Through soft and tender vocals comes Pip Millett - the latest Northern R&B rising star who is truly a writer at heart.
In a market that’s becoming somewhat oversaturated with similarity through Instagram’s golden age, it’s only really the rare that breakthrough. That’s exactly what is happening for Pip Millett.
Hailing from Stockport, the introspective R&B singer/songwriter quietly released ‘Make Me Cry’ last year thinking nothing of it. A simplistic song at heart, but one with a deeper meaning the more you listened to each carefully crafted word sang by Pip. Within a short period of time, the song began to garner more and more streams and listens until Pip had to take notice. With 2.5 million streams to date, ‘Make Me Cry’ harkens back to an era of when songwriting was purely something that came up from the soul, and not for making radio plays. However, it’s the great songs that stand the test of time that manages to do both.
There’s an energy of innocence that came with Pip writing ‘Make Me Cry’, a song that’s really about her battle with anxiety and not a breakup song as so many think, and just putting it out into the world. However, this could be her secret weapon. Soon after, Pip was showcased on COLORS – a true marker for artists that they’re on the path they’re supposed to be on.
The 21-year-old songstress is as humble as can be – continuing to make music from her words first as she believes that that’s the most important part, and it is. Pip’s ability to welcome you into the dark wars she battles within, yet caressing you with her warm and bluesy vocals is something you either have or you don’t. Something akin to those who have come before her – Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill.
Following on the release of Pip’s debut EP ‘Do Well’ – it’s clear that this introspective artist is doing exactly what she should be, without conforming to the world around her, and doing it very well.
Check out Pip Millett as our latest Internet Crush below, and see her headline shows here.
How does it feel to have your debut EP ‘Do Well’ out in the world?
It feels good! I think now I’m more excited about doing some shows. It’s been a long time since I’ve released anything, but it now feels like I can go do a show and have a setlist [laughs]. I think with having it out, I feel more confident being able to go do a show and have a body of work to perform.
What does it feel like to have ‘Make Me Cry’ become so successful?
You know it’s kinda mad. The funny thing is that half of the people listening to it think it’s a breakup song. But it’s so far from it. I didn’t even have a boyfriend when I had written it [laughs]. It’s really nice that so many people can connect and interpret it to something they’ve been through.
It’s proper crazy to see it do what’s it doing. It was the first song I’ve ever recorded in a proper studio as well – it makes me emotional sometimes to think how my sadness turned into something so great.
What else in life feeds into your songwriting process?
My mental health is consistently inspiring my writing – even if I’m in a happy or sad mood. What’s funny though is that my best songs are written when I’m actually not going through that emotion right there and then. I have to step out of myself and look at it from the outside.
If I’m looking too inwards sometimes, then it gets a bit too dark. And it’s really helped me as well in life – that ability to look at myself from the outside and turn whatever’s going on into words. It’s nice to step back – sometimes if I’ve been in a session all day writing it just gets too sad. I’ll leave just feeling too heavy from it all.
My songwriting only ever came after my dad died – I was too young to understand it but eventually, I just started writing down what I felt and ended up filling a book with it. That was the best way for me to look at things and figure them out, and then to turn them into lyrics.
Talk to us about how COLORs came about?
They just emailed me out of the blue in January – talk about a late Christmas present [laughs]. Yeah, it was crazy. Next thing I knew I was on a morning flight to Berlin, and I hadn’t really slept just because of the adrenaline of it all.
I wouldn’t change anything about it all. People’s reactions to the video were funny. There was a lot of comments telling me to smile, or saying that I looked like I didn’t want to be there. In my head, I was just thinking ‘guys have you listened to the lyrics?’ [laughs]. It’s not a happy song, so I’m not going to convey false happiness to just please people.
I can torture myself reading comments, so I’ve just had to stop. But at the end of the day, I’ve got a COLORS video and they don’t [laughs].
What album or albums define you?
I always go back to ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. I think everyone goes back to that. It’s just forever an album that will stick with me.
I always go back to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’. It took me a while to get into Joni Mitchell – my mum used to play her all the time and I think I just didn’t understand it. Now I’m a bit older, whenever I hear her lyrics I’m just ‘Damn Joni’ [laughs]. I love ‘The Poet’ by Bobby Womack because it reminds me of my dad, and Joni reminds me of my mum. So those two albums will always be with me.
Amy Winehouse’s ‘Frank’ is just a fucking classic.
How would you describe your music to someone who may not know it yet?
Pretty chilled definitely but still very soulful. Lyrically, it can be a lot. There’s a lot of words [laughs] but there’s a lot of feeling in them. You know what, they’re so personal to me that it’s hard sometimes to think about, but I just gotta do it.
I’m just finished university in London now, so I’m a bit nervous to be finished that chapter but so excited to just throw myself fully into writing and the music.