Recalling the moment that she’d got her first iPod nano midway through Primary school, Millett’s brother setting it up for her, she says that over the years her aptitude for music only grew, with Otis Redding and Bob Marley featuring heavily across her early collection of songs. “I must’ve been in year 7, when I became obsessed with Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ and Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’.” Highlighting Staton’s tone in particular, she still has strong appreciation for “Young Hearts Run Free” to this day. “There’s this yearning for love, and yearning to be close to loved ones that I really value,” she clarifies.
Poised as a generational titan, anointed in an ethereal amalgamation of R&B and jazz, with traces of reggae, Pip Millett is every bit the artist of those who came before her, and demonstrated glimmers of her potential across singles such as “Drunk & Alone” and her formalised debut single “Make Me Cry” — the latter of which served as her inaugural, 2019 COLORS performance. Now at over five million views, ‘Make Me Cry’, the smokey, cathartic breakthrough, cushioned Pip Millett’s arrival, with her rich and tender runs guiding the way for audiences across both Manchester and the world at large.
Shortly after her informal introductions with music and songwriting-via the MP3 player, an adolescent Pip Millett, began attending bass guitar lessons and is indebted to her teacher Johnny, who helped her realise her potential as an instrumentalist. “Sometimes teachers don’t know the impact they have, they don’t realise how much they shape us,” she exclaims. Crediting the lessons as a source of her confidence as a vocalist at 14 and 15, Pip Millet says that she’s been singing ever since, recording her first song — now unreleased —in 2012.
As a 24-year-old, Pip Millett has been relentless in the ability to relate transparency on paper and in her audio-releases, and document how she navigates the world. On her second EP Lost In June, the Northern-vocalist documents her unluckiness in love, echoing that she got “caught up” in the cascading of a romance. Both harrowing, brooding, and reflexive, Pip excels with ease, radiating maturity, despite her age, able to trace her every desire and rumination.
On the inverse, Millett’s follow up Motion Sick tackles inequalities in socio-economic terrains, with Pip Millett eager to archive her emotions toward race, class and wealth across the recent five-track release. “I wanted to show how much that meant to me, my identity, where I come from, 2020 was such a heavy year for all of this and I wanted to say something,” she summarises. Partnering with Ghetts for the project’s lead-single ‘Running’, the pair tackle racial freedom, with Pip Millett’s haunting, brooding soundscape leading the way, igniting urgency. Other project records ‘Hard Life’ and ‘Sad Girls’ help to spearhead the potent central message throughout calling for accountability and justice for her peers.
“I needed to speak on my identity, especially as a mixed race woman,” she affirms. “Parts of it hurt, but other parts of it were liberating. I needed to do more than just sit and scroll though.” Referencing the teachings of Bob Marley, and in her ancestral home of Jamaica at large, Millett cites both as central influences on the honesty in her music, the willingness to lean into Blackness and the consequences of that in regions like England that are spoken about in depth on ‘Running’ — and across the project at large. It’s this sense of lucidity that renders Millett as a renaissance vocalist, able to reflect the current cultural landscape around her, having a point of view that translates both inside and outside of the studio. “What am I without my experiences,” she echoes whilst discussing the 2021 EP.
On her latest single ‘Downright’, she continues to shed more of her skin, emphasising her vivid approach to lyrical expression across the sombre, pulsating number. Detailing the dualities of depression and lingering responsibilities that heighten tensions in turbulent pastures of mental health she shares that it’s felt good to be honest about the mind. “I think it’s so important to discuss [mental health]” she begins. “Without the honesty and truth of our situations, people around you won’t be able to know what’s going on and how to help you.” The soulful number continues to position Pip Millett as a national titan, firmly part of the Gen-Z and millennial cultural zeitgeist as it pertains to self-love and overcoming generational trauma.