American Idol’s Angie Miller Talks New Record Weathered
We first saw Angie Miller’s impressive musical talents on American Idol, where she was a contestant in 2013. Since then the Beverly native’s life has been a whirlwind of traveling, touring, and writing music. After Idol, Miller up and moved cross-country to Los Angeles to pursue more musical opportunities, and it’s undoubtedly paid off.
After launching a very successful PledgeMusic page in August, Miller will be back in the spotlight next month with a brand-new EP titled Weathered. The EP is six-track album that she co-wrote with her producers over the past year, one of which is titled “Lost in the Sound,” a song she released in early October.
Here, Miller talks about the pursuit of creating her own music after American Idol, her upcoming show at Brighton Music Hall, and what life is like as an East Coast transplant living in Los Angeles.
In just a year and a half, your life has changed drastically. From the American Idol stage to touring in Asia, what’s been the funnest part of this rise to stardom?
American Idol was absolutely insane. It was fun but also extremely stressful. I’m thankful for it, but would never want to do it again. After Idol and having a chance to breathe, I’ve realized, Wow, my life has changed. But I’m going to live it now as best I can, and I’m going to create music. I’ll write it, and it’s going to be my voice. The best part about the last two years is being able to perform in front of my fans. I miss that! I’m so excited to sing all original music, and to do shows that are completely, 100 percent all my original music.
Back in 2013 after leaving American Idol, you mentioned you wanted to make music that has meaning and is real, something that’s not necessarily dance-party music, but doesn’t put people to sleep either. That said, what was the song-writing and producing strategy like with this vision for your music in mind?
At times it was very difficult. In the studio I had to create my sound. I didn’t know what my sound was on American Idol, and going into the studio afterward, I had to figure out what it was—what I like and what I don’t like. But I have stuck very true to that. This EP is a perfect example of the direction I want my music to go, and I think it’s different, but better than what people are expecting. I’m very proud of it, and very excited for people to hear it.
How did you come up with the title for the record?
I was reading through all the lyrics for songs that I’ve written, trying to find inspiration, and I came across a song called “Weathered.” And I thought it sounded cool, [and when] I looked up the definition, it really fit. Weathered is about being changed or seasoned by everything that happens around you, and that’s exactly what this music is a product of.
Tell me more about the song you released called “Lost in the Sound,” which you said is one of your favorites from the record. It’s pretty powerful.
It was written in the beginning of 2014, and pretty much took place at a time that was extremely stressful. I wanted to rip my hair out, I was so stressed out. So I went into the studio and told the producers: I want to write songs about how frustrated I am. The verses talk about that [experience], and the chorus talks about how I got through it by getting lost in the sound—which is my way of saying getting lost in the sound of the peace and love of Jesus Christ.
Since leaving Beverly for Los Angeles, what’s been the weirdest part about the West Coast? Was there any culture shock?
Oh yeah, it’s very different. It’s always warm, so people are always outside and super active. They eat super healthy, and I’m eating my cheeseburger in the corner like, “Oh, hello everyone who’s having sushi.” It’s also a lot harder being in a place where I don’t have a solid group of friends. That took a while to get used to, too. I didn’t have my childhood friends that I grew up with. It’s been interesting being 20, and having to make new friends all over again.
In spite of your success over the past two years, you’re still very relatable and down-to-earth. How do you keep yourself so level-headed and humble?
It’s really because I only let certain people into my life all the way. There are very few people I truly trust, but those few people I can trust with all of my heart and open up to about anything. I think that’s really important. There’s that cheesy saying, “It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.” But really, it truly is. I lost a lot of friends because of American Idol, but I realized quickly who those true friends are. Those people keep me level-headed and grounded, and I’m thankful for them.
Your show at Brighton Music Hall in Boston is next month. Any plans for your return home?
I’ll be home for a week and a half or two weeks, and the first few days are just going to be rehearsing for the show. The day before the show is Thanksgiving, and I really love Thanksgiving. I get up early and watch the whole Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and my family’s all together. But I want to make this the best CD release show ever. I’m putting my all into it.
Do you have a special set list for the show? Any covers from American Idol, or even the Christmas music you put out last year?
Of course every original song of mine, the six songs off of Weathered. And then the Christmas song I released last year called “This Christmas Song,” as well as a few covers, but none that I played on American Idol. They’re all new ones, but my fans have heard me sing them, like “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Songs like that I love to perform.
The past two years have led up to November 12, this EP. It’s kind of terrifying, but at the same time it’s exciting that for the first time in two years people will be able to hear a whole body of work that’s written by me. I’m really excited. It’s 100 percent all for the dreamers. They helped it happen.
Angie Miller’s EP Weathered is due out November 12. She’ll perform in Boston on November 28 at Brighton Music Hall, 168 Brighton Ave., Allston. Tickets on sale at ticketmaster.com.