Meet the Artist: Micki Miller

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

[About an 8 MIN read]

Micki Miller Homepage Hero
Micki Miller Homepage Hero

Meet the Artist: Micki Miller

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

[About an 8 MIN read]

Get ready for an exclusive look into the soul-stirring world of Micki Miller, a profound artist whose musical journey intertwines the rich influences of gospel and R&B. 

From her breakout in 2013 with the EP Love Letters to her vibrant and impactful endeavors both on and off the stage, Micki’s story is one of creative authenticity and artistic evolution. 

As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of her seminal project Coldest Winter at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, join us in exploring the depths of Micki’s musical heritage, her groundbreaking contributions to the indie music scene, and her inspiring role within the community through her nonprofit, the Profound Entertainment Network. 

Growing up in a household full of music and creativity, while starting drums and piano at the age of five, really contributed to the foundation of my gift of music. However, being a part of YPJ & FVC really contributed to the totality of my music make-up through access to engineering, producing, singing, songwriting, live performances, and more. My brother recorded a large amount of FVC’s music in my mom’s basement in the beginning, so as a kid, I had tangible access to the process of working on studio recordings and production. I also have vivid memories of going to the studio with my mom when I was a little girl, so I’ve always been intrigued by the art of music composition.

I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for the University of Notre Dame, so any opportunity to perform at a prestigious venue such as DPAC is an extreme honor, especially being born and raised in the city of South Bend.

I call my brother my “sensei.” Whereas I am heavily influenced by my mother and her siblings, my brother worked with me in my teenage years, at an age where I was most influenced and really in the beginning stages of learning myself musically. YPJ stretched my musical mind outside of the box with his eclectic taste and unique style of playing and producing.

The reward of working with my family is inspiration. I can honestly say that my family tries to only do or pursue what we are actually gifted at, so in a music performance setting, I genuinely leave inspired and enlightened. I think one of the biggest challenges for me growing up was understanding and recognizing how creatively impactful and influential my family was because they were my family. Sometimes you don’t realize how much more you should be watching, listening, learning, and simply paying attention to things that are within your close reach. I believe that whether it be family, friends, or mentors, “access (to greatness) is a gift,”  and sometimes we kind of miss out on teachable, inspirational, or evolvable moments because of familiarity.

Most of my favorite R&B or soul artists started in church, so I think the fusion just somewhat happened naturally once I began creating my own music. However, my mom exposed me to so many different styles of music that it was very hard for me to not creatively showcase every side of music that I fell in love with growing up.

I think I have evolved in more ways than I can honestly describe over the past four years in general, through grief, growth, and life, but I do know that I’m in a reset “season,” where things will look very different for me in the near future. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and I realize I have to adjust and reset what my music journey looks like across all boards moving forward.

Spirituality has been a huge part of my life since I was born, and although I’ve had to grow into understanding the sacredness and importance of spirituality, I believe when paired properly with music, it opens the audience to not only an experience they can see, hear, and enjoy, but an experience that they can feel and carry with them, even when they leave.

Lots and lots of arranging, pre-production, and practice.

All things YPJ & FVC were memorable. YPJ gave us so much access as teenagers and young adults to music and always gave us opportunities. From being able to perform on the same stage as Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, and so many other gospel icons, I really always had a high bar to aspire to. Ultimately making me always dream bigger, but also always making me want to be better.

I genuinely believe that music’s frequencies contribute to mind, body, and spirit, so the context of the content we consume matters more than we may consciously know.

I’m super excited to perform with FVC. Every song. It’s been so long, and the music we created with FVC is such a huge part of our childhood and the evolution of who we are musically today, so I think everyone involved is excited to be back performing with FVC.

Typically, in the past, YPJ gave us his ideas and would kind of let us run with them and create our vision with his, but for this show, YPJ gave me leeway to create the show and honestly went with whatever I decided on.

As an independent creative, I’ve been very blessed to have a supportive family every step of the way, but even with that, lack of resources has always been a huge stepping stone. There are so many opportunities I was able to pursue because there were people in my corner who really wanted to see me win and helped me, but in those moments where I didn’t have help, it was extremely hard. After super discouraging times, and as things started to look up for me, I started to consider the people doing this without a supportive network of friends and family, and I really felt a need to create an organization that can lend a helping hand to other flourishing and gifted creatives with journeys like mine. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s free gear, sometimes it’s studio time, or sometimes it’s simply words of advice or encouragement, but a little help legitimately goes a long way when you are great at what you do but doing it alone with very little resources.

Find a mentor that you trust enough to listen to and accept those not-so-pleasant truths that you probably DON’T want to hear. If you’re really gifted to do music, humility and the ability to beat that pride and ego factor of thinking you know it all really help keep you open-minded to considering ways that you can grow and be better. No matter how much success you attain, there’s always space for teachable moments.

I have spent the last four years in serious mommy mode and focusing heavily on the groundwork for Profound, so I am super excited to be finally working on my own new music and finding my footing on what that looks like after a long break. But through Profound, we are currently collaborating with a local artist named Marriani, who was featured on American Idol last year, for her debut album.

We hope you join us for Micki’s upcoming performance, as it promises to be more than just a concert; it’s a heartfelt reunion with her roots, featuring the celebrated collaboration with her brother’s gospel group, YPJ & FVC, melding the powerful worlds of gospel and R&B for a truly unforgettable experience.

Micki Miller Feature 1080x1080

April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Micki Miller

After a long hiatus, YPJ & FVC join Micki Miller for this exceptional performance, merging the worlds of gospel and R&B for a night of soulful, heartfelt music dedicated to Miller’s foundation, Profound Entertainment Network.

This event is part of the Presenting Series’ Cultural Collective, new programming supporting equitable artistic development in our community.

Made possible by a gift from Margaret Rotatori Smith. Co-sponsored by South Bend Alive. Curated by A Gammage Solutions.

Categories: Meet The Artist, News + Announcements