Q: “To Love & Lie” just shows how much of a genius lyricist you are — I think you demonstrated the reality of toxic relationships in the song better than any other artist who writes about the issue. Instead of going for that “I deserve better, so I’m going to remove myself” approach (not that easy), you exposed the true nature of a lot of toxic relationships, “Yeah, it’s toxic, and it has been that way for a while, BUT I love you, and I don’t want to let us go, yet.” Tell us why you wrote about toxic relationships the way you did in the song.
MILEHI: [Because] it’s real. I want to be as real and honest with myself as possible. I make music for me first and those who I fuck with on a personal level second. So even if I’m not being honest with myself, my people will definitely tell me. So this song is real to what I’ve been through… real to what we’ve been through. I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have it any other way.
Q: I saw a TikTok you did where you were basically promoting the track, and you mentioned that it was written about a relationship you were in. Did you write it to provide some sort of relief or just saw that it would make a killer song?
MILEHI: I wrote it cause it was on my heart, honestly. I just be writing stuff, and I move forward with the songs that feel right.
Q: One lyric that stuck out to me was “I know you hate when I don’t take control,” which had me thinking about toxic masculinity. “To Love & Lie” seems so personal and makes me wonder, were you ever afraid of how the song may make you look before releasing it? Did you think it would affect your masculinity?
MILEHI: The song was written in early 2018, and I sat on it for 3 years worrying about how it will be perceived — if it’s what people would want to hear… blah blah blah. After we released “Your Body,” I turned to my manager Ryan and said, “to love & lie. is the song.”
I care more about loving the song I release than whether being vulnerable makes me look “weak.” I had to realize I have moments of weakness and moments of strength. I am a nice guy but also a little bit of an asshole.
Masculinity isn’t just one set of stereotypes that apply to all men. I wasn’t taught that as a kid, but I definitely see that now.
Q: What do you want people to take away from listening to the song?
MILEHI: I don’t want for anyone to take away one specific thing from ‘to love & lie.’ I want my songs to hit people hard because it means something unique and specific to them.
I guess I want the music to speak to everyone [differently].
Q: You had success with your first debut single, “Your Body,” like getting played on Capital Xtra & BBC 1XTRA, and now you have your new single. Which one would you say is your favorite?
MILEHI: Lol. “To love & lie.” [more than] “Your Body.”
Q: As an emerging artist, where do you see your career taking off to?
MILEHI: I honestly don’t know. I know I want to travel the world, performing my music. But as far as where I see it going, I want to enjoy every moment in real-time, head down, real low key and then one day look up and be on top of the world.
I’ve had this recurring dream, though, where I’m gigging at a major venue, lights, audience, sweating, all of it & as I go to sing my song, the audience sings my own song to me – when that happens, I’m gold.
Q: I’m sure many people can’t get enough of listening to your voice, so, what’s next? What’s in store for the future?
MILEHI: Thank you. I’m sure there are also a few who can’t listen to anything I do. For the future, I want to continue down that path of taking the good with the bad, the rough with the smooth. Keeping good vibes… being honest… knowing myself & my point of view. I want to keep on being the black boy who makes music that he’s proud of, that speaks to him and others in their own way.
I want to make shit happen. Create.