Today, on Guitaa Artist Centerstage, from Richmond, Virginia, we have a marvelous Hip-Hop artist “Milo Case”. Case placed 3rd, state-wide, out of 40+ artists invited to perform at the Virginia Rap Showcase, earning a spot to compete nationally. He currently has four projects on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music / iTunes with the 4th one set to release on 20 May. The albums names are as follows:
Cultivation – 2017
Pillow Talking Weather – 2018
Fire Lily – 2019
Pillow Talking Weather 2 – 2020
The artists produce his songs so as to create a lasting impression on the audience and have steadily become the staple of the hip-hop community. So, Let’s get to know more about this incredible artist, about his challenges as a musician, and many more.
- Introduce yourself to our audience, what genre of music do you consider your work to be?
I am Milo Case or “Case” for short. I consider myself to be an alternative Hip-Hop/Rap artist, infusing some R&B and Soul elements in my music.
- What and who were your early passions and influences, What inspires you to make music?
I grew up in a household that put a big emphasis on music, specifically jazz, hip-hop, and funk. I was named after Miles Davis, so naturally, I felt connected to his artistic expression through the trumpet, paying close attention to melodies, solo cadences, and tone at an early age. I started playing the clarinet at age 7 and was classically trained through weekly private lessons for 4 years until moving to Richmond, VA. I went on to be a perennial 1st Chair All-District clarinetist while in high school. In addition to the clarinet, I played tenor sax in the Richmond Youth Jazz Guild and sousaphone (tuba) in Thomas Jefferson High School’s marching band. Music has always been a constant for me and has acted as a creative release throughout my life; especially while going through arduous technical coursework at the University of Virginia and in my current role as a solar project development associate.
On the weekends, my dad would play Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Robert Glasper, Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Erykah Badu, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and more influential artists while cooking breakfast. I started to incorporate various aspects of the formerly mentioned artists into my music, evolving my choruses or “hooks” and my flow. I take pride in my versatility which is a direct reflection of my diverse influences.
- Tell us about that one memorable performance and favorite venue which you still wish to happen again?
In August of 2019, I had the opportunity to perform my songs live with DuPont Brass at a historic venue in D.C., U Street Music Hall. This was such a cool experience as it brought my music to life, incorporating the jazz and funk elements that go back to my roots. A close childhood friend, Smeaux, is also in DuPont Brass’ band and it was so fun to perform with him. Our chemistry is impeccable.
In July of 2019, I also had the chance to open for Mos Def and Talib Kweli (Black Star). It was surreal to watch them do their thing up close and personal and get feedback and tips from the two while drinking together on their tour bus.
- Any funny Story of a fuck up during your performance where you handled that situation like nothing happened.
The show must go on! While performing an unreleased track, “Speeding,” at my Fire Lily Live Homecoming Show in Richmond last year, the beat cut out due to technical difficulties. Smeaux was able to keep the keys going and I never stopped spitting. It was a beautiful sight to witness. Multiple people came up to me after the show saying that was their favorite part. So instead of telling them it was a complete fuck up and apologizing for the situation, I went on to incorporate the same beat drop in the following shows.
- If you could collaborate with any musicians dead/alive, who would you collaborate with and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. If I’m thinking from a business/marketing perspective, I would definitely collaborate with Ty Dolla $ign. If you only know him for his features, go listen to his albums Free TC and Campaign. Dude is a beast. Not only is he one of my favorite artists because of his versatility, but he also has that viral factor where most of his features are so hard, the song becomes a hit regardless of what else occurred on the track.
If I’m thinking of network building and working with my idols, I would want to collaborate with J. Cole or Jay-Z. I listened to the two a lot throughout my developmental years of musicianship and manhood. I still don’t go a week without listening to Friday Night Lights or Reasonable Doubt. Through their music, I learned what it meant to be a rapper: content, flow, execution, vocal tone, authenticity.
- Any Tips to keep the balance between professional and music life?
No matter how private you are about your music, there will be a point in time where your professional world and your music world find out about each other or start to collide. Embrace it and make it a part of your brand. Professionally, I would like to say I’ve established myself as a rising star in the clean energy industry. I design solar arrays, build financial models, and generate proposals to large commercial clients. I stopped shying away from discussing aspects of my professional life in my music because I realized it’s me; it’s authentic, and it’s another passion of mine that I can share.
- What has been your biggest challenge as a Musician? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
My biggest challenge has been balancing my professional life and my music life. There’s a constant battle for the time between Miles Braxton – the solar project associate taking classes through Yale’s Center of Business and Environment and Milo Case – the Crown Royal sipping, blunt rolling, a rooftop partying musician who constantly puts himself in the public eye. I wouldn’t say this is something that I’ve “overcome,” but definitely something I’ve become better at managing as I’ve matured.
- What Tools and techniques you use to improve your singing/instrumental playing?
My flow and delivery have been the two biggest improvements I’ve noticed in my music for the last few years. I often listen to jazz solos from Miles Davis and John Coltrane and analyze how they’re able to compliment or “ride” the underlying beat with their solos. What sequence of notes are they using? Are they putting more emphasis on the cadence or diversity of notes within the key? Is their approach more smooth or does the solo sound really robust and have statement-making qualities? I look at elements like those and see how I can incorporate similar techniques in my verses, albeit hip-hop/rap.
- What type of Gadgets and instruments do you use while practicing?
I have Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphone. I believe J. Cole actually used the same mic while recording 2014 Forest Hills Drive. I think it’s important to listen to yourself and see what tone best suits what you want to display in your music. Practicing at various distances and angles from the mic helped me find that sound a bit more consistently.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Music is an art, and no real artist is an overnight success. Even I’m still not where I want to be musically, and I’ve had some success. Stay true to yourself, stay authentic, and work on your craft consistently. Before writing a verse or any part of a song, I think to myself, “How can I differentiate myself? What experiences have I had that I want to share with the world? How do I go about telling that story without comprising elements I want to incorporate like flow and delivery?” Asking myself questions like those going into a song helps to build my brand.
So, this was “Milo Case”. Want to know how you can follow him online? Then, check out the link below: