Rapper Chris Miles is one of the most promising faces to make the move from YouTube to the recording studio in recent years. The young rapper and writer began honing his craft at ten, using music as a way to cope with bullying that he experienced in school. After a try-out video for America's Got Talent went viral across websites such as YouTube and World Star Hip Hop, Miles experienced a surge of new fans and began pursuing a career in music. Now 16, Miles has been hitting the scene hard. With a mean flow and a natural talent at freestyling, the creative rapper is bound for big things.
Miles is currently traveling North America on Johnny Wright's Pop Nation Tour with nine other rising acts. PopWrapped had the opportunity to interview the young rapper during the tour's stop in Cleveland. We wanted to know about his experiences with the tour, how it feels to hop onstage, and what exactly Miles has planned for the coming months, and Chris Miles told us all that and more!
The Pop Nation Tour unites some of the most promising new names in music for a road show across North America. Chris Miles joined the show earlier this year and has since performed his high energy set for both new and established fans. Performing for so many fans every night I was curious if Chris Miles still got nervous going onstage, and the answer may surprise you. "I mean no matter how many people there are I always get butterflies" Miles replied.
Although he may get nervous, performing onstage is ALL about his fans. For him the best part of a show is "just being able to interact with my fans." In fact from the moment that Chris Miles gets onstage and through the time after he finishes up, the young rapper goes above and beyond to serve something hot for everyone in the audience. He likes to get people moving by asking them to raise their hands in the sky, and it has to be entertaining watching the audience try to keep up with his quickly delivered lyrics.
You, like me, may be wondering exactly how Chris Miles prepares to hit the stage. As a rapper, Miles has an excellent flow and is capable of switching his pace with relative ease; however, I was curious if there were any pre-show rituals that helped him get ready. He claims that his biggest ritual before a show is to "drink a lot of water," going on to explain that "it's different from practice" and that his throat has a tendency to get dry. Gotta keep hydrated so that you can spit like the pros.
After the show is complete, Miles can frequently be found interacting with fans and other concert-goers. After a stop on the Pop Nation Tour many of the acts meet outside by their merchandise and pose for pictures. Think of it as a second meet and greet, but one that occurs in a more natural setting. Miles, who judges a performance's success by his interaction with the fans, likes to decompress with them after a performance. This is a true labor of love, because the next day all of the acts hit the road for a day of traveling before another show.
Miles claims that the best part of the Pop Nation Tour has been meeting so many people on the road, and he reveals that there have been a few surprises for him along the way. "Sometimes I didn't think that I'd have people coming to certain shows, and then there was a turnout and it was awesome to meet those people." Miles also recognized that touring with so many other acts, though sometimes a little hectic, has undoubtedly allowed him to interact with other demographics and groups of fans.
Another opportunity that helped Miles introduce himself to a wide range of people was a video that circulated online and showed the artist trying out for a spot on America's Got Talent years ago. Although Chris Miles didn't make it onto the show, he claims that the video "helped me start my career." Previously Miles had made a name for himself posting videos on YouTube. "A lot of people thought that I was just an internet artist, but throughout time I've got to put out music."
Since he has made the move from a home camera to recording studios, Miles still thinks that the internet helped him break onto the scene. "It's a whole new outlet" he said about YouTube, a site that has propelled artists such as Justin Bieber and more recently Troye Sivan and Miles himself into the realm of public consumption. Possibly one of the best parts about YouTube, and something that Miles commented on, is that you are capable of doing it all yourself.
Things have changed a bit for Miles since his earliest rhymes, but he still loves what he is doing. His claims that his favorite part of his job is working in the studio. He's come pretty far in the last six years, but the young rapper still has some big idols. When I asked who he would like to work with, and who has most inspired him Miles had a list prepared. "Eminem, Jay-Z, Drake, and Kanye are amongst my all time favorites."
The Pop Nation Tour is rapidly coming to a close, but we are constantly looming closer to Miles most anticipated stop in Los Angeles. "I've already been there, but I'm looking forward to LA. It's my favorite place in the world" he revealed when I asked what stop he was looking forward to.
Does Chris Miles have any plans after the Pop Nation Tour comes to a close? You know that he does! After his last performance with Pop Nation on August 15 in Los Angeles Miles is going to be back on the road! This time around he will be joining another group of rising talents on Scream Nation Tour. He will also be back in the studio working on new music.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDYegBUO6aQ&h=500
Although he hasn't done much recording while on the road, Miles has continued sharing music with his fans. On August 9 he released the music video for his current single "Psychotic." The tongue in cheek visual sees Miles poking fun at his new found celebrity status as fake news stories run across the screen portraying the rapper in the worst light. Bonus points to Miles for naming the network CMZtv, a clever reference to pop culture site TMZ, which is sometimes renowned for serving all the drama with half the reality.
"Psychotic" delves into the darker aspects of a celebrity lifestyle, evidence that the rapper is truly making it. Haters can hate, but that isn't going to stop the rapper from doing what he does best. One listen to the track, and it is readily evident that Chris Miles has truly gotten better with age, and this is just the beginning for the sixteen year old New York rapper!