Jake Miller Talks Twitter's Effect On 'First Flight Home'

Jake Miller, 2014.
Joseph Cultice

Jake Miller.

Florida hip-hop artist's new song has lit up Billboard's Twitter Trending 140. 'I went from the kid who was always listening to his iPod to the kid in other people's iPods.'

"First Flight Home," Jake Miller's latest song and video, has flown sky-high.

Thanks to Miller's loyal fan base of 300,000-plus YouTube subscribers and 495,000 Twitter followers, immediately after the hooky pop/rap song's official video premiered, "Home" returned to the top of Billboard's Twitter Trending 140 chart at No. 1 (Aug. 12). He continued to claim the coveted position over the next three days.

Miller then released a behind-the-scenes take of the video, which continued his momentum.

The behind-the-scenes video's popularity wasn't a surprise, considering the reaction after the song's initial release on July 6 (via Warner Bros.). Miller's fan following, aka the "Millertary," spurred the song to first chart at No. 1 on July 21.

The cut follows Miller's first two entries on the Billboard 200 last year. In April, his EP The Road Less Traveled debuted and peaked at No. 55. In November, Us Against Them did even better, bowing and peaking at No. 26.

Miller spoke with Billboard to discuss his latest success and more.

How do you feel Twitter has allowed you to connect with your fans?

Twitter and social media, in general, have helped my career tremendously. One of the most important things in this industry is to interact with your fans and to make them feel special and heard. I read every single tweet I get and try to respond to as many as possible.

How did you initially get started in music?

Music has always been in my blood. I grew up listening to Blink-182, John Mayer, Eminem, etc. It wasn't until ninth grade that I started writing and producing my own music. I eventually gained the courage to upload my songs and videos to YouTube and received an overwhelmingly positive response. I soon went from the kid who was always listening to his iPod to the kid in other people's iPods. And that thrill was enough to make me realize that I wanted this to be my career.

What artists do you look up to? Did any of those artists influence you in the making of "First Flight Home"?

I think the reason why it's so hard to find a category or genre to put me in is because I listened to so many different kinds of music growing up. Artists like Drake, Eminem, John Mayer and Mac Miller help me in every writing session, whether they know it or not, because they have all helped mold my sound.

Was "First Flight Home" inspired by any particular incident in your life?

As an artist, I'm always on the road. Whether it's in a hotel room or my tour bus, sometimes I get homesick. I wrote this song in L.A., and at the time, I hadn't been home in months. All I wanted to do was hop on a redeye, come home and surprise my family. That's what inspired me to write ["Home"].

There have been numerous YouTube covers, done by your fans, of "First Flight Home." How do you feel about that and are there any in particular that have stood out to you?

Whenever people cover my songs, I feel honored. It wasn't too long ago that I was covering my favorite songs and uploading them to YouTube hoping they would blow up. I've seen some amazing ["Home"] covers, some that are even altered a little bit from my original version, which is always cool to hear.

What would be your dream artist collaboration?

Drake. Everything Drake touches is gold. Not sure if I've ever heard a song by him I don't like.

Can your fans expect any more new music soon?

Over the past few months, I've recorded over 50 new songs. I couldn't be prouder of this new music. It's much more mature-sounding than my old music, but still very fun. I can't wait for everyone to hear it.


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