American Idol Alum Alex Miller is gearing up to release his debut album. In talking with Music Mayhem, Miller gave some exclusive insight into the upcoming project.
For a recent high school grad, Miller has kept himself busy with his flourishing music career. Since finishing up with school he has released his debut single, played several shows and soon, he will also have his first album completed.
Among the 10 tracks that will appear on his upcoming album are the songs “I’m Done” and “Breaking The Bank.” During the interview, Miller gave Music Mayhem readers an exclusive sneak peak to both of these songs, which he co-wrote with producer Jerry Salley in Nashville.
“We did a songwriting session about two months ago, and we kinda came up with it when we were writing and it’s a fun little song. We think it’ll be a good closer for a show,” Miller said in conversation about “I’m Done.”
Although he was not crowned winner of Season 19, Miller did go home with a whole lot more experience under his belt from his time on American Idol. He quickly became a fan-favorite on the show with his kind personality and his undeniable talent. Idol judge Luke Bryan also took a liking to this contestant and after being sent home, Miller got a surprise call from Bryan letting him know that he was being offered the chance to play at the Grand Ole Opry alongside the superstar.
Those plans have not been finalized yet, but Miller is eager to take the stage and step into the historic circle soon.
“I wish it’d hurry up and get here because I’m having trouble sleeping, thinkin’ about it so much, but it’s so cool. I just try not to think about it,” Miller told Music Mayhem.
Before he heads to the Opry, Miller has a few more performances coming up and he has already had the chance to sing alongside some of his musical heroes such as Hank Williams, Jr., Josh Turner, and Shenandoah.
Miller caught up with Music Mayhem to talk about his upcoming debut album, exclusive tracks, plans to perform at the Opry, singing alongside his heroes and more.
Read on to find out more about what Miller has been up to in this exclusive Q&A below.
Hey Alex! You’ve been super busy lately, and we’ve been loving your weekly Tuesday Tunes series as well as just how much you interact with your fans throughout social media, just staying engaged with them and keeping them in the loop with everyone going on. While also graduating from high school, working on music and so many other things. Can you give us a bit of an update on what you’ve been up to since Idol?
Yeah, I’ve been working, working real hard with our social media. My dad and my mom have really been helping me with that, and I’m just tickled to death. I can’t believe that six months ago, I was, you know, feeding cattle out in the field, and now after Idol, I’m doing interviews with Music Mayhem and stuff like that. I’d have never thought I would have got to do something like this.
It’s just been like a big whirlwind for you, I’m sure. I mean, you even recently got your own day in your hometown. How does it feel to have a day named after you?
I feel like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where he’s singing his life’s been turned upside down. Well, that’s about how I feel. It’s hard to believe I have my own day. I reckon I could go out and get free ice cream from all the parlors there on the square or something. Maybe that’s how that works. That’ll work good for me.
I noticed that you’ve been pretty hard at work in the studio over the last week or so. Can you tell us about what you’ve been working on in the studio?
Oh, I sure can. So, we’re putting together an album for the folks. A lot of people want to hear some original material, and we cut about six tracks, and I’ve gotten vocals down on four of ‘em, so y’all better be watching out because Alex Miller’s gonna have him an album out before too long. I feel the songs, me and Jerry Salley, the producer of the record, we co-wrote ‘em together, and they’re really good. And I actually recorded one that Jerry co-wrote with some other folks, and I recorded one from an outside source, so we’re doing some different things, but a lot of it is original material, and I’m so excited for it. I hope y’all are ready for it.
Is the new project gonna be a full-length debut album, or is this gonna be an EP first?
So, this first one’s gonna be a 10-song album. We’re just gonna get back here in the studio in August, I‘m pretty sure is when we’re gonna be going back down. But we are, we’ve got that whole album lined out, so it’s gonna be, gonna be a full deal here.
I know that you’re working on two specific singles, “I’m Done” and “Breaking the Bank.” Can you maybe tell us a little bit about the story behind the song, “I’m Done,” and maybe even give us a little snippet of it?
Oh, I’ll give you a little snippet of it. The one “I’m Done” is one that me and Jerry actually wrote. We did a songwriting session about two months ago, and we kinda came up with it when we were writing and it’s a fun little song. We think it’ll be a good closer for a show, and you tell me whatcha think of it.
That’s a definite like jam right there. I mean, and it’s definitely a good one to end a show.
That was the whole thought process on that one. We had a fun time writing her too. It’s a mover and a groover.
So, did you go into the studio knowing, with these songs, or when you got to the studio, did you get there and start writing and working on them?
So we actually went down to Nashville about two months ago, and I got to meet the producer, Jerry Salley, and I got to co-write with him, and we kinda just updated some of the songs I had before, three or four of ‘em we did, and we wrote that one all brand new, so we’ve, that’s what we kinda did. So the songs, no, they were, we already had ‘em pretty well planned out before we got down there to record, so it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be good, so I’m looking forward to it.
The next song you have for us is “Breaking the Bank.” Can you tell us a little bit about that song? That sounds like a great title.
Oh, yes, this is a little song I wrote, oh, probably about a year and a half ago. And I brought it to Jerry, and I said, Jerry, I’d really like to put this on the album, and he said, oh, I like that, I like that. So we went down, and we co-wrote this one, and I think the folks are really gonna like it. Speaking of a jammin’ song, this is a hoppin’ little tune, so I hope y’all hop along with me, here we go.
Awesome, man. I know that previously in the past, you’ve been compared to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, with your vocals, and I know that just must be an incredible feeling to be compared to people you look up to as icons in country music. How does it feel to you to keep that traditional country music sound alive within your music? I mean those songs give us some major traditional country music vibes, and it’s definitely a pleasant thing to hear you keeping that alive because there’s not many people doing that these days.
No, there certainly is not. You know, I always, I love traditional country music, but I’ve always said, you know, it’s not really about tradition, it’s about what I like. And that’s just what I like to do, so it’s not traditional stuff, it’s good stuff to me, so I hope the folks out there enjoy it, too. I’m very, very flattered, and it’s a great honor to be compared to all them great artists, those, like you said, I mean, those are guys that I looked up to whenever I was seven or eight years old, and really enjoyed their music, and I hope folks enjoy my music just as much as people enjoy theirs.
It seems like people have been loving your music. I mean, your debut single was all over the place when you first played that one. So, on the topic of your musical heroes, You’re gearing up to play some shows alongside some of them, like Hank Williams, Jr., Josh Turner, and you even recently opened for Shenandoah.
I did, I did, oh, Marty Raybon is the best, man. He was such a nice guy. Very, very good with advice. He gave me some really good advice on moving forward with my career, and it was really, really a pleasure to meet Shenandoah and Marty Raybon, and all the guys. It was really cool.
What was it like to be singing alongside them?
Well, I know, that’s the craziest part about it to me, you know? These are guys you hear on the radio, and you’re like, those guys have made it and done it, and have been there and done that, and I’m just getting’ started, so that’s, they’ve got a lot more experience than I do, but very, very cool to meet those guys and get to open for ‘em, in my mind. It was truly an honor for me.
Let’s talk about going back to your American Idol days. I mean, during your audition, Luke Bryan invited you, like, ‘come out and play a date on the Opry.’ Have you guys secured a date for that yet, or are you still working on that?
We have not heard a date back from that. We figured, I know Luke’s going’ on tour here pretty soon, we just figured either before the tour starts or maybe even in the fall sometime. That’s kinda what we’re thinkin’, but we don’t really know for sure. We’re waitin’ to hear what Luke’s gonna say.
I mean, we can’t wait to witness that incredible debut, that’s gonna be absolutely insane, and I’m sure it will be life-changing for you.
Oh, yes, oh, yes.
I try not to think about it too much. I wish it’d hurry up and get here because I’m having trouble sleeping, thinkin’ about it so much, but it’s so cool. I just try not to think about it.
Do you have any plans on what maybe you’re gonna sing there, or maybe you’re gonna play a song alongside Luke Bryan, like one of his songs covered?
Oh, yeah, yeah. Luke’s got some really good material. I know he gets a bad rap for doing some different things, but Luke’s a really good guy, and I loved him, and meeting him was just a great honor to me, and it was great to meet somebody that successful, especially for him to sing with me, that was the coolest part of everything, doin’ a Merle [Haggard] song, that was awesome.
Yeah, that was pretty incredible. I mean, have you been in touch with Luke since the show?
We have a little bit, but you know, it’s kinda, you know, he’s a big guy, he does a lot of different things, and I haven’t really heard a lot from him, but you know, a few things and words of encouragement and stuff. It’s really been nice.
Yeah, it’s amazing how much those Idol judges support everybody, no matter who you are or how far you get in the journey of idol, they still support everyone, it seems, which is pretty amazing.
Oh, yeah, oh yeah. They were, you know, they were the nicest things, the nicest thing about the whole thing was they never said, you know, go back to Lancaster and get a paper route, or go back to Lancaster and keep selling beef cattle. They said, you know, you got a place here, kid, and that was the neatest part of the experience to me, you know, they never once said, well, you’re bad. You know, I didn’t know really what to expect going into it doing the type of music that I do. I didn’t know if that would go over well or not, but I’m very thankful it did, and I really, really appreciate Idol and all they’re doin’ for me.
So let’s end this with a fun question. If you could pick anybody to duet with in the country world, or even out of genre, like, who would you pick to write a duet with, and what would that mean to you?
It would either be Beyonce or Dolly Parton, one of the two. I don’t know which one it would be, but they’re both nice ladies, and I’d like to meet ‘em.
That would be pretty incredible. You could do a Single Ladies remix, right?
Yeah. All the Single Ladies. (Singing)
That would be great.
It would be awesome.
Like, what else is in store for you later this year?
So, I’ve got a few concerts coming up. I’ve got some comin’ up in Ohio. One is on July the 17 th for those of you listening’ in Ohio, y’all come out to the Keepin’ It Country Farm. I’ll be there at 6 o’clock. So, we got a big show coming up there, and a lot of different things. I got the Kentucky State Fair coming up. That’s on the 19th, and I’m opening for Josh Turner there. And got the Wisconsin State Fair, and that’s August the 15th, and I’m opening for none other than Bocephus, so a lot of nice things are coming up for me, and I’d appreciate it if y’all come out and saw me.
For sure. I appreciate you for taking the time to sit down and chat with us today. It’s been a blast, and we really appreciate hearing your new songs.
And we can’t wait to hear the rest of the album, I mean, it sounds like it’s gonna be a pretty big jammin’ record.
Oh, it’s gonna be a swingin’ little booger. And thank y’all so much for taking the time for me today. I really appreciate it, and hopefully, we can do this again sometime, maybe at the Opry or somethin’.