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  • Writer's picture Jae-Ha Kim

Go away with … musician Jamie Miller



Growing up in Cardiff, Wales, Jamie Miller dreamt about becoming a musician, but it’s not something he felt was possible. “You don’t really talk about things like that in Wales,” Miller, 26, said in a Zoom interview from Los Angeles, where he now lives. “So when things started to happen, it felt almost unreal.” These things included being mentored by Jennifer Hudson on “The Voice UK” (where he finished third), having one of his songs featured in a K-drama and receiving praise from the likes of Pink, Sam Smith and Kelly Clarkson. Currently promoting his new EP “The Things I Left Unsaid,” the singer is on tour as Eric Nam’s opening act. For more information about his music and tour dates, check out his website at jamiemillermusic.com.


Q: Do you write or work on new songs while you’re on the road?


A: I do sometimes. I wrote “Here’s Your Perfect” in my bedroom, but then I wrote some songs on my EP on the way to the studio and stuff like that. But I think for this tour, I’m gonna make sure I just focus on the tour and not feel like I have to write new songs. Last year, I was on tour and I was so burnt out and there were so many things going on in my personal life. I can’t really remember the tour. I know that sounds so crazy, but I was going to so many different places. And because my mindset wasn’t right, I was so depressed.


Q: How much sightseeing do you get to do on tours?


A: I haven’t had the opportunity to do stuff like that. But I did say to my team this time that I want to check out some stuff. I want to wake up in Chicago, have a coffee and then go for a run and do the show. This time around, I’m gonna have a lot more fun. I definitely want to go for a bike ride by the [lake]. I know that’s so random, but my friend lives in Chicago and she always tells me it’s so beautiful to walk and bike around the city.


Q: Who’s your friend?


A: Jennifer Hudson. She’s a native of Chicago and was my coach on “The Voice.” And then after that, she’s become just like family. She is just the nicest, loving woman that I’ve ever met and she always talks about Chicago. So I definitely want to get deep-dish pizza and then just check out the city. I know it’s going to be cold there, but I want to go for a walk and go to the beach.


Q: You just returned from the Philippines where you were accompanied by a large security detail. Do you feel safe just going out for a run by yourself?


A: Hmm, I don’t know. I definitely can in L.A. because there’s so many famous people here that no one really cares. I couldn’t in Manila. We’ll see.


Q: What was your experience like in Manila?


A: My mom called me when I was there and asked how it was and I didn’t know how to explain it. I’ve just never had that experience before because I’ve never done a headline show. I’ve been holding off to headline shows until 2024, just because I wanted to have enough music to tour on my own. I feel like I do now, so I’m looking forward to doing that next year. But that was the first trip I’ve had as a solo artist and to have that kind of response [from Filipinos] was so mind blowing. I remember everyone sitting me down and telling me, “We need to give you seven security guards when you’re walking around,” and I was so embarrassed. I felt like there’s no way I need all of that. I used to look at people who traveled with security and thought, “Oh my god, that’s so embarrassing.” And then I was in the situation.


Q: Just listening to you speak, I don’t hear much of a Welsh accent.


A: I have been in America for five years now, so I feel like I’ve developed a bit of an American accent. My mom and dad are like, “What’s happening to you?!” I’m trying to keep it!


Q: When you moved to the United States, was it like what you had imagined?


A: OK, that’s a really good question that I haven’t been asked before. I had the biggest culture shock of my life. To be honest, when I first got told that my team wanted me to move out to Los Angeles, I thought, there’s no way that I’m ever going to be able to fit into a place like this, because I’m just a normal kid from Cardiff. I grew up in a normal household. There’s nothing glitz and glam about me. For the first month, I was like, “Why did they move me? I don’t know how I’m gonna fit in.” It was August 27 and I remember my team said to just stick it out until October 1. So I had an end date when I could go back home. And then I ended up meeting my best friends in the entire world and they just showed a different side of Los Angeles to me. There’s a dark side to Los Angeles if you get in with the wrong crowd. Your experience is going to be so different than if you have the most amazing friends in the world. So I was lucky in terms of finding my people really quickly on.


Q: Where were some other places you’ve enjoyed visiting?


A: I’ve been to Spain. Barcelona is incredible. I love, love, love Paris. I went to Paris this year and did a little bit more traveling than I normally would this year because I wanted to treat myself. I love Arizona and Las Vegas. There’s a lot of the world I still want to see. I’m doing a world tour next year on my own and the major places I want to hit personally are New Zealand or Australia. I definitely want to do a hometown show in London and Cardiff.


Q: People are freaked out about major cities like Paris having huge bed bug issues. Are you concerned about this being on the road so much?


A: It’s so funny because I’ve never ever thought about bed bugs, which I probably should have, because that’s concerning.


Q: What kind of precautions do you take so you don’t get sick traveling?


A: I think for me, it’s important to get enough sleep. I always take melatonin. I don’t know if it’s really great for you, but it’s something I need if I’m in a new country that’s further ahead in time zone. I just drink a lot of water. When people ask me what I want for my rider, which is what you want in your dressing room, I never go for sugary anything. It’s normally hot tea and honey. I try to eat the best I can on the road, but it’s also really hard to eat healthy. To be honest, I did get really sick when I went to Manila. But I think it’s just because every day was like go, go, go!


Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With...” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments. (C)2023 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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