Miller said.
Although it’s a long process for the beats to get pitched out to be used, Miller is continuing to make new music pitch and network for more opportunities to come his way.
At 16 years old Miller fell in love with hip-hop, and saw a void in the messages and transparency of the human experience through the lyrics. Miller describes his music as open and honest.
“I’ve been making music since I was 11. I was a band geek,” Miller said. ” I got into beat making and production and songwriting when I was 16.”
Millers music has transformed from lyrics to beats over recent years but he continues to improve upon it.
In Miller’s music career, he collaborates with other artists including a Bothell music producer. Producer Josh Landis and Miller have collaborated on creating songs, and at the same time learned from each other from their musical talents.
The two met after Miller released his first album “Inspire to Inspire,” Landis said. Many people contacted Landis from collaborate to feature and work together, including Miller, Landis said. Together the two created a song called “Star”, featuring lyrics and beats from both artists.
“He sent me some beats and asked me to feature on a track with him,” Landis said. “That was when i really found my sound was on that song with Kevin.”
A typical recording session just starts with a sound they both agree on and sing and come up with lyrics, Landis said. Miller focuses more on the drums and beat of the song and Landis takes over the lyrics, Landis said.
”Part of working with Kevin is that I’ve learned how to simplify everything,” Landis said. “‘Star’ was where I really got that down.”
Simplifying music for Landis means not over complicating the sounds, and if it doesn’t add anything to the music than take it out in order to clean up the sound, Landis said.
Currently, Miller’s online music production business, All Approach, is his main focus. Miller used what he’s learned at Western as a communications major for consulting and marketing, and his musical production talent to create his startup company. All Approach recently formed Feb. 21, 2016, Miller said. People will be able to lease music from him and help people connect to musical opportunities like he has had.
Miller’s business mentor Andrew Max, has been witness to Miller’s hard work and success. Max is the father of Miller’s childhood best friend, from there, Miller and Max have formed a business relationship. Max has been able to give Miller advice for his startup company through mentoring and guidance, Max said.
Recently, Max helped Miller brainstorm the name of Miller’s production company as well as register the business with the state, Max said.
“He really has a lot of drive and a lot of desire to move forward,” Max said. “He is exceptionally good at listening, staying humble and accepting guidance and advice. That’s a trait that’s not common in someone that is looking to be an entrepreneur.”
Miller’s recent endeavours into the business side of the music industry are just beginning. When looking into the future, Miller predicts he will be collaborating with artists through his website and help them with their music careers.
Check out Kevin Miller’s music
Main Website: www.AllApproach.com