It’s said that good things come to those who wait, but when you’re the one actually waiting, it can be inevitable to feel that the light at the end of the tunnel may be out of reach.
Luckily for Miller Campbell, she kept pushing towards that light, and after years of struggles to release her music, Campbell is ready to open the flood gates and make up for lost time. With an EP release already under her belt in late 2021, the Montana-via-Seattle native is back again with a new single, “Over It,” set for release on Sunday, but we’re honored to offer an early listen!
“Over It” marries the country and rocking sounds that shaped Campbell’s love of music, and offers an empowering lyric that captures the struggles she underwent with releasing music and churns out a song that she says makes her feel like a badass each time she performs it.
Along with premiering “Over It,” we also chatted with Campbell about falling in love with music, discovering she was related to country music royalty, her plans for more new music and more!
Pro Country: You were born into a musical family and grew up classically trained and involved in musical theatre. What was it about music that connected with you so early in your life?
Miller Campbell: I just loved the storytelling aspect of music. I was always that kid putting on plays, making up songs, or generally just performing in front of my family. I have this really cringey memory of playing karaoke CDs on a boombox in my front yard and performing for passing traffic when I was a kid. Any chance for an audience I guess! And when I got to be in my first musical at 8 years-old, I really loved the idea that I was becoming this new, interesting person living in a new world. It was a small-town girl escape to a new life, if only for a little while.
PC: Your bio mentions that you organically found your way into country music. What was it about country music that drew you in? Who were some of the artists that you helped draw you in?
MC: Country music is just pure poetry and storytelling. I just love that listeners are really dissecting the lyrics and listening to the words behind the music. True country music isn’t just a three minute song with a quick hook; it’s stories of people’s actual lives and the things they’ve been through. In country music, I feel like you really get to know the artist behind the song, not just a superficial presentation. I absolutely devoured Loretta Lynn’s whole discography, front to back. I think I played her record “Fist City” so many times it broke. She was one of my first country music loves, and from her, I moved onto Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty and so on.
PC: It wasn’t until after you got immersed in the country music world that you discovered Glen Campbell is your cousin. What was it like for you to discover you were related to a singer/songwriter legend of Glen’s stature?
MC: It was amazing! The Campbell family is a large clan, and I’m one of Glen’s many cousins, which is why I never really made the connection when I was younger. It’s been really quite an honor hearing comparisons to him, and really the biggest honor has been hearing all kinds of stories on the road from folks who have worked with Glen or even just been fans over time. It has connected me even more to my family and makes me feel like I have a true purpose in country music.
PC: After college, you were recruited by the CIA before ultimately deciding to pursue a career in music. Is there a level of pressure that comes with the decision of leaving that path behind and forging a new one in the ever-uncertain music industry?
MC: Absolutely. It’s really hard to turn back on that many years of work towards a singular goal. All I wanted to do growing up was travel and see the world, and for me, that path meant studying International Relations and working in intelligence. My family was so supportive of my goal, and there definitely is a lot of pressure to not fail when I turned my back on this “other life” that I could have had. But I can’t imagine things turning out any other way. I’m grateful for all my experiences, and my education has been a real asset in my career and business.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your EP Sweet Whiskey?
MC: Terror, excitement, happiness, sadness; you can say I felt it all. I never grew up thinking I could be a musician. That was never even a career path that crossed my mind. And then all of a sudden, I’m not only a musician full time, but I’m releasing an incredibly personal album, doing this very public career which was obviously a 360 degree decision from a career in intelligence. I dove in with both feet though, and that album is truly a labor of love for me. I learned so much making it, and couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and all my mentors in the PNW music scene.
PC: It was nearly four years between the release of Sweet Whiskey and its follow up EP, Miller. How anxious were you to release a new collection of songs after having a bit of a layoff?
MC: Oh my goodness, I have been beyond ready to release new music. I unfortunately fell prey to a really horrible producer deal out of Nashville that tied up my music releases for a few years. It was a very painful, expensive lesson that I wouldn’t wish on any other independent artist. I’m just grateful that not only I was able to sustain my career full-time for those lost years, but got back all my music that I am now releasing.
PC: You’re set to release your new single, “Over It,” which we are premiering today. Why did you feel that “Over It” was the right follow up to the Miller EP and the right introduction into your next musical chapter?
MC: What better single to release after being tied up for so many years than an anthem about moving on on your own terms? “Over It” is really a song not about giving up when facing adversity, but recognizing that you can control your feelings in an impossible situation, rise above it, and move on in style.
PC: Can you take us in the writing room and talk about how “Over It” came together?
MC: This was an unexpected song that kind of came out of nowhere. I was hanging out in my cabin in Montana, in the dead of winter I remember, just beyond depressed that I couldn’t release music. I was just in a really dark period, and it seemed impossible to “get back on the horse,” so to speak. After about a month of moping around writing heartache songs, I was just over it! I didn’t care what anybody had to say, I didn’t care what I had to face, I just wanted to reclaim my own life. As they say, you can’t control other’s actions, but you can control how you react to them. I decided to finally take control, and wrote myself a pick-up anthem that makes me feel like a badass every time I sing it.
PC: “Over It,” to our ears, blends country and rock sounds. Is it at all important to you to have a certain level of sonic diversity and to pay homage to multiple influences and stylings?
MC: I wish I could say I have this really intentional style of writing, but honestly this is just my sound. I grew up between worshipping grunge in Seattle, Washington and honky-tonk two-stepping in all-ages bars in Montana. Writing fully-country, or fully-rock feels forced to me, and no matter how I try and lean one way or the other, it seems to come out in this hybrid. I feel like “Over It” really is a reflection of my personal sound, and I’m really proud of that.
PC: Along with releasing “Over It,” what are your plans for the rest of 2022 and going into 2023?
MC: My biggest plans are releasing new music. I’m planning on releasing a new track every other month following “Over It.” I’ve been dying to get these songs out for years, and my heart just cannot wait any longer! Along with that, I’ve been touring more than ever, really focusing on new markets such as Texas. I’ve been heading out there every other month, and it’s been an absolute dream. I’m just going to keep hustling, really focus on my songwriting, and make sure I stick to a path that feels completely authentic to me. The independent musician hustle is a real struggle sometimes, but it is also the most exciting journey with the most meaningful rewards.
*Feature image by Morgan Massey*