INTERVIEW: M1liter speaks on positive energy, living in Perth & the impact of J Hus on him
We spoke with M1liter about his initial hesitations with recording music, his plans to drop a mixtape in the near future, and his overall excitement for what’s to come. He tells us about maintaining a motivated mindset and the power of self-belief.
Hailing from Perth, M1liter is a gracious and focused rapper making UK drill inspired music. “My music journey started straight after finishing high school,” he says. “Staying at home more and just having that free time to really explore music with friends and family and listening to all kinds of genres.”
M1liter says he started out just playing around with making music as a hobby with his friends, just having fun freestyling and writing lyrics. He developed an interest in the formula of creating a track. “The beats are what really fascinated me with music, how it’s engineered and the way the beat can make a track good or bad. It makes a big difference,” he says.
He ended up going to a studio after a few of his friends urged him to give it a shot. “They saw something in me that I didn’t even really think about. I went to the studio with one of my close friends from school who already made music at the time and we vibed and created a track together and I went on from there really.”
At first, M1liter was reluctant about being in a studio and recording music, making excuses to not do it. “Until I started to do research on the artists around my city and the country and took little steps to get comfortable. I first started recording at home in my room and sending snippets of different tracks to my friends and getting their reactions.”
Around the time M1liter transitioned into recording at a professional studio, he lost his driver’s licence. “Mentally, it wasn’t the best time. It was tough but I thought if I was to really get into music, I had to stop making excuses and not let negativity get in the way of what I wanted. I would have no hope until I started believing in myself and it really turned quickly for me with the self-belief.”
The young artist pushed himself closer to his goals by maintaining the mindset of ‘if they can do it, why can’t I?’. “It was when I started working in a whole different genre on a track with another artist when I was determined enough to actually feel like I can make it and now there’s no going back to being comfortable.”
M1liter’s music is dominantly inspired by UK drill, but he says he likes to blend different flavours of sounds into his songs as well. “I’ve always been a fan of the UK music scene. My love started off with the UK grime scene really, which plays a bit of a part in my taste of music today, but it’s come a long way since then. I can’t say I’m just into that one genre because I’m an artist who loves to dip my feet in new genres. I want to be versatile with my creativity in music, to really give it a try and see what I can create. I also like Afro beats which I listen to here and there and is a big scene I really want to get into eventually.”
M1liter currently has three songs in his public discography, but he shares with us that he has a mixtape in the works which he hopes will demonstrate the artist he is and the music he can make. “I’m focusing and doing my research now on the business side of things with music and taking little steps, working with fellow artists around my city and overseas, to make sure that M1liter is put out there for people to vibe to. I really want to see what the future holds.”
Once his repertoire of music has expanded, M1liter plans to start doing live gigs. “As my catalogue gets bigger and better, the performances will be coming in and I really can’t wait to get out there and vibe with my fans, friends and family and turn up.”
M1liter explains that his stage name was derived from a freestyle by British rapper J Hus. “In the freestyle he says “uju militer”. I knew about his past when he was practising black magic and he stopped making music. It really affected him bad and one day he tweeted “If I lie then I’m a faker…Black Mans Magic, Juju J is back, now it’s ‘uju Militér”. When I saw that tweet, I had this feeling he defeated an inner demon, and it meant so much to him. I was happy for J Hus to come back and drop his album.
“Before this happened, I was already thinking of making a YouTube channel creating challenges and reaction videos to different music videos, and I realised the name ‘militer’ usually comes to my mind any time I feel like I’ve lost myself or I’m not heading towards my goals. I want to be militant to myself and be aggressive with myself to achieve what I want to and succeed.”
M1liter names his top three artists, starting with his “number one and always number one” Skepta, followed by The Notorious B.I.G. and D Block-Europe. Despite his rapper idols being international, he recognises the phenomenal talent coming out of Australia with focused admiration for Perth. “Being in Perth, especially right now, is a blessing which I don’t really think any artist should take for granted. Knowing we’re expanding as a city with popping artists with massive talent, we don’t get as much recognition as the eastern states, but we need to come together and work on showing the rest of the world why we deserve to be recognised for the work we’ve done.”
Words by @livdaangel