[PREMIERE + Q&A] Miggy Milla Reflects on Toxic Relationships in ‘Remains of U’

Photo Credit: Amanda Johnson (@atmosvere)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // April 1, 2020

Coming in hot from Texas is an emerging Filipino-American artist who goes by the moniker Miggy Milla. Although he’s an alumni of Berklee College of Music, we’d say he didn’t need anyone to teach him the innate skills he already possessed within. With an effortlessly cool sound, Milla is proud to present his first release of 2020: Remains of U.

An unbelievably stellar EP, Remains of U consists of three equally compelling tracks that follow the narrative of Milla’s previous relationship, which ended in heartbreak and loss. The opening track, “Should’ve Left U” already introduces us to the complicated story, which begins with Milla recognizing the red flags.

Once he acknowledges that it would’ve been wise to end the relationship sooner rather than later, we hear Milla experience the after effects of the breakup. With “Remains” and “No One,” Remains of U focuses more on highlighting Milla’s captivating vocals by stripping back the electronics. After one listen of his highly anticipated EP, it’s safe to say Miggy Milla will be on our radar for quite some time.

On Remains of U, Miggy Milla exclusively shared with us, 

“‘Remains of U’ is a small three-track project based on the journey of a previous relationship. It’s about how someone turns a blind eye to a failing love that should’ve ended long ago, justifying the many red flags that you begin and continue to see. Choosing rather to stay in the toxic relationship because of what you think ‘love’ is, until you realize it’s too late and all you’re left with are remains of a love you should’ve left in the first place.”

The Hidden Hits has your first listen of Remains of U below:

To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Miggy Milla about toxic relationships, red flags, and of course, Remains of U.

HH: How did you first get into music?

MM: In my family and culture, music and singing was always a part of daily life. Any family gatherings, after church on Sundays, parties, after dinner – Karaoke machines would bust out and it was just expected that everyone got a turn. I’d like to think I got a lot of my beginning practice from this, haha. Most of my family are in the medical field and for the longest time, it never occurred to me that one could make a living out of music. It wasn’t until I met a friend that played guitar in my junior year of high school that it became an option. He told me about a place in Boston called Berklee College of Music and asked me to join him during one of their summer programs. I decided to try out and thought it would be fun to just visit even if I ended up not passing the required audition process. I ended up getting accepted and that’s when my whole view and world of music opened up. I never looked back.

HH: Has your Filipino-American identity affected your music at all? How so?

MM: Being an Asian-American in general in the music world has–at least in my experience–been eye opening. Throughout the years, no one really expected much from me at first glance because of how I looked. Even within a ten year span, starting from 2010 to today, could you name ten Asian-American musicians at the top of your head that were leading in the music charts? There really weren’t a whole lot of Asians being showcased or supported prevalently in media, especially in the States. It wasn’t until YouTube came out that I started seeing people that looked like me, created music and gained a broad audience. Artists like: Jeremy Passion, Gabe Bondoc, AJ Rafael, Melissa Polinar – These Filipinos helped me gain some clarity that I could write my own music, sing, and share to the world. Today, I do believe the trend is now changing thanks to things like the Internet and social media. It’s nice to start seeing artists like BTS, PSY, 88rising, or H.E.R. not being afraid to accept their Asian roots and showcase their art, giving future kids the confidence to do the same.

HH: Your otherworldly new EP, Remains of U is all about a previous relationship that left you mentally exhausted and completely frustrated. Now that you’re out of that relationship, what would you say is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?

MM: I’ve got three. I learned to know your self-worth. If someone doesn’t want to be with you, it’s totally fine; just don’t waste any more of your time. You’re awesome, so find someone who thinks you’re awesome too. It’s okay to be angry or upset if you’re treated with disrespect. Don’t bottle it up. Expressing your feelings is NORMAL. And the number one! Love yourself first and foremost before sharing it with anyone else.

HH: What advice do you have for people who find it difficult to leave toxic relationships?

MM: Don’t be afraid to communicate how you feel. If you don’t speak up, you’ll never be heard. A healthy relationship, out of all life’s intricacies, should make you feel happy in the end. If you’re consistently not happy after constant, healthy communication, it’s a universal sign that it’s probably time to stop.

HH: Can you describe the creative process behind Remains of U?

MM: In a bedroom studio with my buddy Andrew Schindler. The songs came out organically. We’d play some chords and sing out melodies, add a beat on top, and have a back and forth with lyrical content.

HH: How do you feel now that Remains of U is out in the world?

MM: Honestly, a nice sigh of relief, haha. These songs were made maybe almost two years ago? It’s like closing an old chapter in my life in order to start a brand new one. The new music coming this year is going to be a lot of fun.

HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?

MM: Ed Sheeran!

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

MM: These cats have been at it for a while, but I feel like they deserve so much more love: Bruno Major – “Nothing,” Emily King – “Radio,” and Jordy Searcy – “Better.”

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