PIP MILLETT RIVALS R&B’S BEST ON ‘WHEN EVERYTHING IS BETTER, I’LL LET YOU KNOW’ TOUR
Before the lights dimmed for the final show of her Australia/NZ tour in Eora/Sydney, we caught up with UK singer-songwriter Pip Millett.
The Manchester-born artist has become a leading force in modern R&B and neo-soul in the last five years. She began learning to write songs and play guitar as an adolescent nicknamed Pipsqueak by her mother. Quickly, her intimate and vulnerable relationship with music has resonated with millions across the world. Now with three EPs and a full-length album on her resume, Pip Millett comfortably sits as one of the most active and consistent artists hailing from the UK.
Her debut album, When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know (WEIBILYK), was released last October via Dream Life Records. As a deeply personal project that explores personal struggle and mental health, she shares an incredible amount of transparency across 17 heart-felt tracks, split between four interludes.
Pip navigates through her experiences of heartbreak and loneliness with soulful, gently-delivered vocals and a matured sonic approach to modern R&B. Able to connect with listeners and guide them through their emotions, her relatable and poignant songwriting stands above the rest of her talents. It’s a powerful yet selfless ability as Pip reveals all and leaves no stones unturned.
“It feels like I’ve given away a very big part of myself, whereas with the EP’s they’re more of just like a little look in on what my life has been like in certain moments. The album definitely feels like it is a collection of the last three or four years of my life.”– Pip Millett on AUD’$ (2023).
In such a big year for R&B records, with releases from heavy hitters like Brent Faiyaz and SZA, WEIBILYK landed confidently as fierce competition. The London-based musician places herself over refined production while maintaining the mellow and neo-soul aesthetic of previous releases. Despite her candidness, Pip evokes the genius of predecessors like Lauryn Hill, allowing her independence and resilient sense of self to take precedence throughout.
The album’s lead single ‘Ride With Me’ dropped in March 2022, premiered through a music video directed by KC Locke. Infused with electronic jazz elements, this first taste saw Pip let go of unhealthy friendships and walk away with newly found wisdom (a sentiment similarly offered on the fittingly titled ‘Walk Away)’. The album is comprised of other previously released records including R&B gut-wrencher ‘Downright’ and the upbeat and sultry song ‘Slow’.
Despite the 17-song track listing, she adds four (five including the intro) interludes as breathers for listeners to reflect on the messages throughout. There’s a stunningly ethereal and effortlessly therapeutic nature to Pip Millett’s impressive and long-awaited debut. Whether it’s the delicate R&B serenades (‘Heal’ and ‘Only Love’), the moments of heartbreak (‘All Good’ and ‘Smoking’) or even the drill-inspired cut (‘I Know’), there’s high-points from start to finish.
Pip played over 40 shows last year, touring locally in the UK and internationally in the build-up and aftermath of the album’s release. In our interview with the 24-year-old, a self-confessed workaholic, she admits “it can be very easy to apply a bit too much pressure and stress myself out.”
Getting a short break in between shows abroad, she recently visited Copenhagen and Paris for her first time visiting both cities. When she returned home over the Christmas holidays, she quickly found herself back with her guitar and doing her favourite part of the job – writing.
“I continue to write – it’s difficult when I’m touring, which is the only thing I don’t like about touring because I don’t get any time to record or write.”– Pip Millett on AUD’$ (2023).
Performing for the first time down under, her final show on her ‘When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know’ tour was at The Metro Theatre. Aside from Nest Fest, local R&B talent Shanae supported Pip for her shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Her and her band started the night backstage with a shot of Jamaican rum as their pre-show ritual – preferably Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum. Throughout the night, Pip delivered a shortened but nevertheless astounding live version of her album, thrown in with some older fan-favourite cuts including ‘Heavenly Mother’, ‘Ava’ and ‘Like It Like That’.
Before finishing the evening with her 2018 debut ‘Made Me Cry’, Pip shares that this January marks 11 years since her father’s passing. Reflecting in the moment, and once again drawing the audience in with her vulnerability, she ponders what her late dad might think of her performing for hundreds of fans on the opposite side of the world from home.
“I think he’d be very proud of that,” she proclaims with a smile. The crowd’s loudest cheer of the night seemed to agree too.
Releasing a debut album, especially one as detailed and as special as this, is a taxing yet liberating journey of self-discovering and growth. Now, with her Australia/NZ tour concluded, her well-earned downtime is underway.
Regardless, she assured AUD’$ that there would be a few surprises in store for 2023, reminding us that there hasn’t been a year since her debut where she hasn’t released something. Not only does her fearlessness and independence shine in her music but in the flesh too. Speaking about some of her ins and outs for 2023, Pip wants to leave her lack of patience for herself behind while learning to back her instincts more.
“Not trusting my thoughts, maybe trusting my gut more in 2023.”– Pip Millett on AUD’$ (2023).