Jake Miller Covers BELLO Spotlight

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JAKE MILLER: STOPPING THE TRAIN

written by Brent Lambert

Photography ARTHUR GALVAO

Art Direction ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC

Styling SARA BORGESE assisted by Agnes

Grooming Rachel Burney

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Exploration — both inwards and outwards — relies on three fundamentals: a thirst for the undiscovered, the determination to chart your own course, and the steadfast ability to steer your own ship. And for musician Jake Miller, these three are running at full force right now. At 24, Jake has a brand new album entitled 2:00am in LA which gives his fans an intimate look at his personal journey over the past year. We sat down with him during his BELLO photo shoot in Los Angeles to talk about where he’s been, where he is, and where he’s going next.
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It would be easy for a young musician to ride a wave of success without a compass, but Jake Miller is by no means your average singer-songwriter. One of his biggest artistic influences and inspirations is John Mayer, whose work continuously pulls Jake towards achieving the highest level of quality and resonance in his own music. “John Mayer is my biggest musical inspiration,” he says. “John’s lyrics speak to me more than anybody else’s lyrics I’ve ever known. He’s the one constant that never ends, and he’s been in my iPod since day one. I’ve never been able to get sick of his music. I have his lyrics tattooed on my own body.”
For Jake, Mayer’s work hints at the much bigger picture. “His message to me is to just stop and enjoy the moment — don’t let life pass you by too quickly. That’s what his song ‘Stop This Train’ which is tattooed on my arm is about. It’s also about his parents getting older and how he doesn’t want them to pass away. It really speaks to me, and as a musician I only hope to write lyrics that can speak to people that same way.”
In his new album, 2:00am in LA, Jake takes us through his life and times over the past year, and in doing so we get an up-close look at his own big picture. “This has been the most emotional roller coaster of a year that I’ve had so far, regarding my career, my relationships — it’s just been a crazy, emotional year,” says Jake. “So I’ve been doing a lot of overthinking, but also meeting new people and going out — seeing what I like, what I don’t like, being single for the first time in a long time, and pretty much living by myself. I found myself a lot of the time late at night at 2am just kind of overthinking things. All these thoughts are the different thoughts or experiences that I had at 2:00am in LA. I haven’t lived here for too long so it’s all kind of new to me. There have been a lot of changes in this last year, so if you listen to the album in order it kind of tells that story.”
Jake’s own story touches on much more than music alone. His skills as an actor continue to expand, and as a new model represented by Wilhelmina International, Jake’s outer beauty is now getting as much attention as his beauty within. As he rises toward super stardom, Jake takes careful study of the career path laid by his other biggest hero. “I’ve always looked up to Justin Timberlake and the way he’s modeled his career. I would love to be selling out arenas and stadiums — that’s my first and foremost priority. I want to be a household name in the music industry and make a positive difference with my music,” he adds. “And once I do that I want to branch out and start getting serious about acting and modeling in the way that Justin has — but only after I’ve established myself as a musician.”
This path towards establishing himself as a world renowned musician takes a major leap forward on his new album, for it’s his first independent album since he finished his contract with Warner Brothers Records. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned throughout the last year was that I relied too much on my label when I was under contract,” he says. “I had thought, ‘OK cool, I have the big machine driving me and everything will be great. I can sit back and work a little less.’ But I’ve realized in the past two years that nobody is going to work harder than you. Nobody sees the vision like you do. In my head I can hear exactly what I want my next album to sound like, and I haven’t even made it yet. I know what I want all my music videos to look like and we haven’t even discussed shooting them yet.”
The fact that Jake was on set looking so buff and bronzé during his photo shoot — with photos his fans will, no doubt, be drooling over for years to come — we couldn’t help but ask him what he feels are the three sexiest traits in someone he’s smitten with. “Number one has to be their personality. You can be the hottest person in the world, but if I don’t have an emotional connection with you then it’s not going to work. A sense of humour is very important to me and very sexy. And a smile — you gotta show that smile to show that you’re happy, and if you aren’t, you’ve got to find things that make you happy.”
Jake’s own happiness has a lot to do with his incredible relationship with his family and his fans. “Outside the industry, my family and fans are my biggest inspiration, and inspire me to keep going and stay strong, even when I’m not feeling it, says Jake. “And with social media it’s so easy to get inspired because I go online and I see all these fans tweeting how much my music has helped them, or helped them get through the day.”
And every now and then when Jake needs a little pep talk to make it through his own day, there’s one person on his speed dial the most often. “My dad has always been there to teach me everything I know. Everytime I need advice I’ll call him and he’ll just give me the best advice.”
And it’s perhaps his incredible relationship with his own dad that has given Jake the most valuable lesson of all from this past year. “You can never forget who’s the captain of your own ship,” he says. “Sometimes it might look like you’re coming off a little confident or arrogant but you have to always stay true to yourself and not let anybody get in your way.”

 

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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