Millie Go Lightly has made quite a habit of surprising people lately.
With Her velvet tones and silky vocals sprinkled on two of Young Thug’s tracks on his new singing album ‘Beautiful Thugger Girls,’ Millie Go Lightly has built curiosity worldwide. The British starlet from the small village of Stratford Upon Avon, home of Shakespeare, was all but unknown to the Hip Hop world last year but now she is touring the world with Young Thug and is well on her way to becoming the next global superstar.
Cultured in a wide array of music, Millie explains how when she was younger, her parents introduced her to a diverse palette ranging from Classical, Reggae, Pop, New Jack Swing to Hip Hop. ‘I used to listen to Simply Red, Prince, Spandau Ballet, Phil Collins, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra. I also listened to Reggae and also a lot of country artists as I spent a lot of time in America as a kid.’ She reminisced, highlighting how her mother and father were both very different kinds of people which reflected in their music tastes.
‘I grew up on the absolute classics of every genre. Going in my mum’s car used to be super rowdy but anywhere with my dad was super calm. My mum is a big rap fan, she used to listen to 50 Cent.’ In fact, her mother bought Millie her first rap record which was 50 Cent’s critically acclaimed album ‘The Massacre’ which set her on her path into the Hip Hop industry.
Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girl
Perhaps what makes Millie so different to most artists is her element of surprise. Blonde hair, blue eyes and an angelic smile, she does not look like the typical figure you’d expect to be making waves in the very masculine Atlanta Hip Hop scene, known for its aggressive trap beats, 808s and street bravado.
Her curious name, which highlights her princess like persona, stems from the famous Novella ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ and is an ode to the protagonist Holly Go Lightly, who Millie feels she can identify with. ‘We were so obsessed with the actress Audrey Hepburn, she was so classy and glamourous.’ However, it is Millie’s talent which helps her surmount any cultural boundaries.
Her music connects her to a whole new world, previously studying a degree in Classics at a Kings College London, now she is living her dreams as a singer/songwriter and is well connected in Atlanta’s burgeoning Hip Hop scene, having worked with both of Young Thug’s go-to producers Bricksdamane and Wheezy.
She fell in love with Hip Hop, learning more and more about the culture at her weekly dance classes and through her mother who was a big Hip Hop fan. ‘Hip Hop is the only music I’ve ever wanted to make,’ Millie explains, ‘it was a question of how do I as someone who looks like how I look like and talks like how I talk like contribute to this art form.’
Her path was destined, a chance mix up with audio files led to Young Thug hearing Millie’s work – he was blown away and wanted to work with her. The story goes that Thug’s producer Wheezy produced a beat for Millie and Millie wrote her own track to it called ‘Medicine.’ A few weeks later, Millie noticed that Young Thug had previewed a song with the same beat on Instagram promoting his new singing album which was at the time called ‘Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls.’ The two artists ended up with the same beat, but it turns out that Young Thug actually had Millie in mind to sing the hook on ‘Family Don’t Matter,’ the song with the same beat that she had already written to.
The new album, which was executively produced by Drake, sparked a lot of curiosity from fans as Thug was clearly pursuing a different lane to the normal, however, Millie saw his vision from early on highlighting that she ‘always thought of Young Thug as a singer,’ his unique form of melodic rap means that the transition to a singing album seemed natural.
When the track list for the album was released, fans were shocked and spent hours trying to find out who Millie was and initially were not very receptive: ‘Thug’s fans are cult. My mum went onto RedditHipHop and read all the comments but once the album came out and they heard me sing, everyone changed their minds.’ With a track list that included household Hip Hop names such as Snoop Dogg, Future, Quavo and Lil Durk, it is clear why some rap fans might have been a little sceptical of a name they’ve never heard before. However, Millie’s steely ability to let her music do the talking is what has held her in good stead so far in the music industry. The week the album was released there were countless tweets congratulating Millie, with fans telling her how happy they were they discovered her through Thug’s album.
‘Family Don’t Matter’ is a country tinged duet, it’s vulnerable yet the song still manages to keep it Hip Hop with it’s eye opening lyrics. By putting her on the opening track of the album, Thugger has shown his faith in Millie and the two artists’ voices combined perfectly on the song. ‘He was walking around with my phone in his hands with my lyrics, he asked what the favourite parts were of the song I wrote to the beat and he said yeah put whatever you want in there.’
However, Young Thug wasn’t finished with Millie just yet. Once the first track was done, he asked her to sing on another one of the album’s tracks called ‘She Wanna Party.’ Millie explained how Young Thug and Future were in the studio together and then she was invited in to sing the parts of the song Thug had in mind for her. ‘He’d keep giving me parts to sing. I was only supposed to sing the first couple of lines but ended up adlibbing through most of the song and the verse.’
She explained the meticulous creative process Thug undergoes and the chemistry they shared making music together. ‘He really will just do and say whatever he wants, that’s why he is such an amazing person to be around, he’s such a pure spirit, I felt so free in my artistry.’
‘She Wanna Party’
Young Thug isn’t the only big time US artist Millie has worked with, she’s also worked with Heartbreak Gang talisman P-Lo who she describes as one of the most talented people in Hip Hop. The pair connected on the track ‘Back To You’ where Millie’s vocals are laid down on the sumptuous hook. ‘I started researching the hottest producers and P-Lo came up, I loved what he did on Chris Brown and Tyga’s album so then I sent him a message on SoundCloud with just the demos I’d done at home and the one time he happened to check he liked what he heard.’ P-Lo sent her some piano loops and Millie wrote the hook in just a couple of days showcasing her incredible song writing ability and her work was on his album.
The two met in person for the first ever time when Kehlani came to tour in London. She joked how he and his entourage met her in England’s very own Nandos. P-Lo rocked in with his all-American swagger, grill in mouth and a huge entourage of people. ‘You couldn’t miss these guys, they came down in the waviest clothes I’ve ever seen and I was just in this little dress.’ Again, it was Millie’s artistry which allowed her connect with people from a different world. ‘I talk to P-Lo about everything now. I treat him like an older brother, he’s done everything in music from writing to producing.’
She describes how at first even when working with Atlanta producer Wheezy in the studio was quite intimidating because she was used to making music alone in her living room, however in these large studios, sessions are treated like a party – it’s a room full of people and is treated like ‘a social affair.’ ‘There is a lot going on, you have to be observant of it but not let it distract you.’
Millie’s journey has been an incredible one, she’s shown how no matter where you’re from, your artistry can shine through, by taking risks and connecting with the hottest producers from the genre she loves she is now touring the world with one of the world’s biggest rappers, Young Thug, and is working on her debut album.
Be sure to connect with Millie on her socials: @MillieGoLightly (Instagram) and @MillieGoLightly (Twitter)
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