Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Milan Reid

Artwork for “21 Grams.” Courtesy of Milan Reid Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Milan Reid recently dropped the mysterious video for his new single “21 Grams,” named after the 19th Century discovery that the soul weighed precisely 21 grams.

The song serves as the first release from his next LP, which follows up the acoustic-based debut album ‘Closeness Over Time’ and experiments with electronic and soundscape elements this time around.

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Reid about “21 grams” and more.

Music Bugle – What directly inspired your new single “21 Grams”?

Milan Reid – The song was born out of a breakup, so in that sense, it’s pretty pop. I like to think that the lyrics add more depth and poetry to the subject, rather than being a run-of-the-mill breakup tune. The music side of it was inspired by Radiohead’s “Let Down” mostly. I liked the dreamy quality of that song.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?

Milan Reid – Social media is a tool for musicians, I think and it allows for a more personal interaction with your fans, but I do believe that you can get overly focused on that side of things and actually forget to make good music – or any music at all, for that matter.

Music Bugle – If you had to pick your own theme song, what would it be?

Milan Reid – Probably “Coffee And TV” by Blur, only because it captures melancholy, bittersweetness and dejection which -apparently – sums me up quite nicely and it’s also a lovely song. Every solo I ever play is a rip-off of that solo.

Music Bugle – What was the moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Milan Reid – There was no watershed moment for me. I grew up in a musical family where everyone posted instruments, maybe once I started writing my own songs and playing in a band that cemented my passion. At this point, I can’t remember a time when I wanted to be anything else.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Milan Reid – The last thing I listened to was Duster’s album ‘Stratosphere’ for the first time and I loved it. I hope to release something as weird and sprawling as that one day. Also listened to ‘Endtroducing….’ by DJ Shadow a lot recently and the harp player Mary Lattimore. I think she’s brilliant, someone I wish I’d got into sooner.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Milan Reid – Since Covid began, I have released an album and a single, so creatively, it seems to have been a good thing in my eyes, but it’s getting to the point where if I don’t play or attend a gig soon, my head will explode.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Milan Reid – “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor,” by Truman Capote, who wrote “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” said this and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape? 

Milan Reid – I usually either make music, or listen to music. Sometimes, I might go on a walk, or watch a film. Maybe meditate if I’m really hanging on the ragged edge. 

Music Bugle – What’s your favorite movie soundtrack?

Milan Reid – Honestly, the “Lord Of The Rings” soundtrack on its own makes me feel nice and cozy. I also love the songs on the “Lost In Translation” soundtrack. 

Music Bugle – What’s been the biggest lesson you learned in your career so far? 

Milan Reid – That you can’t please everyone. That you should only do things you feel will help in the long term and to be kind to everyone, especially fellow musicians. There is no competition. No one is listening to another artist instead of you. There’s room for everyone. Putting yourself against every band and artist is going to be exhausting and fill you with bitterness. We all succeed when our friends succeed.

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