Music Editor, Dylan Bryant, reviews an incredible show from the rising R&B star Pip Millett.
*Trigger Warning – Offensive language*
Despite the freezing cold weather mixed with the post-Christmas come down, the atmosphere for this gig was incredible and Pip Millett, the Manchester R&B sensation confirmed this by saying “It sure doesn’t look like January blues in here, you all look so happy!” And all credit to her performance; the audience had a good reason to be in such high spirits.
This was my first gig back after the Christmas break and I was ready to hear some music that swapped out sleigh bells for polished guitar chords and soothing, effortless vocals. Pip Millett provided exactly this and delivered an elegant performance that blended her immense talent with her charming and relaxed rapport with her fans. With one of the most captivating voices in the UK R&B scene right now, Pip is an artist who is establishing herself amongst the very best in the genre.
Pip’s set at the Islington assembly hall offered a diverse range of songs that blended her confessional lyricism with her rhythmic instrumentals and addictive beats. ‘Running (feat. Ghetts)’ confronted Pip’s thoughts on society and her personal perceptions through the prism of soul. This great track offers a stimulatingly blunt take on the reality of being black in the UK and the identity that comes with it. “I’m feeling pretty foggy about my feelings, about myself. Black and free, I don’t think that’s a thing no no”. Pip is an artist who is growing recognition and her ability to write critical and honest reflections on the political and social issues within the UK is meaningful and offers a very personal perspective.
Pip opened the night with ‘Heavenly Mother’; a smooth and addictive groove demonstrating her effortless and rhythmic approach to her music. Pip writes with a style that is so unflinching and this track is a perfect representation of her cool and powerful approach. As Pip two-stepped around the stage, swaying her arms, the crowd embraced the music and danced along to the beat.
A personal highlight of the night was when Pip played ‘Ava’ – a glorious track that blends her soothing vocals with an alluring and calming instrumental. The song silenced the crowd with its emotional and smooth lyricism as Pip sang the touching vocals “You’ll grow through this, painful as it is, you’ve always got this shoulder, feeling lonely you come over” and “no I don’t mind you crying, and I think of all the times when, you were there for me, and you cared for me”. Pip’s ability to write compelling songs that capture the audience was championed by this song and this created a special and memorable moment. The crowd looked on in awe, some holding their friends’ hands, others holding their partners in their arms as they swayed from side to side embracing the music.
Speaking on the topic of her latest EP release, ‘Motion Sick’ Pip says – “I have often felt lost when things around me have started to change. In recent times I’ve realised I’m simply ‘Motion Sick’. My core self is still there but without change, there cannot be any growth. ‘Motion Sick’ is about the various changes in my life and with this change, I have tried to find comfort in the simple things.”
‘Hard Life’ provided an immensely soulful moment with its catchy beat and moving backing vocals. Pip touches on the themes of unresolved trauma and finding peace in growth and change and she is brutally honest in this soul-soaked track.
Pip is an artist to get on your radar as she continues to gain critical acclaim and significant praise. She has a talent that is flexible and able to appeal to both the mainstream boundaries of BBC Radio 1 and the critical appreciation from some of the most respected DJs and artists on the scene, notably, Jorja Smith has referred to her as an artistic muse.
Pip has worked with an impressive portfolio of names. For example, Joice (Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner, Stormzy) and Josh Crocker (Celeste, Kali Uchis, Gotts Street Park). It’s no surprise that with a voice that is so elegantly composed she is attracting attention from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Whilst Pip has a musical style that combines various different genres and styles; she is effortlessly comfortable whether it be soul, boom-bam or hip-hop. She writes in a way that is self-assured and confident. In ‘Fancy’ she sings the lyrics “I’m so fancy, I, I’m so sexy. Higher than before, love me a little more”. Her performance of this track combined with the lyrics as she danced around the stage and sang in her convincing and unfaltering style.
Pip closed the night with fan favourite ‘Make Me Cry’. Her performance of the track made it no surprise that her performance of it on COLORS has racked up over 4.5 million views. Pip’s delivery of the song is so deep and combines the elements of her self-confessional style with an abundance of soul. The stunning guitar riff was met with claps and the powerful vocals, “F**k you and your lies, and your last goodbyes. You’re a victim in your own game, stick it to mister no name”. The crowd clearly adored the smooth melody and sang along with the personal and relatable lyrics that clearly resonated with many.
Although her number of releases only includes a handful of EP’s and singles; Pip Millett’s live performance was able to demonstrate her talent and musical versatility. Pip is an artist who has all of the attributes of an artist who is destined to achieve big things. Equipped with a voice that is pitch-perfect whether it’s hitting the imposing high notes, or the evocative lows, there is a growing hype around this undeniable talent.
In just three years, Pip Millett, the 23-year-old R&B artist from Manchester has grown into one of the most promising and exciting talents in the UK. Listen to some of her best tracks over on The Badger Spotify.