From the first soothing notes of Millar Jukes' gravelly tone the message is clear – don't you worry about a thing you can't change. But one thing that Jukes has changed in recent times is his musical style, with his new single 'Don't Worry' a far cry (or low rumble) from 2015's 'Chase the Sun' EP. The new sound is raw, horn-heavy and sure to have hips moving through dimly lit rooms in no time.
'Don't Worry' is the result of a rough time for Melbourne-based Millar Jukes. 'I was going through a break up, was made redundant from my job and then, as a result, lost my apartment. I was pretty low, but I realised that this is just part of life and you have to pick yourself up and get on with it. The whole experience made me a whole lot stronger and inspired me to not only write new music, but to also find a new sound altogether.'
The single was recorded with Lachlan Bryan and Damian Cafarella at their EoR Studios in Victoria, while Jukes has also released a lyric video made by Alexandra Nel. 'I just wanted something cool and simple that reflected the artwork,' said Jukes of the video, and it's this simplicity in the lyrics and messaging of the track itself, combined with Jukes' soulful voice, that elicits such emotion.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Millar Jukes: I'd say my music is Indie Soul. I love making music that makes people groove along and dance. It's evolved over time as I used to play more folk stuff but influences like Paolo Nutini, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jacob Banks have really shaped my new album.
Question: Can you tell us about Don't Worry?
Millar Jukes: I wrote 'Don't Worry' after I was going through a bit of a hard time and came up with the idea after a conversation with my mum. I was complaining about life and my mum turned to me and said "This is life son, you just get up and get on with it. Don't worry about things you can't change".
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Millar Jukes: I just really enjoy it. I have a corporate job, so having this creative outlet is really special. I love writing about my experiences and how they make me feel. I wish I had more time for writing if I'm honest. I do get caught up in my day job way too much sometimes.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Millar Jukes: Both are very different. I love creating music and going to the studio and watching it all come together. The process is such a cool experience but playing live is so awesome! Nothing like the feeling of playing in front of a live crowd. If I had to choose then I'd say playing live.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Millar Jukes: I love playing 'I Don't Want Your Love' which is a new single that comes out next year. It's a really emotional song for me and we all really get into it. I wrote it at the time of a breakup so it's pretty raw. I don't feel that way about my ex now, but it was just how I was feeling at the time.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Millar Jukes: If I could have anyone it would be Dave Chappelle just so I could hang out with him after it. He's probably my ultimate dinner guest ha!
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Millar Jukes: I'm listening to a lot of different stuff but Jacob Banks, Samm Henshaw, Paolo Nutini and the Monophonics are regulars on my Spotify playlist.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Millar Jukes: I wouldn't say I had an inspiration to go into the music industry, but I'd said Ray Lamontange inspired me to start playing music. He's my hero. I love his voice and the emotion he brings to his songs.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Millar Jukes: Paolo Nutini or my brothers' Saint PHNX. Paolo has always been a massive influence on me, and my brothers because it would be so cool to make a song with my brothers.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Millar Jukes: I think doing everything independently is sometimes difficult because you don't have the backing or push that a label would bring. It's a struggle at times but it's all worth it in the end.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Millar Jukes: I have a corporate day job, so my typical day is going to the office and working in data analytics - ha! I love making time for music though. I treat it like a second job. After I finish my day job I'm organising music stuff at night. Good use of both parts of my brain.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Millar Jukes: Getting the chance to play in Nashville! That was a dream come true! Always wanted to play there since I visited years ago. I contacted Whisky Jam and they were so welcoming and supportive. Probably the most nervous I've ever been but I loved every second of it! Would love to go over there with the band next time!
Question: Can you share your socials?
Millar Jukes: Facebook.com/millarjukes
Interview by Brooke Hunter