Singer, songwriter and producer Jake Miller wanted to take his time working on his fourth album, Silver Lining II, but this probably wasn’t quite what he had in mind. The 28-year-old, who’s been making music for a decade, toured with Fifth Harmony and opened for Mac Miller, took the handful of singles he’d already released over the past year and wrote 10 more songs. The album is an expansive 21 songs long that spans two years of his life.
Miller said he recognizes his growth as a musician and songwriter even listening through Silver Lining II, and that growth provided the confidence to experiment.
“Every time I sit down to write an album, I can automatically start to see the difference between now and the previous time,” Miller said. For this album “I was singing, I was rapping, I was trying lots of different things.”
He also has tour on the books starting mid-September and concluding at Popscene in San Francisco two months later. Like most musicians, the prospect of shows is a tantalizing proposition for Jake Miller, even if it’s still coupled with a splash of uncertainty. He hopes fans are willing to venture into the tightly packed, sweaty clubs he’s accustomed to playing.
“I’m every emotion possible,” he said. “I’m extremely excited, but I’m also pretty nervous; I’m not gonna lie.”
During the pandemic, Miller moved from L.A. back home to Miami to be closer to his parents.
“As it crazy as it sounds, it was honestly one of the greatest things that we could have asked for,” he said. “It was a blessing in disguise to be able to back under the same roof with my sister and my parents for the first time since we were in high school.”
Miller wrote most of the album’s newer tracks alone in his room, as many friends and collaborators weren’t yet comfortable with working close quarters indoors. He tried a few video calls with collaborators but couldn’t fall into a rhythm with anyone, or replicate the same energy or spontaneity of friends jamming together in a room. Eventually some close friends joined him in the studio to help. He broke up the monotony of sameness by going on walks.
“There was never really a time during this pandemic where it was seven days straight in the studio,” he said.
Once Jake Miller gets back on stage, he may also have a few new fans to play for along the way. At the height of the pandemic, he became an unsuspecting TikTok star, racking up hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views and likes. Uninitiated in the world of TikTok, Miller said his sister talked him into joining the platform while staying with her and their parents for six months. She has a background in film and had the inspiration of getting the whole family involved.
“She told me to write funny little 30-second songs and she’d direct the videos,” he said. “We had fun with it and put our parents in them. To start, a lot of them were about being bored at home and stuck in the house.” The “Quarantunes” series became an instant hit.
“The first one did pretty well, got a couple thousand views. The second one got seven million!” Miller said.
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.