ARTIST NAME: Jen Miller
SONG TITLE: Hometown
ALBUM TITLE: Hometown (Single)
Jen Miller is a Nashville-based independent music producer and artist born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.
A self-proclaimed “weird kid”, Miller built her growing fan base independently and organically online and on the road since 2010.
Influenced by artists like Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Prince, and Dave Matthews Band, Jen’s sound is hard to pin down, but steadfast in soul and quirky wordplay.
Miller released a single per year in 2017 after self-releasing two crowdfunded projects, “Forget the Dirty Hearts” (2012) and an album “Overgrown” (2014), both of which charted top ten in the United States pop charts.
Jen Miller has shared the stage with acts such as Twenty One Pilots, Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Young the Giant, and Shovels & Rope, and her music has been featured in the Washington Post, NPR, Women’s Health, and Modern Luxury.
Staunch human rights and feminist political activist, Miller spent years in DC and is responsible for launching Girl Gang Music — an online community and network of women and gender non-conforming folk within the music industry.
Tell us your names, country of birth, and childhood experience.
I’m Jen Miller and I was born in Columbus, Ohio. I grew up playing a lot of soccer and eating a lot of cheese and didn’t start teaching myself how to make music until I was 18.
State your academic qualification.
Well, I got a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Psychology from Wittenberg University in Ohio. I never studied any type of music.
Elaborate on your music career, band name, experience, and skills.
I got into music first by writing on a piano and an old ukulele in my parent’s house after having knee surgery.
I was depressed and feeling very bad for myself and had never really dabbled in music besides some piano lessons in third grade and immense love for listening.
Then I toured with a four-piece folk band through the summer while I was getting my Bachelors, and moved to D.C. promptly after I graduated in May 2014.
When I got to D.C., I released an album I had crowdfunded and started learning how to produce in Logic and Pro Tools for other artists.
Now I am a music producer based in Nashville, TN, about to put out a new project this summer.
Tell us your genre and idea behind your music video or song.
I think it’s indie-pop music. Love to mesh organic sounds (like the strings and ukulele in this record) with inorganic (like the drums and synths).
Tell us how to run a record label based on your experience as an artist.
Operate like a bank and enable artists to create insane visions with their work…
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
I mostly rely on word of mouth about shows and releases – so social media and gigging primarily.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Explain the story behind the song.
‘Hometown’ was about me as a young adult returning to Columbus and having a deep moment of nostalgia… reflecting on how a place feels different when you have different people who are significant to you… how memories remain in a place even when those relationships might not be strong anymore… and how that’s so often bittersweet. “If there’s a field somewhere, I’d only meet you there…”
State the names of other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director.
Jake Vicious co-produced this record.
Tell us how long you have been in the music business, your experience, and your future goal.
About five years. Just keep making new music myself and help artists explode and create the sound they want as a producer for them… that’s it.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
My strengths are in my storytelling, vocals, and my intuitive ear. My weakness is that I don’t have the music theory skills to understand what my ear is doing at times but I can communicate what I hear and use machines to make it.
List your five favorite songs including the artists.
Lauryn Hill – Everything is Everything
Dawes- Things Happen
Dolly Parton – Jolene
Atmosphere – Guns & Cigarettes
Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
Tell us your position on “Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
I think that major labels and their relationships with streaming services and distribution makes them a partner you need to take your music to the masses.
However, I think that being indie and DIY work is the way you get there and prove to them that you’re worth investing in… It’s a number’s game to them, but you ARE selling a product.
Tell us other activities you are pursuing apart from music.
I run a website called Girl Gang Music, all about women and nonbinary folks in the music industry.
List your various works.
Forget the Dirty Hearts (EP 2012)
Overgrown (Album 2014)
Blue Earth – not released, coming July 2019.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Jen Miller – it’s my government name.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
Hometown – I figured if my hometown sometimes made me sad and nostalgic sometimes that maybe other people could probably relate