US dark-pop darling B. Miles is about to release her second single, “Shaking Hands”. We meet the singer to learn about her musical take on fables.
B. Miles has an air of the romantic about her. Having cut her teeth on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, it’s easy to imagine her trekking down the City of Angels’ pavements, palm tree silhouettes behind her, to some old bar to perform in a dark faded room. It’s part of this old-world glamour that attracts you to her, she’s not all blow-dries and ball-gowns to look at, but in B. Miles’ voice, there’s a hint of old-soul emotional aches within the pop and R&B production.
“Shaking Hands” is the newest single from the singer and her second release yet. Opening with a dark, understated beat, it quickly blooms with vocal decorations. It’s got more attitude than her debut, “Nine Matches”, a softer and ethereal demonstration of B. Miles’ talents. We quizzed B. on her writing style and releases so far while she sweetly shouts out her sister.
What’s your first memory of music?
There are these home videos of me as a little baby listening to classical music. I would just lay there kind of vibing to the music but also kind of just zoning out. So I vividly remember that, but I did learn that my sister was a fantastic ballet dancer. Also I would like to take a second and give a shout out to my sister who just became a newlywed. It’s pretty cool.
Did you ever consider doing anything else?
Well I’m an Uber driver right now and things are going very well in that department. So maybe one day I’ll own my own taxi company or something.
How do you go about writing music, what inspires you? Do you prefer to share personal experiences or observe?
I’ve noticed that in the same way that comedians point at things and proceed to commentate on that, I do the opposite and point at myself and zoom in on those individual feelings such as the question of “why”.
Do you prefer writing music or performing?
Well, I’m kind of still new to the performing game. I’ve kind of always been a studio girl, but now with everything taking off the way it has been, I’m performing a lot more. It’s kind of nice to feel those butterflies before hitting the stage, and I really don’t feel those anymore in the studio. So, I’ll say performing.
Where do you think this resurgence of dark pop has come from, with the likes of Lana Del Rey and London Grammar sharing your genre? What drew you to the style?
I think I was drawn to that style just because it really evokes how I’m feeling internally the majority of the time. My songwriting partner, Eric Nizgretsky, does a great job of being able to tell what mood I’m in and the songs he starts writing for me usually evoke those feelings. Also Lana is just beautiful to look at, so I’m more inclined to listen to her music because of that.
“Nine Matches” was released as your debut earlier this year, how long had you been waiting to release that single to the world?
I think Eric and I were working on that song for about a year before it came out. I was just grateful that I was able to release it and people loved it.
And your second, “Shaking Hands”, is on its way, you describe it as a twisted version of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ can you explain that for us?
I just love that fable. I remember discussing it with Eric and we both loved it and ran with it. Now we have “Shaking Hands”.
You’ve learnt your craft in Miami and LA, do you think either location has had an effect on your style?
I’m a huge believer that location affects creativity, and both of those locations has had a huge effect on my style. There is a ton of New York all over my new songs.
When can we look forward to an album or EP?
Well I just recorded 3 songs in New York and I think those will be released as singles. I do know that Eric has been writing a ton of songs and they are written as an ode to an R&B version of James Bond. I don’t know maybe that will turn into my first ever album or EP.