State your reason for choosing music as a career.
Music absolutely chose me more than I chose it. It seems like I did everything I could to NOT have music as my career before I couldn’t run away from fate anymore. From graduating college early after having double jaw surgery, to entering into a career in the CIA and Foreign Service, to running a national sales department, I finally realized that the only consistent passion in my life was music. Once I decided to go full-time, I’ve never looked back! Music is what makes me get out of bed in the morning, puts my day into drive, and sings me to sleep.
Tell us how you write the lyrics to your song.
I always start with a theme. I’m much more of a natural lyricist than a melodic songwriter, so I almost always write the entire song before I even pick up my guitar or sit down at the piano. The theme comes from a lot of sources, for example, it could just be a color I see or an actual experience. It’s odd what can strike you for a song! Then I usually start with the chorus or the main feeling of the song because it’s where the passion for the theme came out of, and I work the verses around that.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Tell us about your life outside the music world.
I grew up in Anacortes, WA way up north WA in the San Juan Islands. It was an amazing place where I grew my passion for theater, music, and sports (I’m an avid tennis player). Recently, I decided to call Tacoma my home and most of my time outside of music is exploring my new home!
Brief us about your music career.
On Sweet Whiskey, Seattle, WA country artist Miller Campbell has boldly declared her intent to claim a prominent place in the canon of western music. It would serve us all well to take Ms. Campbell at her word. Armed with a voice at turns clear and bright as high mountain air and round, warm, and rough in all the right places, Campbell sings with a natural assuredness usually only found in artists with decades of experience. She gets it honest.
Born into a musical family (Miller is Glen Campbell’s cousin), she grew up a classically trained musician steeped in musical theater. A statuesque natural redhead, Campbell soon grew tired of being told she was too striking for the chorus line and started singing at open mic nights while in college. “At this point, I didn’t even know my history with Glen and that side of the family. I was drawn to country music as the songwriting style was so similar to musical theater.”
With a fake I.D. and big dreams, Campbell immersed herself in the Seattle music scene. At nineteen she formed a band called Twisted Dixie and things started to go their way in a big way. “We were HOT in the Seattle scene” laughs Campbell. They played huge venues, casinos, rodeos and were soon selling out in their hometown. While writing their first LP Campbell got some unexpected news. “I learned that I had a fatal condition that demanded immediate double jaw surgery” she explains. Campbell was put on a liquid diet and wasn’t allowed to speak for eighteen months. Unsure if she’d ever be able to sing again, she focused on songwriting and her classes, graduating from the University of Washington with two degrees and honors at 21.
After graduation Campbell was recruited by the C.I.A. Two weeks before she was scheduled to deploy to Ankara, Turkey she came to the realization she just couldn’t imagine a life not suffused with music and quit. She got a sales job, and, overachiever that she is, was soon made national director. Crisscrossing the country on business, Campbell dropped in on open mics whenever she could.
Trying to find more time for music, Campbell posted an online ad. Within a week she was called in for what she thought was a backup vocalist role. Upon arriving she discovered it was for a backup guitarist position. Knowing only one cover on guitar (Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart”), she gave it her best – and got the gig. She quit her job, bought a new guitar, and spent 10 hours a day learning how to be a real player.
The tour fell through, yet the experience inspired Campbell. With the encouragement of her brother John, she struck out on her own as a solo artist. A month after she made that choice John Campbell died unexpectedly from an irregular heartbeat. “He was autistic and my absolute soul mate” relates Campbell. “He was the life and soul of the project, and the only reason I began work on this record. Without his encouragement, belief, and memory, I just can’t imagine having the courage to do this. The song “One Step” is written in his memory.”
Written in Battleground, WA and Nashville, TN, Campbell rounded up a crew of star players to help bring her vision to life, including Tim Hanseroth (Brandi Carlile), Harrison Yount (Kacey Musgraves), blues artist Amber Sweeney, and Andrew Joslyn (Macklemore). The record was recorded with producer Geoff Ott (3 Doors Down, Ra Scion) at London Bridge Studio in Seattle, WA. “It was extremely important to me to record in WA,” says Campbell. “I want to show the world what country music in the PNW is really all about!”
Campbell pulls no punches in the honesty of her art. “I hope that people get a genuine feel for who I am from this record,” she says. “It truly follows the story of my last year and a half, which I think is something a lot of modern records lack. Above all, I hope I can make a name for country music in the Northwest. We have incredible talent, and our own unique story to tell.”
Campbell and her band’s first show was in January 2017, and once again it looks like our heroine is on the way to achieving her vision. From festivals and rodeos to country bars and honky-tonks, fans are giving themselves over to an artist that writes from the heart and sings from her very soul. Take a spin with some Sweet Whiskey and you just might get swept away as well.
Elaborate on how you come about your artist’s name.
Miller is actually my mother’s maiden name! So I wanted to have both my mom’s family and my dad’s (my surname, Campbell) represented because they both are so supportive in my career.
List your five favorite music videos with reasons.
Margo Price- Hands of Time: So heartbreakingly beautiful and the simple video resonates perfectly with the lyrics
Caitlyn Smith- Starfire: This is a new artist that I am OBSESSED with! Can’t get enough of this EP, and the video is a perfect intro to her.
Beyonce- Irreplaceable: Who doesn’t watch this video and get that girl power feeling?!
Miranda Lambert -Vice: what a great anthem for her. This video really showed me another side of her art. So dark and moody.
Miller Campbell -Sweet Whiskey: Can I say myself?! I just wrapped my first music video to be released later this Spring and it’s KILLER! I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Tell us your source of inspiration.
My late brother, John Campbell, keeps me going in my career. This industry can be TOUGH, and you really have to have not only a thick skin but the undeniable drive to do this every day all day. He inspired my career, keeps me going, and reminds me daily of my talent and dreams.
Tell us your experience dealing with paparazzi.
They can be overwhelming. I think it helps that I’ve grown up in a world where paparazzi is so common, and the internet/social media has made us all so ADD; we need new content every second. I just try and remember they have a job to do, and not let it impact what I’m doing too much.
Elaborate on the A-Z process of this song.
I wanted a crazy girl song! I had dated a guy in college that I was head over heels in love with. We were crazy about each other, and it, unfortunately, turned self-destructive on both ends. So I took that experience, elaborated on it 1000% (don’t worry people, I’ve never poisoned coffee like in the song), and made my own version of Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene.” Musically, I wanted the track to have that chugging sensation like a train going off the tracks, which I think you can really hear in the guitar riffs and drumbeat.
Tell us what you have on the way for your fans.
My first music video!!! I am so thrilled about this. I recently wrapped it with the Hamer Brothers in Seattle, WA and it is unreal. I can’t wait for everyone to see my acting and really see the visual story. It’s unlike any other video I’ve seen!
I also just wrapped my first international tour through Mexico, and am currently planning my routes through California, Texas, Montana, and Washington. I’ll be coming to a city near you SOON!
List the names of those that have supported you so far.
There are so many people that have supported me! I’d like to thank my parents, my producer Geoff Ott, my executive producer Dave Rytand, my vocal producer/cowriter Amber Sweeney, my brother Scott Campbell, my AMAZING band of Joshua Kossack, Morgan Wick, and Sean Lane, and so many others. The support has been unreal from the fans in the NW, and they really keep me going (is that cliché?! I don’t care it’s true!).
Tell us your opinion on the use of auto-tune.
I personally didn’t use any auto-tune on my record at all. And personally, I really hate that severely auto-tuned voice you hear on a lot of pop records and hip-hop hooks. A lot of these people have naturally killer voices, so I’m not sure why they would warp them like that! On the other hand, I totally get that auto-tune can be amazing for some harmony singers, or even for more party/rock anthems. So while I don’t love it myself, I get there is a time or a place for it.
Tell us your opinion on quality and quantity in terms of releasing songs.
Who knows what the right route is? I’ve heard so many different ways to do it, from so many people. I personally only released one single before I released my entire EP, because the project was finished, and I couldn’t wait to share it with fans. For some people, they ONLY release singles at a time or will release new music every week. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I really have to feel 1000% confident in my track before I release, so I probably won’t go that route…
Tell us your opinion on comparing a music career to a non-music career.
Well, like I’ve said, I had a crazy path on my way to music. For me personally, there is no comparison. I LOVED my old sales jobs, and I am really passionate about Foreign Service work, but making art is the only thing that really fulfills me. I couldn’t ever go back.
Tell us your opinion on categorizing music into genres and sub-genres.
I think it’s necessary! I totally get that it can be frustrating for the artists, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a straight country act, but that’s what I get branded the most. Personally, I see my music as more, country-Americana-blues. But for marketers, booking agents, venues, and even fans, it can help to have that label so they can access your music easier! I try not to take it personally.
State the genre you hate most with reason.
I’m not really into EDM or House music. Even when it’s a party or a night out, it just really doesn’t hit my ear right. Every time I listen to those genres, and they have those killer hooks or vocal features, I just want to hear the vocalist more. I don’t like all the rest.
List your five favourite movies with reasons.
Cold Mountain- My guilty pleasure.
Funny Girl – My inspiration.
Wonder Woman – Makes me go to the gym!
Life is Beautiful – An amazing foreign film that pulls my heart every time.
The Little Mermaid – Favourite animated film that I sang CONSTANTLY growing up.
State the links to your stores and website.