Austin Millz photographed by Rafael Deprost

Austin Millz, known for his unique fusion of hip-hop and dance music, recently kicked off his nationwide “Fresh Air Tour” in support of his new EP, ‘Breathwork.’ The six-track EP serves as a soundtrack for the different stages of a night out, from pouring the first drink to finding that special someone to leave with. The EP features a diverse array of collaborations, including Estelle, Duckwrth, Aline Baraz, Destin Conrad, and Justine Skye, each adding their own flavor to the mix. The lead single, “Inhale/Exhale (Feat. Sabrina Claudio),” has already made waves, landing on Rolling Stone’s “All the Songs You Need to Know This Week” list.

Austin’s impressive career has seen him perform at prestigious events such as Quincy Jones’ AKG 70th anniversary celebration and Beyoncé’s special Coachella Homecoming event. His North American headlining tour, “Fresh Air Tour,” which kicked off in San Francisco in February, will take him to major cities across the continent including New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, where he will wrap up the tour at the end of June.

In addition to his tour, Austin has also announced a five-show Las Vegas Residency with WynnNightlife, which debuted April 10th and is running through September 8th. With over 20 billion views across his social media platforms, accounting for 10% of all Instagram Reels sounds in 2022, Austin Millz has proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. 

Austin took time off his busy tour schedule to chat with Indira Cesarine of The Untitled Magazine about everything he has going on, including his rise from Harlem, New York to performing on global stages and working with his favorite music icons. Read on for our exclusive interview below. 

Indira Cesarine: Tell us about your background and how you got into music? Are you from a musical family, or what has inspired your incredibly successful career? 

Austin Millz: Music has always been a part of me since I was a young kid. Growing up it was always in my household, always a part of my environment, Growing up in New York City, especially Harlem, New York, and even from my Puerto Rican and African American upbringing, It was literally everywhere.

I don’t have a musical family in terms of people in my family doing music as a career, but music was always blasting on special occasions, even on everyday occasions, music was just something that was always around in my family.

What has inspired my successful career, I would say, is my family in New York, just seeing the hustle and bustle and knowing how to have the New York mentality. There’s just something about the fast pace of New York. It’s helped me in my journey and in my hustle. 

With your unique fusion of hip-hop and dance music, how do you navigate the intersection of these genres to create your signature sound?

AM: It’s just something that happened over time. Hip hop and dance music, for me, I love bridging the gaps between the two. I just create my own thing out of it. It’s something unique and authentic. I grew up seeing dance music in different ways from house music to electronic music and then with funk and disco, that’s dance to me. That’s what makes people move. That’s what makes people groove. That is dance music. As for hip hop, growing up in New York the Mecca and the birthplace of hip hop. I’m from uptown Harlem in the Bronx that’s deep in the culture. 

What have been your biggest influences musically?

AM:  My biggest influences musically, vary from time to time. Growing up. I was inspired by the Michael Jacksons and Princes of the world, just seeing their artistry, how they captivate the audiences in their live performances, and all the art from their visuals to the branding. I realized young that’s something very special and I’ve always wanted to follow in that path. Those were my first early instances of influences musically.

Can you describe your creative process when working on a track? What is your typical studio setup and workflow? 

AM: My creative process is always different. Whether I am in my own place creating the beat, laying down the foundation for the music, or if I’m in a studio with other artists in a collaborative effort. Whether it’s a feature and they’re providing their vocals and we come together as one. I love collaboration because you can get so many things out of different people. It’s literally just like doing a school project. You don’t know what’s going to come out at the end, but in my experience it is always a great piece of art. 

It really starts from the heart. It starts from my creativity and my artistic expression. Honestly, whether it’s hardware, different MIDI keyboards, or software, it all depends, I like using different things for the arsenal and switching things up.

Austin Millz photographed by Rafael Deprost

Can you share any insights into your approach for the official remixes you’ve done for artists like Fred Again…, Chaka Khan, and Nina Simone?

AM: That’s all different as well. With the Nina Simone “Feeling Good” remix, I have always been a big fan of her, she’s a legend and icon. When I was asked to do the remix to honor her legacy by her label, I was honored. “Feeling Good” is one of my favorite tracks. I used that, made it my own, and approached it in what would I do in a modern Austin Millz way. 

With the Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody” remix “Nobody Khan”, I do a series every Monday called Millz Monday where I flip tracks and perform them in various locations. People are starting to get to know me from doing that on the rooftops, which is a great thing, I love that. “Ain’t Nobody” was one of the early ones that I did and it caught wind and took off on the internet. Then various labels reached out to me wanting to clear it and drop it. Eventually, it happened and the amazing Chaka Khan cleared it herself. I was honored that I was able to even be on a track with her, my name next to her name felt surreal.

The Fred Again track “Turn on the Lights” is another example of admiring an amazing artist and then getting asked to remix a track of theirs. That happened and I’m grateful for my guy Fred, for allowing the opportunity to happen.

Your EP, “Breathwork,” is described as the soundtrack for different stages of a night out. Could you walk us through what that means?

AM: Breathwork is a soundtrack to use at different stages at night of a night out because you know during a night out you go through different instances. A night goes from leaving your place to actually going out whether it’s a nightclub or an event. 

You start your night, but then the night goes on in different moods, different emotions, different feelings, and different people. Breathwork encompasses a full night out and what can happen when you have your emotions involved. It takes you through different stages of feeling all types of emotions. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but at the end of the day, you leave fulfilled with your breath and enthralled. 

Collaborating with artists like Estelle, Duckwrth, Aline Baraz, Destin Conrad, and Justine Skye on “Breathwork” must have been exciting. How did you approach collaborating with such a diverse range of artists on your EP? How do you approach finding the right collaborators for your tracks?

AM: The EP Breathwork was so calculated. I’m a fan of all the artists that I collaborated with and I was honored to actually be in the studio with them and complete this body of work. I’m so proud of it. When you collaborate with a diverse range of artists, It’s interesting and so fun because I was able to bring artists that are not necessarily in that dance space into it, and for some of them, it was their first time even getting into that dance space. I allowed them to get in my world and we joined forces and it was a beautiful synergy. 

The approach to finding the right collaborators for the tracks is a part of the skill. It’s finding something or finding someone that you’re in sync with and figuring out how to get to a place to make that magic. Breathwork fully embraced that process and it was a great experience. I love it, and I’m so proud of the music that came out of it. 

How has the success of “Inhale/Exhale” with Sabrina Claudio impacted your career?

AM: It was such a great impact Sabrina Claudio is such an amazing songwriter, artist, and singer. When I made that track, that was the lead single off Breathwork and I’m so proud of how it happened. The music video was immaculate and it led the way to where my original music was going and is headed. I’m super proud of what “Inhale/Exhale” did to my career.

The Fresh Air Tour kicked off recently. What can fans expect from live shows?

AM: One word. Energy. It’s been sold out so far. So many shows have been sold out on the tour. It’s been such a great experience to meet fans live. I’m not even calling people fans, they’re family. To meet my family live in these venues and really get into it, and for them to experience my music live, seeing the joy that my music is bringing to people all across the world, it keeps me going.

Congratulations on your Las Vegas residency with WynnNightlife! How does the residency differ from touring, and what excites you most about this opportunity?

AM: I’m so proud of having a Las Vegas residency. That was something that was on my bucket list for a while. To actually get it with a group such as the WynnNightlife, I am ecstatic. The show is different from touring because Vegas has a different crowd than the touring crowd per se. You have people coming in for birthdays and special occasions. It’s a different type of vibe that you’ll see from the Vegas shows and touring, but it’s going to be energy nonetheless. And I’m so excited to be starting my Wynn residency throughout the year. I’m excited to connect with people in Vegas and for them to see me. Even if some people might not be able to make the shows on the tour, I’ll still have all these days in Vegas.

Austin Millz photographed by Rafael Deprost

You’ve had the opportunity to perform at high-profile events like Quincy Jones’ AKG 70th anniversary and Beyoncé’s Coachella Homecoming. What were those experiences like? Can you share some highlights from these performances?  

AM: Oh, Quincy Jones is one of my GOATs. To be able to perform AKG’s 70th anniversary with him right there, I was honored. He is such a legend in the game. He paved the way for people like me. To be able to be in the same room as Quincy, I was speechless.

Beyoncé is another GOAT and icon in this game. To perform For her Coachella event I was honored, once again, to be in that same space as her and perform for her. That was amazing. 

Your social media presence has been massive, amassing over 20 billion views across platforms and accounting for 10% of all Instagram Reel sounds in 2022. What role has social media played in your career?  

AM: My social media presence has been massive. Social media has played an integral part in my career thus far. It’s allowing my music to be spread across the globe and for people to connect with the music. Even if people don’t necessarily know who I am, they get to hear the music first. It’s a cool way for people to connect to the music before even knowing who I am as a brand. Then when they meet, and see who I am as a brand, that’s an even more fulfilling feeling. 

Social media has helped me tremendously connect with people from all across the world. It’s amazing to see how my music has also helped people jumpstart their careers and different businesses. People use my music in their reels and for them to use my music, it’s allowed their brand and their content to spread more quickly. I’ve gotten so many messages about how I’ve helped people’s careers, brands, and businesses, through my music and I love that. 

What are some of the key challenges you’ve faced in your career as a dance music producer, and how have you overcome them? How do you stay motivated, especially when faced with creative blocks?

AM: Sometimes you gotta go outside, take walks, do different activities, visit different cities, and really become in touch with nature and the environment. That’s allowed me to take a step back from always having my mind on the music. Sometimes I need to just experience daily life and that has helped me whenever I have creative blocks.

What advice would you give to aspiring producers and DJs who are just starting out in the industry and trying to find their own unique voice? 

AM: Advice that I give aspiring producers and DJs who are starting out in the industry and trying to find their unique voice. Be yourself, be authentic to you, and know that timing is everything, and patience is everything. Those three things, being authentic, having timing, and patience. Allow yourself to find yourself with grace.

What’s next for Austin Millz? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’re particularly excited about?

AM: What’s next for me? Global Takeover. Just, you know having my music reach across the world. To make people happy and for my music to help people throughout their day is what drives me. Yeah, new music, new shows, and more 2024 is going to be a great year. 

Where Art, Fashion & Culture Collide

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.