Heiress Takes the Crown

A look into junior Evan Michelle Miller’s Extended Play and her plans for her career

Although she has not been to Finland, Australia, Korea, Japan, Jamaica or Canada, junior Evan Michelle Miller’s voice has.

Ever since she was a young girl, Miller has been involved in musical theatre—talent shows, musical performances and even church choir. Now, at the age of 16, she has released her first Extended Play (EP) and has expectations to sign with a record label, do a worldwide tour and perhaps win a Grammy in the future.

Since Pandora and Spotify have added her first extended play, “Heiress,” to their available songs, Miller has seen her music reach thousands of people by using an app called “Tunecore.” She can physically see who buys and streams her music, and is able to access her revenue from who buys her songs on iTunes. It’s no longer about getting her family and friends to listen to her music. Nine months after the release of her album, Miller is looking to expand her fan base worldwide.

“Working hard, but having fun. Never let them hold you back. Running on my own track.” These lyrics from junior Evan Michelle Miller’s song “Shut It Down” describes her motto exactly.

“Heiress,” contains five songs (Shut it Down, 50/50, Get on the Floor, The News and Hail Mary) and took five to six months to produce and was released in January of 2014. The push to produce an EP came from trying to get record labels’ attention—she said that they really want to see original material and “see your potential with your own music.”

The months it took to produce her EP weren’t just spent recording the music; she also had to write the lyrics, obtain the rights to the lyrics and complete photo-shoots for the cover.

“There were lots of late nights in my dad’s studio, but it was really rewarding and really fun,” Miller said, since she had to write and record the music while she was still in school. “I think if you enjoy doing something, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes or how little sleep you get.”

Miller claims that writing the lyrics to her songs is not as hard as one might expect. Although she says she “can’t just throw something out there” and expect it to be good, she just needs to be “in the right frame of mind” to write a song. She tries to draw from her own life experiences, so her music can be relatable to people with similar experiences.

“I think that if more people are able to relate to the lyrics, they are more prone to download it and have it be their anthem.” However, if she is unable to pull from her own life, she tries to write about situations similar to other teenagers.

Junior Brianna Buford said, “It’s really cool that she writes her own music and doesn’t have someone else do it for her.”

Her song “Shut It Down” is one of the most popular songs in her EP. When she performed it at her birthday party in August, fellow junior Gabria Pearson commented, “She really got the crowd going, and when she sang ‘Shut It Down’ it really made me feel some type of way and made me want to bounce along with her and ‘shut it down.’”

Buford agreed with Pearson and said, “She has a very nice stage presence and didn’t seem nervous at all. She performed really well.”

Miller said she loves to get the crowd involved and that “it’s really fun when you’re at a show with people who know the lyrics and start singing along. You’re just like ‘woah’…it still catches me off guard.”

For this song, she had reached out to Courtlend, an up-and-coming rapper, asking him if he wanted to collaborate on a song with her. “Within a couple of weeks, he had his verse down and had sent it back. It was awesome,” she said. In the future, she hopes to collaborate with more artists.

“It’s really fun to work with other people because everyone gains when you collaborate on music,” Miller said.

As for her goals, she eventually wants to sign with a major record label like Capital Records or Atlantic Records to “take her career to the next level.” However, she is not in a rush to sign: “that’s probably the biggest mistake an artist can make,” she said. She wants to make sure that she has a creative license to her work, a very important aspect of her musical career.

Support from her friends and family are very strong, according to Miller. With her father’s job as a record producer, and her mother’s job as a businesswoman, Miller said she feels very lucky. This support, along with her passion, has encouraged her to continue writing music and potentially release another EP.

Already having listeners from all over the world, Miller smiled and said, “I guess we will just wait and see what happens in the future—I’m excited!”

Look for Evan Michelle Miller’s EP “Heiress” on iTunes, Pandora and Spotify.

– Charlsea Lamb