New artist spotlight: Princeton Miles
Marketing senior Treveon Roseberry didn’t expect to discover what he found when he arrived early for one of his classes at the Moores School of Music.
During prior meetings of the class, he had found music and business senior Princeton Miles jokingly playing Beyonce’s “Ego” on the piano with friends. However, Roseberry didn’t truly recognize that special spark in Miles until he dug deeper into Miles’ musical activities.
“I thought the kid had rhythm and a little bit of soul inside him. Although there would be times that I would ask him to sing, and he would be shy and didn’t do it,” Roseberry said. “Then I saw him perform with the Men of Moores vocal group, and they did a mash-up with Beyonce’s ‘Halo.’ After that, I knew that there was something there and I had to find out what it was.”
Without hesitation, Roseberry began his relentless campaign for getting Miles into the studio to make music. Miles finally gave in after declining the offer 16 times. Soon enough, Miles went from writing and recording music on his laptop to having his sounds broken down and transformed by talented producers.
After a few short sessions, Miles began working with Roseberry in March on his recently released “Hear Me” extended play. The two spent months molding his style and artistry to fit alongside the music.
“It’s kind of funny. I started writing music a couple of years ago with the intention that one day, if I ever got the opportunity to record something, I’d have something to record,” Miles said. “Treveon took me from that person who just recorded on my MacBook to being someone who has business cards, fanpages, Soundcloud, Twitter — he really had the vision for the project.”
At a young age, Miles got in tune with music after having been surrounded by gospel music, followed by his participation in the local church choir. His growing passion for classical music branched out after he became a member of the Houston Boys Choir. Noticing his potential, his mother, Dorothy Miles, had him attend the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he took part in various musicals.
His acceptance into Moores, his work on vocal structure with faculty vocal coordinator Joseph Evans and his continuous dedication as First Presbyterian Church’s music director further cemented his love for classical and gospel music in the highest degree.
Working on the six-track EP motivated him to step outside of his comfort zone, away from his classical roots and laptop-recorded R&B repertoire. He also had to get personal.
“It’s experimental. I do have that choral background, but I really love alternative pop music. The EP is really kind of an experiment,” Miles said. “Every track on there is very different. ‘Hear Me’ is all about things that you have never said something to someone, but it’s what you always wanted to say. In this music, you’re finally letting that person hear how you feel.”
Though courses have taught them to approach music from a business standpoint, Miles and Roseberry found a new challenge in attempting to define individual artistry.
“I’ve challenged him mentally and, in some cases, physically in the gym. It takes all of that,” Roseberry said. “People may not hear it in the music, but it’s a part of it. That was the real challenge. Getting people on board? Not so much, because they heard him sing. That explains it itself.”
As evident from Miles’ performances at Fitzgerald’s, The Mark Houston and, most recently, the EP release party at the Red Cat Jazz Cafe, the host of “Music in the Making” on 91.7 KUHA is proving that his musical focus has dramatically increased since he was discovered in 2009.
“I think he has grown a lot as an artist,” said Roseberry’s co-marketer and personal assistant Charnele Pendarvis. “The EP is very eclectic — not just because of the genre shifts, but vocally, too. Everything he does, it sounds like he has grown into mixing different styles instead of sticking to one chord, which was originally happening.”
With graduation in December, Miles’ plans with music are always running wild in his mind. Miles noted the contrast between his first artistic venture and future projects and how breaking old boundaries and reaching previously forbidden levels sounds much more enticing now than it did before.
“A lot of it had to do with me not being afraid to be creative. I’ve been pushed to challenge myself creatively, even during performances. You have to not be afraid to be that crazy person that’s sticking out because that’s a good thing,” Miles said. “The music is a passion. I’m always going to do it and it’s always going to be a part of me. There isn’t really one point that I want to get to; rather, I just focus on wherever music takes me.”
“Hear Me” is now available on Etsy and will soon be released on iTunes and Amazon.