When you first meet Alex Miller, you’re taken aback by two things: his stature and his maturity. Standing at 6 feet and 6 inches tall, Miller carries himself with a maturity far beyond his 18 years of life.
During an interview with Music Mayhem, Miller shared memories from his journey on Season 19 of American Idol, details about his current single “Through With You,” and what fans can expect on his upcoming album, Miller Time.
“I was 17 when I initially auditioned, and I talked to my mom a little bit before I auditioned about what I was gonna do when I got out of school,” Miller said. “And she said, ‘You know son, we figured you’d to go to college.’ And I said, ‘No, mom, I ain’t going to college. I’m gonna go play some music.’ She said, ‘You know, that’s awful hard to get into.’ And I said, ‘Yes, I know, that’s what I want to do.’ I made my mind up and we kinda got into it a little bit, to be honest with you, but she said, ‘Well, son, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll just sign you up for American Idol and we’ll see how that goes for you.'”
That was the beginning of Miller’s journey to American Idol. He started with an audition via Zoom in October 2019 and producers kept sending him up to the next levels of the audition process until the head producers invited him to San Diego, California.
Miller performed an original song called “I’m Over You, So Get Over Me” in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Luke Bryan loved his performance so much that he jumped up to sing a duet with Miller of Merle Haggard’s song “Big City.” Bryan even offered to help get Miller booked to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. “I think I can make a call at some point,” Bryan said with a smile.
Miller had earned a ticket to Hollywood and was grateful for the encouragement of all the judges. “Getting to meet all the judges was super cool. They were saying so many encouraging things to me and telling me that I, you know, belong basically. I needed that at that point in my life. It was nice to hear from folks as successful as they are.”
One moment that didn’t make it on air was during an interview with Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, who asked Miller, “When did you discover you were a country boy, Alex?” Miller replied, “I guess I discovered I was a country boy when I discovered my love of corn bread.” Seacrest asked what kind of cornbread was it, if it was the sweet kind and Miller replied, “No, the Jiffy kind!”
When Miller’s journey on American Idol ended, he left with some sage advice from the judges that is helping him continue his music career. “They said that they wanted me to go home and try to look into myself a little bit and write some more really personal things,” said Miller.
That was the catalyst for Miller’s new single, “Through With You,” which he wrote with Jerry Salley.
“I was sitting in the stairwell at our house and I started playing guitar and I’d come up with that melody for the song. I thought, man, that’s a really good melody, it needs some really good words to go with it too. I really got to soul-searching, I guess you could say. And the words started flowing out. It’s like you’re channeling something.”
Miller performed part of the song during a Facebook Live session, which caught the attention of songwriter Jerry Salley. The next day, the pair met up to finish writing the rest of the song.
Now, Miller is set to release his debut album, Miller Time, which is due out this spring. It’s not lost on him how fast everything has happened.
“A year ago, I was feeding cows,” Miller reminisced. “It’s hard for me to really grasp how far I’ve come in that short amount of time.”
The album will include a variety of styles that he hopes will speak to everyone. Miller co-wrote five of the tracks on the album and five outside cuts. Miller is especially excited about a patriotic song they found, called “Boys in Uniform,” written by Jimmy McBride.
“It’s something for everybody,” said Miller. “If you like really modern country music, I think there are some songs that’ll suit you really well. And you like the oldies, I guarantee you, there’s one that’ll suit you. If you’re a devout Christian, there’s a good little gospel number on there.”
Miller will be performing on the road this spring and summer, including a show with Brooks and Dunn in Des Moines, Iowa on August 12.
“That’s going to be a heck of a show!” exclaimed Miller. “I can’t thank those guys enough for having me out to open up for them.”
For more information, visit alexmillercountry.com.