News

    Jacob Miller Ponders 'Who We Are' on Debut Album

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Singer-songwriter Jacob Miller, 22, recently appeared on the Voice of America's live music show "Border Crossings" to talk about his debut album, "Who We Are." VOA's Mary Morningstar has this report.

    Jacob Miller wrote "Luck Of The Draw" after seeing 2002 news reports about more than 200 Haitians whose boat ran aground near the Florida coast. The Haitians swam to shore and ran onto a major highway leading to Miami, where they hoped to immigrate.

    Jacob grew up in Miami surrounded by music. His parents' home had a room with a piano, guitar, harmonica, and other instruments that fascinated him at an early age. After graduating from Miami's New World School of the Arts, Jacob studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston.

    Miller's songs are inspired by world events, as well as his own personal relationships and experiences. Jacob says his debut album, Who We Are, contains songs with universal themes that connect people.

    "It didn't have a concept when we went into it [the album]. But I think because a writer's work is sort of a culmination of their experiences, their style comes from that. It sort of took a shape, and had an underlying theme, which was the human condition and just people, because that's just what I'm looking at currently, and what I'm trying to be aware of."

    Jacob wrote all 12 songs on Who We Are.  When asked if he prefers performing or writing songs, Jacob says:

    "People have asked me do I consider myself more of a musician or more of a writer? I've always felt that musicians obsess about music and writers obsess about writing," he said. "I sort of just think of myself as a romantic because I just obsess about ideals. Songwriting, singing, music is just an avenue for me to obsess about ideals."

    Jacob says Miami's cultural diversity influenced his sound, which combines elements of pop, rock, reggae and Latin music. His biggest musical influences include Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Miles Davis and Leonard Cohen.

    Jacob has performed in several European countries and hopes to take his music to more parts of the world.

    "I'm definitely a travel junkie," he said. "I love seeing new things, seeing the differences but also seeing the similarities. You go to a foreign place that you had this idea of what it was going to be like, then you realize that it's actually real people. It's actually reality over there. It's not just some concept that you dreamed about."

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora