Music Editor, Dylan Bryant discusses lyricism, music and The Great Escape Festival with Pip Millett
With one of the most captivating voices in the UK R&B scene right now, Pip Millett is an artist who is establishing herself amongst the very best in the genre.
Armed with her incredible collection of songs, Pip came to The Great Escape Festival in Brighton to deliver an elegant performance that blended her immense talent with her charming and relaxed rapport with the crowd.
I had the chance to ask Pip some questions and started by asking about her latest single ‘Downright’ which serves up a beautifully honest track that takes an emotionally charged look at depression. Discussing the song writing process of the track, she explains;
“I wrote the first half of this one at home by myself, then continued working on it in a session with Eg White. This was actually my first-time meeting Eg White, who’s a great producer. We then worked with another producer Fred Cox who helped us finish it up.”
Pips honest and personal lyricism is a running theme amongst her portfolio of releases; and elaborating on her lyricism she says;
“I like to feel something when I’m writing and listening back to my music. I think that’s quite an important part of it for me.”
Pip responds “100%!” when asked; “Do you find it easier to express yourself and your emotions through music as opposed to in conversation?”. And speaking on her incredible EP ‘Motion Sick’, she 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. With this change, I have tried to find comfort in the simple things.”
‘Downright’ comes with an incredible video which Pip worked on with KC Locke. Discussing her creative relationship with him she says;
“I love working with KC! He’s a very calm person, but he’s also incredibly organised. We’re able to get stuff done with no drama. The relationship started with him reaching out to me saying he liked my music and would love to do something, which was very lucky because I really love his work!”
After seeing Pip at the Islington Assembly Hall in January, I couldn’t wait to see her at The Great Escape. Bringing polished guitar chords and soothing, effortless vocals, Pip delivered an excellent set that offered a diverse range of songs that blended her confessional lyricism with her rhythmic instrumentals and addictive beats. Speaking on the festival she says;
“It was my first time playing The Great Escape and it was really fun! It was right at the end of my European tour, so I was kind of drained, but the crowd quickly brought me back to life.”
Pip is an artist who is gaining recognition, and her ability to write critical and honest reflections on the political and social issues within the UK is refreshingly meaningful. She confesses; “Lauren Hill, Amy Winehouse, and Joni Mitchell” are some of her biggest musical influences.
A personal favourite track of mine is ‘Running (feat. Ghetts)’ which confronts Pips thoughts on society and her personal perceptions through the prism of soul. This track offers a stimulatingly blunt take on the reality of being black in the UK and the identity that comes with it. She sings; “I’m feeling pretty foggy about my feelings, about myself. Black and free, I don’t think that’s a thing no no”.
‘Ava’ also serves up as a glorious track that blends her soothing vocals with an alluring and calming instrumental.
Pips ability to write compelling songs that capture the audience was championed by her set at The Great Escape.
Pip Millett is an artist you need 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.
Another highlight of Pips live performance is fan favourite ‘Make Me Cry’. Pips delivery of the track is deep and combines the elements of her self-confessional style with an abundance of soul. The stunning guitar riff is met with 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 sung along with the personal and relatable lyrics that clearly resonated with many.
Pip Millett’s live performance at The Great Escape was able to demonstrate her talent and musical versatility. 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 undoubtable talent.
Pip Millett has grown into one of the most promising and exciting talents in the UK and I finished by asking her; “what’s next?”;
“I’m working on more music! We’re piecing together the next project as we speak and finishing up lots of great tracks!”
Pip Millett will release her debut album later in 2022 (via Sony Music), as well as playing further UK live shows.