Spotlight Interview With Sheri Miller
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
A new release from Sheri Miller gives off a soothing contemporary pop feel with touches of jazz undertones and a gorgeous voice that allures from the get go.
"Born To Love" is a passionately performed power ballad that grows into a cinematic opus as it builds and bursts into an uplifting and emotionally driven soul.
There is something about the song that lifts you up and whisks you away to another place. And it feels great to let it do just that.
The single features some beautifully orchestrated string sections and it only adds to the already impactful feel of the track.
What really grabs you is the vocals. There is so much heart and honesty in the words and singing it's addictive. It makes you pay attention and can even cause memories to flash through your head at times.
All in all, Miller performs with a gusto and realness that is clearly expressed the way it was meant to be and it is warming to say the least.
With such a wonderful release, we wanted to have a chat with Sheri to find out more of the single and of her as an artist.
RAG: Okay Sheri, let's start with "Born To Love". This track has a great singer songwriter feel and with strings giving it an almost cinematic and orchestral style. Where did this song come from?
Sheri: Thank you so much! Yes, I do love cinematic, orchestral feels and grand-sweeping
romanticism. Writing “Born To Love” was inspired, I had the concept for years, in embryonic
form. One day it flowed easily, clicking, being born fully. It sparkled and glistened with stardust, cosmic bigness captured in this tiny little song bottle; big ideas about the Universe, how we ARE actually love, we are the verb of loving. We are unconditional love, living vessels of liquid love pulsing in human bodies, in our bone and muscle biospheres.
Recording in the studio, I thought we had the "perfect" vocal after comping “Born To Love.”
The next day, after singing 5 hours, the producer asked me to sing one last take. I said "to
humor him, though thinking " there's no way we can use it, I'm too tired." So I let go, stood there singing effortlessly, easily, naturally, without trying. I got out of my own way, allowing the song to speak, my soul to speak. When I opened my eyes, thinking everyone would say it's a throwaway vocal, instead they said "that was an award-winning performance" Stunned, I listened back, and realized MAGIC had flowed, when I surrendered, letting go of getting an "amazing vocal." This live vocal became our "final vocal." I learned sometimes "magic" is better than "perfect." I trust the magic now.
RAG: I can hear a great variety of passionate styles on this song. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Sheri: I love everything from Mozart, Tchaichovsky, Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys, Queen, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Carole King, Hendrix, Springsteen, Billy Joel, Zeppelin, Stevie
Wonder, Etta James, Ray Charles, Ella Fitgerald, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington to endless more.
RAG: So, how did all of this begin for you?
Sheri: I started composing songs at age 8 on piano, fully lyrics, melodies, songs about eternal love, lost wandering tribes in desert, anthems about ‘rocking the nation.’ I was supposed to be practicing classical piano, though I couldn’t stop myself from writing. I had a monstrously large urge to compose new songs, this desire momentum was wildly strong.
While at university studying poetry and music, I began privately sculpting my own personal
songs, tucked in my tiny Philly bedroom. One Sunday afternoon, something magical and
miraculous happened to me, completely changing the trajectory of my life.
I secretly began writing lyrics, filling up yellow pads in my tiny bedroom, tape-recording
melodies and song fragments. I started taking jazz and blues piano lessons at the Jazz Music
School, about 20 blocks from my house. It was a far walk, a hassle to get there each day to
practice. I began imagining, for a period of months, how I could afford a piano in my tiny room.
I didn’t have much money or space, but the thrilling idea of practicing in my own bedroom, was born. I started having dreams about keyboards, and one Saturday night, I had a vivid, colorful, wildly ‘real’ dream about a little dark gray Casio keyboard. Sunday morning, I woke up groggy, in an extended, surreal, dream-like state.
I gathered my books, heading to the downtown library. I usually walked 20 blocks down
Walnut Street, a fast, direct route. This Sunday, for some strange reason, I felt a strong impulse to take the more scenic route; to enjoy floating down Locust Walk, shaded with lush, green trees. It was a longer, winding path.
So it happened that Sunday, I passed a one-day Church Sale, overflowing with outdoor tables selling used goods for the Church Drive. To my amazement, I saw the exact dark gray Casio keyboard I dreamt of the night before! My jaw dropped. I pinched myself to make sure I
wasn’t accidentally dreaming. I wasn’t- it was there! I asked the lady if she had a power supply, to test the Casio worked. She dug up a large Nintendo power adapter, and with buzzing, the keyboard powered on! I could barely believe this keyboard had materialized into reality, after I’d dreamt it for so many months! I asked the lady how much it cost? “$20,” she said. “Can you hold it for me for 10 minutes, while I run to the ATM across the street?,” I asked. I quickly bought the little buzzing Casio for $20.
From that day on, I seriously started writing songs on that sweet, broken-keyed Casio, and
never looked back. It felt like a divine, invisible hand had beautifully, gently pushed me
forward, with a wink and smile. Literally and poetically, upon me taking the more scenic
winding path, I was surprised and delighted to be led to a newfound artistic path in my life.
Since then, I believe coincidences are just visible lines in our destiny. This gem of a Casio
keyboard was a miracle- my first little music miracle.
RAG: What are you performing on this track besides vocals?
Sheri: “Born To Love” I play acoustic guitar, singing that live 1-take magic lead vocal, and sing harmony background vocals. There are some tight complex harmonies in the bridge, for any audiophiles out here, interested in sonic minutae! (I’m fascinated by stuff like this. It was a joy to create!)
RAG: Do you write songs with lyrics first or does it come to you by melodies? How does it work for you?
Sheri: I don’t have a set method of writing songs- total freedom for me. Sometimes music poursout first, sometimes words are calling to be heard. I play more than work. I allow the song to guide me. I’m the driver steering the wheel right or left, though the song is the GPS, the download with gentle, loving directions and vast all-knowing knowledge. I follow this guidance, as the vehicle, to receive the song.
RAG: What do you think may be next for you as an artist?
Sheri: I’m happy to be releasing this EP/record ‘Waking Up To This Miracle Life’ November 19. I’ve been composing my finest songs yet, feeling inspired, for next few records. I’ve been loving the flow of creation for these new songs.
RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Sherri: When I’m not working on music, you’ll see a slow blur of me taking a run in lush nature,
swimming, gazing at a sunset, smelling a fragrant rose, eating something outrageously delicious to excite my expanding, sophisticated palate (truffles, craft chocolates, cheese, more cheese, did I mention cheese?), traveling to countries that grow my adventure tastebuds, meditating, calibrating and uplifting my energy with my spiritual practices, writing poetry, petting someone’s gorgeous dog or pet, doing my best to spread joy or good feelings somewhere, with an uplifting word or thought, with each soul I encounter.
RAG: Who are you listening to right now?
Sheri: I’m listening to Coldplay now, and their latest masterpiece “Coloratura.”
RAG: Did you perform a lot before the pandemic hit? Do you think you might be planning any live performances anytime soon?
Sherri: Yes, I performed a ton before the pandemic. I eagerly, positively anticipate live performances are coming soon! My concert ship is sailing into the harbor – keep your telescope out!
RAG: What kind of things really inspire you to write?
Sheri: I’m inspired by little moments of magic- an eager puppy bursting with life, running through the streets- simply thrilled to be alive. The hero’s and heroine’s journey- how we each survive, thrive, evolve, living more fully, moving towards joyful moments. How 2 people in love are deeply intertwined- their gazes their arm enveloping one another, in a Universe of love all their own. I believe everything is love, the Universe, God, a larger energy at work; all the passion, happiness, fun, enthusiasm and joy we feel are prisms of light rainbows illuminating, reflecting the infinite gorgeous facets of this galaxy, and the galaxy that galaxy nests in. Endless prism of love and joy.
RAG: What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?
Sheri: I’d advise an up and coming artist-
1. Believe in yourself. You can do it. If you were given this idea, this passion for your
music, art or creation, not only is your success, joy and fun possible – it’s inevitable!
You can do it! Trust yourself.
2. Have fun along the way. The destination is the excuse! Enjoying all these moments
in time, when you’re “not there” but still happy, savoring the next passage
adventure, discovering the next clue, on this adventurous journey, is the WHOLE
POINT. There is no end destination. You never get there. It’s never done. You’re
eternal. My new mantra “you never get it done, you might as well have fun.”
3. Whatever creatively sparks you- do lots of it! Practicing, writing, daydreaming,
playing, performing. You’re flowing God Energy and Life Force when you create with
your art! The real pleasure in feeling that wonderful feeling, in your creative
process- is THE POINT! The whole point!
4. Never give up on your dream. It’s impossible to give up on a dream. Be easy about
it. You can give up the resistance of contradictory thoughts and “making it happen”
but the dream will always be alive for you. So give into it. Take pleasure in it!
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?
Sheri: To fans of my music, thank you for your enthusiasm, love and passion. You mean so much to me, and I deeply appreciate you. I am blessed when you listen. My wish is my songs awaken you a little more to your soul, to your own magnificence and brilliance.