Benjamin Joseph Edwards is Miller Blue, a producer and songwriter at home in the laid back rhythms of RnB and all the emotions and melodics of soul. The London-based creative has released a steady stream of material since 2018, with last year’s ‘Cotton’ EP compiling the best tracks into Edwards’ lengthiest project to date. His latest […]
Benjamin Joseph Edwards is Miller Blue, a producer and songwriter at home in the laid back rhythms of RnB and all the emotions and melodics of soul. The London-based creative has released a steady stream of material since 2018, with last year’s ‘Cotton’ EP compiling the best tracks into Edwards’ lengthiest project to date. His latest release, ‘Us,’ is a woozy musing on the early bliss of a new relationship, incorporating classic pop sensibilities and a mellow guitar line with echos of lo-fi slacker rock to keep things light and airy.
The Mind Map spoke to Miller Blue ahead of the track’s release to hear all about sharing deep feelings, the motivation to create, and personal growth.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
I had a period of my life during university in which I completely shut myself off from the world. I became extremely socially anxious, stayed inside all the time, and kind of spiralled into this strange delusional state; smoking weed constantly to ignore the truth of it all. It affected relationships with my friends, my partner, and most of all myself. I think I stopped believing in myself entirely. It was a very dark time for me. It was definitely a gradual process to get out of that state. Writing really helped.
I believe it was also small conscious changes overtime that helped me get out of it. Simple things like meditating, forcing myself to go outside, being honest with others when I wasn’t feeling so great and realising that it was okay. It took me a while to get my confidence back but It was a process I feel needed to happen. As confusing and difficult as this was, I’m glad it did.
What do you think affects your mental health positively?
Nature, meditating, reading, playing guitar or piano, working out, allowing myself down time without guilt if I’ve been working a lot (i.e gaming or watching something.)
Anything that allows my usual busy thinking mind to take a moment. All of these things are a gentle reminder that behind the thinking clouds, the sun always remains even if you cannot see it.
Staying indoors for too long, eating unhealthily, ignoring what tasks I have to do even if they’re simple ones. Binging on social media.
All of these things create some form of delusion in my brain, and I have a tendency to let it play out far too long which always leads to anxiety and overthinking.
What role does creativity play in your wellbeing?
It definitely attributes to it. Sometimes I hide away from doing anything creative when feeling low simply due to a lack of motivation. However, I’ve proved to myself many times – whether it be from picking up a guitar and playing, sketching something or simply writing down something I’ve imagined – that this always seems to create some kind of release. A tension that was unknown to me seems to slide, whether it be a little or a lot – it definitely helps.
What are you reading, watching and listening to at the moment?
I’m reading a few books at the moment. ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith, which so far is so wonderfully written. She’s so honest, so vulnerable. It’s inspiring. I’m really enjoying it.
I also just finished reading a book called ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck. It completely redefined how I view growth and pain. It helped me appreciate and realise my own strengths as well as the areas in which I may be more unaware or even somewhat selfish when it comes to certain relationships I have with others. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to undergo any kind of self development.
In regards to TV and film, I’ve just finished watching ‘Tiger King’ on Netflix (as I’m sure 98% of the population also have.) Gripping. I also rewatched ‘Princess Mononoke’ for the 456th time. It always reminds me of the fragile yet powerful balance that nature holds. Another must watch.
What’s your go to music if you need a boost?
Right now, two songs that never fail to make me feel good are ‘In The Morning’ by Jay Prince and ‘Crush’ by Duckwrth. They’re both very infectious.
But if I need to find clarity or make sense of what’s around me, I often go to either instrumental jazz or some form of classical music. It helps me shape what’s around me very naturally.
What are your favourite foods?
I eat avocado every morning with garlic roasted mushrooms. I am hooked.
I love any noodle based dish and get a ridiculous amount of joy from using chopsticks. It took me so long to even be able to pick something up with them. It was a proud moment when it locked in, I felt a sense of achievement.
I also eat pizza way too often. Italian food in general has a big spot in my heart.
Do you like to exercise or meditate at all?
I do! I’ve been practicing different forms of meditation since I turned 17. On and off however, but the last 6 months I have been much more active and I have definitely seen a difference in my wellbeing. It creates a lot of clarity and calm for me, especially if I do it in the morning. It sets my day off right.
Exercise for me seems to come in waves. I’ll have three months barely doing any, and then three where I’m working out and running everyday. I feel much better when doing the latter, however I often fall into a cycle of breaking habits which I’m trying to work on.
Right now, I am in the mode of doing a daily workout routine, which was ironically triggered by the lockdown. But I’ve definitely been looking after myself more recently and it feels great.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received in regards to your mental wellbeing?
This one string of words stripped back so many layers of anxiety for me. It helped me realise how much I over analyse and re-contextualise situations, creating so much unnecessary pain and worry.
How have you changed since 15, and what advice would you give to that person?
I’ve changed in so many ways – way too many to sum up!
Hopefully I keep on changing, I never want to feel like I’m done. But I think self belief and caring less about other people’s opinions sticks out to me. Growing up, I based my opinions off of the opinions of others instead of just being confident in how I felt and rolling with that. It’s so liberating when you realise that it’s okay to just be you.
We get so much social pressure put on us in schools to fit in and follow cultural protocol. This obviously varies based on where you grow up but for me this only created uncertainty in my own character, so I’m glad that has changed.
To my younger self I would say: “Wash your face more, stop caring so much about how people view you, and trust how you feel. I love you.”
Miller Blue’s latest single ‘Us’ is available now via all major digital platforms.
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