Alex Miller is kickin’ it with "Girl, I Know A Guy"

by Preshias Harris / 318 days ago / Comments
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‘Crazy’ times for American Idol alum on the rise with new single now and EP on the way

“Crazy” is a word that Alex Miller uses quite often. He uses it to talk about his experience becoming a fan favorite on American Idol. It’s a word he uses in a conversation about writing with some of Nashville’s biggest hit writers and opening for acts that he grew up listening to as a kid.

It might seem crazy that he’s achieving all this while still in his teens. But at age nineteen, he already has more than a decade of experience as a performer, singing and playing for audiences before he was nine years old.

Maybe it was Alex’s ‘baby face’ good looks and his height – he’s around 6’ 6” – that initially caught the attention of the Idol judges and the television viewers.  But when they heard his voice, it was apparent that this was a truly unique talent destined for a career in music.

Alex’s mist recent single “When God Made the South” continues to impact the charts, on the heels of previous releases “I’m Over You, So Get Over Me”, “Don’t Let the Barn Door Hit Ya” and “Through With You” – the latter peaking in the Top 35 of the Billboard Indicator Chart and at No. 1 on The Country Network. All three tracks were picked from his debut album, aptly titled Miller Time (Billy Jam Records). His next single title "Girl, I Know a Guy" is set for release April 21, 2023. Pre-add / pre-save here

When we got the chance to catch up during this year’s Country Radio Seminar (CRS), I asked him what he finds to be the most rewarding aspect of his career in music.

“That would have to be the reaction from the fans,” he said without hesitation. “Fans will let you know if they like something or if they don’t. ‘When God Made the South’ song is more like an anthem, a real rockin’ kind of country song so getting this song out there and getting my fans’ reaction and seeing if they liked it was important because that’s the direction I’m wanting to go.  When they liked it and streamed it and did all that good stuff, that just made me feel really good.”

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, delighting audiences as he moves effortlessly from guitar to lap steel on stage. He can also play ukulele, banjo, bass and fiddle.

“The one I haven’t really mastered is the fiddle,” he admitted.  “Either you’re ‘on’ with a fiddle or you’re ‘off’ and some days I’m on and some days I’m off.  I started taking guitar lessons when I was like six so I’ve been around music a long, long time. Once you acquire that knowledge, where chords are and stuff like that, it helps transition across everything.”

Alex has been writing with some of the most respected songwriters in the business, including Kent Blazy (Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes”), Bill Whyte and Jerry Salley.  I asked Alex about his songwriting process.

“I always go in [to a writing session] with an idea,” he told me.  I’ll bring in the hooks.  Kent’s great because he’s a lyricist so I bring in the ideas and we write the songs around that.  That’s the way I’ve always operated and it’s kinda my way of doing it. I’ll bring in melodies sometimes, I’ll bring in this, that and the other.”

Despite his youth, Alex stands by the tried-and-true songwriter tool, the hook book. 

“When I go into a songwriting session, I open my whole book up and it’s up for grabs for anybody.  I have a little notebook I write all my ideas in. Kent’s the reason I started bringing in a book because he said, ‘How are these folks gonna put your stuff in the Hall of Fame if they ain’t got no paper?’ And I thought, that’s a good idea because you can’t just send it there in an email! So I started writing everything down on paper.”

Who knows? Some of those scribbled notes and ideas could end up in a Country Music Hall of Fame display case some day! 

He has already opened for some of country music’s top acts in the last two years, including Brooks & Dunn, Hank Jr, Lee Brice, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Rhonda Vincent, Diamond Rio and many more.  I asked him about that experience.

“It’s kinda crazy for me,” said Alex, shaking his head, “Because these are guys I listened to on the radio growing up, guys I looked up to and who I wanted to be whenever I’m their age. It is crazy and I’m so humbled and honored to even be a part of their shows.  Every time I step out there, I just thank God and thank my grandaddy for making me listen to all them old records. He’d say, ‘Sing like that, boy!’”

Which led me to ask him: What’s your most precious memory since leaving American Idol? His reply was a deeply touching story.

“Me and my grandaddy, our goal was to go play the Grand Ole Opry,” he said.  “That was our goal when I was seven, eight, nine years old. He’d say, ‘You’re gonna play at the Grand Ole Opry someday. I’m gonna make that happen.’ 

“Well, there’s a thing they do there called ‘Sunday Morning Country’.  They do it at The Opry House and I got invited to do that. I did that in June of last year and my grandaddy got to come backstage at the Opry and check it out. That was the biggest thrill for me and him both. We got to sit back there, looking at all these pictures and stuff.  We were sitting there talking and he wanted to go back out in the audience and watch the show. He said, ‘I can’t watch it from back here’ so he went out in the front. 

“Little did I know that that would be the last show that he would ever make with me.  He died in July.  So he got to see me play on the Opry stage.  That man took me everywhere. I mean, he believed in me so much. It was my biggest thrill that he got to see me at the Opry. I feel that through some divine power, in some way, that his life was complete at that point because he got to see me do what he thought I was going to do the rest of my life.”

After a moment’s reflection, he added, “I still haven’t debuted on the Grand Ole Opry, but for me that was cool.”

Alex continues the journey that made his grandaddy so proud with a new single, “Girl, I Know A Guy”, an EP planned for October and a string of upcoming tour dates and appearances at State and Country Fairs over the summer. He was recently heard as a guest presenter on a one-hour show for CMR Nashville, the 24/7 European country music radio station.

His recent single “When God Made the South” topped the Hotdisc International Chart for several weeks, reached the Top Ten on the CDX True Indie chart and peaked at No. 53 on the Mediabase Activator chart.  To Alex, it still all seems “crazy”.

Find Alex Miller’s music on Spotify here.  Tour and ticket info and more about Alex at his website. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and his YouTube channel. Watch the video for “When God Made the South” here.

 

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Alex Miller Tour Dates


03/16/2024 : Ernie Eveland Gym: Paris, IL
07/12/2024 : Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater: Decatur, IL

About Preshias Harris

Preshias Harris Journalist

Preshias Harris is a music journalist who has interviewed everyone from Alabama to ZZ Top for articles and stories published in numerous music magazines. She is the author of longest-running monthly country music column in America and authored The College of Songology™ 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s ‘Need To Know’ Reference Handbook. As a music career development consultant with special emphasis on emerging and aspiring artists and songwriters, she focuses on ‘chasing the dream’ while understanding the realities of the music industry. She maintains a writers’ room on Music Row – named The Sangtuary – for her clients and their co-writers. She is a member of ASCAP (as a publisher), BMI, The Country Music Association (CMA), The Recording Academy, The National Association of Talent Directors (NATD) and a life member of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

You can find out more about Preshias at https://www.collegeofsongology.com and find her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com