Interview: Mac Miller
With more than 180 million online views, over a million Facebook fans and a no.1 independent album, Mac Miller is more than a force to be reckoned with. At just 20-years-old, the musician has caught the attention of big timers such as Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams. The Pittsburgh native recently stopped over in London and The Wrap Up’s Denise Kodia went to speak to the rapper about his phenomenal success, staying grounded and more…
The Wrap Up: Hey Mr Miller! The buzz surrounding you is crazy right now. Are you feeling the pressure?
Mac Miller: You just have to tell yourself that you're not s**t - that's really the way to do it. I go places and people put me on this huge pedestal, but in reality I just tell myself, ‘you suck’. I've got to keep myself grounded and there are people round me who help me do that. It's all about staying level-headed and always knowing that there is room for improvement.
TWU: You’ve been in the game for a minute, but what recognition have you received that surprised you the most?
Mac Miller: There have been a couple of moments. On MTV’s Hip Hop POV, T.I said in an interview ‘I can imagine going on the Mac Miller route.’ I thought it was crazy that what I did was seen as such a landmark that it's now called the ‘Mac Miller route!’ Another artist is Pharrell – he told me that he had played some of my music for Jay-Z and he knew who I was. I was like ‘whoa!’
TWU: What sacrifices does an artist have to make in order to have their dreams come true?
Mac Miller: Being an artist means you dedicate your life to making music; you BECOME your music. You give up your personal life and become ‘the artiste’ - you're not really a person any more. It's hard to describe the loss of being regular, but it is awesome.
TWU: What tangible things do you do to stay humble?
Mac Miller: I go home. I still do the dishes at home and that gives you a sense of being normal. My dad likes to go over the top because he's so worried about my head. So I'll ask him ‘what do you think about this?’ and he’ll be like ‘it sucks’. [Laughs]
TWU: You once said in an interview, ‘I want to change what’s on the radio’ - how do you aim to do that with your music?
Mac Miller: I wanna make songs that are such quality pieces of art; you need to hear them all the time.
TWU: What do you say to those who would claim that rap is an art form for the black community?
Mac Miller: Hip-hop music was born in that culture and you cannot pretend that it's wasn’t. I think all I'm doing is just making my own music. I'm blessed to be a part of the rap world and I don't necessarily think or believe that no one else can do it. One of best ways to learn about a culture that you're not a part of is through its music.
TWU: Do you think that it’s a coincidence that both you and Wiz put Pittsburgh on the map and you’re both signed to Rostrum Records?
Mac Miller: I think that Rostrum is a great outlet, but overall what Rostrum did was allow our dreams to be realised. It wasn't a major label who told me what to do. They fight for what we believe in and the smartest thing they do is trust us – they trust that I know what's good for me. If I believe in something, then they believe in it – that is what is so dope about it.
TWU: How will your fans get to know you through your music?
Mac Miller: It’s like if you went to someone's crib and they showed you their baby pictures… It's the same thing.
TWU: What did you learn about yourself whilst making ‘Blue Slide Park?’
Mac Miller: I learnt how important my family and friends are. I also learnt that landmarks of your childhood and where you come from make you who you are today. This project represented the beginning. I made it to show that everyone has a ‘Blue Slide Park’ - everyone has something that represents where they came from.
Stay up to date with Mac Miller on Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/MacMiller
Words: Denise Kodia (@CMyPassion)