If you’re a Mac Miller fan then you know how much his music sound has changed and how he’s grown as an artist. Mac Miller said if you listen close enough, you can literally hear his emotional turbulence going on in his life:
“I’m a firm believer in my music following where I am emotionally in reality. If I’m going through it, my music will be going through it.”
Last year after Miller moved to Brooklyn he began to write about music’s favorite subject, love:
“It’s not just talking about trying to pursue a girl or talking about falling in love. It’s how it affects you and affects your life.”
He then talks about his new album which features Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak.
“I’m just balls deep in the whole creation process this time. I’ve realized I’m young as fuck. I don’t have to rush and scream to everyone, ‘Guys! I can do this!’ I would kill myself if I do the same thing for the rest of my life.”
Why an album of love songs at this point in your career?
I was doing a question-and-answer session recently and talking about not really writing depressing music anymore. I’ve tackled that emotion. I was going through what emotion I wanted to go through full-effect. I wanted to get really into love songs because I do enjoy making them. It just started as an EP idea: Just make a few love songs and call it a day. But then conceptually it just started taking a turn towards this being something real. A lot of it actually came when I had to take love away from my own life and depict what I wanted and how I saw love rather than just telling my love story. It’s deeper than that.
Love isn’t always a fairy tale.
Exactly. It’s not 10 songs about ‘I’m so in love with you!’ It’s not that. It’s that emotion and what it does to you. It’s not just talking about trying to pursue a girl or talking about falling in love. It’s how it affects you and affects your life.
From a sonic perspective, this feels like a conceptual album. It has a definite vibe and groove.
You know what it is? I really trusted myself with the executive-producing role with this album. And it was a big step forward for me to just trust myself as a musical mind. Because a lot of times in the past I’m surrounded by such incredible artists and musicians that I tend to discredit myself. In this one I was like, “Regardless of who does this or who does that or who can play piano better than me, I’m going to sit here and craft the songs and not take a second off.” We mastered it multiple times, which was the first time we ever did that. I’m in every mix session just trying to get it to sound exactly how I want to. Man, that’s the best part for me. Especially with something that has such a feeling and a narrative.
Warner Bros. are seemingly letting you follow your musical muse.
Dude! I don’t have an A&R. I don’t really need to get to know one. That’s what so beautiful about this. I’m at a company like Warner where I come at them like, “Hey, I’m making this project all about love and a lot of this needs singing and it’s very musical and it sounds nothing like anything I’ve ever done.” And they’re like, “Hell, yeah!” They’re not like, “We think you need to get in with so and so.” Not at all. They trust me. It makes it fun, man. I enjoy creating projects. I enjoy making music. This is what I like to do for fun.
When you were first coming up, did it seem there was more of a strict emphasis on spitting hot bars?
When I was 16 coming up, that’s where I was at. I was on rap forums trying to be the best rapper. Keep in mind: All these people that are pushing the bar of creativity all care about that, too. They aren’t trying to slack on bars. They just know there’s more to it. In the Nineties, you could rap for someone and if you were good enough they would sign you off that. I think a lot right now is, what music are you making? What are you doing?
You go way back with Ariana Grande: You appeared on her breakout single “The Way” and now she’s on “My Favorite Part.” It’s not as poppy a track as one might expect.
I reached out to her and said I wanted her to be a part of the album. It’s just like the whole thing with Kendrick: When you hear me and Kendrick are on a song, you think it’s gonna be Kendrick rapping. When you think me and Ariana on a song, you’re gonna think “Oh, this is like ‘The Way.’ It’s gonna be some big pop song.” But it’s not. Like I said, people are so much more capable and can do so much more than what their quote-unquote identity has them listed as. If you give her any canvas to paint on she’s going to paint a very beautiful picture. That was a song I felt like her voice would be awesome on and she killed it. She hits that Michael Jackson run and it’s like, “Oh!”
You can read the interview in full on their site here.