Pip Millett

Selected by: Dwayne Wilks
Photography: Cal McIntyre

Name: Pip Millett

Where She’s From: Manchester

When She Started: 2018

Genre: Soul/R&B

File Next To: Ego Ella May, Joy Crookes, Mahalia

Sounds Like: “I’m never that sure how to describe my sound. I think it’s quite soulful, it’s very honest and emotional. I think my voice is quite emotional. But I’m never that sure on the actual genre. To me, it just feels like each song has its own moment and its own mood.”

First Music That Inspired Her: “I have a really distinct memory of listening to Otis Redding on a mix CD in the car that my brother made [when we were younger] when we were going on holiday. I remember thinking how much I loved his music and how much I’d love to create something like that.”

Stockport-born Pip Millet’s debut album, When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know, is her first full-length entry into the genre of soul. As on her previous projects, this one sees her display the vintage quality of her voice and its soulful, sincere tone, while flexing her delicate yet direct pen to offer a candid view into her current state of being. “The title of the album is from a line in one of the songs, ‘This Stage’,” she tells TRENCH. “I called it that because you can feel the pain throughout the album, but you can also feel the warmth and the light at the end of it, and I feel like that matched up perfectly. I guess this release is kind of saying, ‘Yeah, things are better.’”

The production on Pip’s 2021-released, critically-adored Motion Sick EP used soul samples from the likes of The Family Connection and George Benson, borrowing the emotion harboured in these classic records and using their pain as a canvas on which to paint pictures of her own angst and hardship, and to explore themes of racial and personal trauma. Yet there’s a defiance and, ultimately, a feeling of hope that resonates throughout on When Everything Is Better…, best captured on the song “Heal”. Pip pens verses steeped in resolve, with lyrics committing to the practices that will haul her out of those dark spaces. Then, given flight by an angelic backing vocal, the hook soars and you can picture the binds that once tethered Pip to her hardship, snapping.

Although struggles might persist, tracks like “Heal” let us know that she’s now better equipped to deal with the difficulties life might throw her way. “In general life, I’ve changed a lot since I released Motion Sick,” she says. “I’ve changed a lot and a lot has changed in my life as well. There’s been a lot of growth and it’s definitely been a huge part of this project, and ‘Heal’ is the beginning of my journey of healing. I had that deep sadness and wrote about that as well and then Heal is towards the end of the album and it’s kinda the light, like “Oh! There’s hope!”

At the age of 24, Pip Millet has already toured the country, racked up millions of streams, and can now boast an official debut album. It speaks volumes that she doesn’t list any of these landmarks as her marquee achievement—instead, the progress she’s made in her music career is only part of the wider process of her becoming who she’s meant to be. “I’m proud of all the musical things that I’ve done,” she says, “but I think—in general—I’m most proud of how much I’ve grown as a person whilst doing music. I’ve worked really hard and I’m proud of who I am.”

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on November 04, 2022