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#0016: Singer/Songwriter Travis Miller


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"Never give in and never give up," is Travis Miller's mantra. When I tell you Travis is in his early twenties you might get an mental picture of an ambitious young man in sales. Given the current state of the music industry, this is exactly the attitude required of an artist seeking to bring his music to a national audience.

A little background: Travis had spent a few years playing in bands. With the blessings of his wife and an arsenal of words and music in his heart, Travis set out solo to make his living with his music. He offered guitar lessons and quickly began to build up a roster of students. This was good for income but what about his self-financed debut CD? Easy...Travis had no qualms about getting his tunes in front of listeners pretty much anywhere he could...and if he got a good response he offered up his CD for five bucks. He was doing better than minimum wage by three or four times. It's the music business.

I met Travis on my first visit to the Fox Preview Bar Open Mic. He was already well-known among the regular crowd and his short solo set was a delight of funky grooves, tasteful hooks and rap. I learned later that night of his recent signing to I.E. rapper/producer King Dice's label Royal Gambling Club. I found out that Travis was already well on his way to making a name for himself the I.E. hip-hop scene. He also got the spot to open for R&B singer Jill Scott at the Fox Theater. Crossing over into multiple markets is good business.

We finally met up for a conversation at a busy corner in Travis' 'hood (adjacent to my own 'hood). It was agreed that it had a good "urban" feel...or at least as urban as we were going to get in our part of town. The following Monday we met up at the Fox Open Mic and he played a couple of songs for the episode down in front of the big stage.

Travis' eager enthusiasm and confidence is a real boost of energy to my own motivations and I'm really looking forward to seeing him work his way into this business of entertaining.

- Ralph from Riverside