Conrad Miller
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Conrad Miller

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band World Gospel


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My Journey

While the trend in today's gospel skews towards the contemporary or urban, the traditional presentation still exists and continues to produce new artists. Conrad Miller spent a significant amount of time in the R&B world in his formative years, penning the hit "Carla, My Love" for the soul group The Softones.

After a recommitment to Christ, Miller has released his debut gospel effort titled My Journey. The eleven-track album is a throwback to the sound and feel of gospel's yesteryear.

To handle the task of encapsulating Miller's journey, he tapped world-renowned producer Steven Ford to put his hand on the entire effort, while also serving as arranger. Ford also lends his vocals as one of the album’s background vocalists, and handles work on keyboard and organ, while enlisting Jonathan Dubose's skill on guitar. Miller's experience rests in his songwriting ability. Penning the entire album, the Pennsylvania native shares songs of hope and encouragement designed to encourage the believer and convert the lost.

From start to finish, the album remains true to the classic R&B/gospel feel of years gone by that is rarely heard in today’s music. Relying on basic harmonies and simple musical arrangements, Miller places emphasis on his core message. His light, vibrato-laden voice shares the gospel in a smooth and non-abrasive manner, reminiscent of the old-soul vibe of the classic Motown years.

Miller uses his tenor voice to tell the story of Christ's redemptive love and transformation power on the tracks "Changed" and "Amazing". His spiritual commitment is both tangible and accessible on "Blessed By The Best" and "From Here To Eternity". On the transparent "Breathe On Me", Miller shares his heart, telling of the believer's challenge to please God while managing his humanity.

Fans of the golden era of Gospel music will enjoy Miller's presentation. In an era filled with auto-tune and other technological tricks, Miller takes the path of simplicity in his approach to the gospel. The end result on My Journey is an honest and authentic account of an artist's journey back to the love of Christ. - Conrad Miller Review

"The Intelligencer"

Vocational Passion


The Intelligencer

There are usually signs all along the way. Some of them subtle and seemingly serendipitous, some that arrive with a clarion urgency or astounding synchronicity. And sometimes, if our focus has been steadfastly elsewhere, or our fears prove more powerful than that inner tug, we may fail to recognize the call. For gospel artist Conrad Miller, it could have been the time his R&B group, The Soulful Seven, lost all of its equipment in a fire and was forced to disband when they couldn’t raise the money to replace it all.

Or perhaps it was when, after years of being a dedicated student of opera, he learned that as a tenor, his voice wouldn’t reach the maturity necessary for an opera career until he was well into his 30s. It could even have been the seeming abandonment of his Muse when after years of writing songs — he penned the “hit” “Carla, My Love” for ’70s soul crooners The Softones — he hit a lengthy dry spell.

“I just didn’t have anything to say anymore. It just wasn’t there,” recalls Miller, who shifted his focus to his career in the pharmaceutical industry and raising a family. And then tragedy struck, and he could no longer ignore the pull of something greater. He released his first gospel CD, “My Journey,” a collection of uplifting original songs rooted in classic gospel with a nod to his R&B heyday, on his own Millcon Music Ministries label this year. “These songs are not my songs,” says the Buckingham resident, who also serves on both the deacon board and as a member of several church choirs, including The Back Bench Boys, at Second Baptist Church in Doylestown. “These are God’s songs. I’m just the vessel in which he planted them.”

He still has a full-time job, working for MTI, a pharmaceutical marketing company, in Langhorne, but he has enthusiastically embraced his vocation, despite the unimaginable pain it took to realize his calling. Miller, a native of North Little Rock, Ark., who grew up in Grambling, La., has been involved with music on some level for most of his life — singing it, playing it, writing it. But it was only following the suicide of his daughter Lauren — in 2005, the day after her 16th birthday — that he realized he was not meant to keep his songs to himself. “I was never motivated to go into the studio, despite the occasional thoughts I’d have about it,” says Miller. “When Lauren died, that was the point at which I had to go into the studio. I didn’t have any choice.”

“My Journey,” produced by Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award-winning producer Steven Ford and partially recorded at Forge Recording Studios in Oreland (as well as a Delaware-based studio), is surprisingly affirming, even celebratory, coming from a man who admits that he still carries “a big hole in (his) heart” from his daughter’s death. With Miller’s warm, smooth vocals and the disc’s melodic, uncluttered arrangements, the songs speak to God as both salvation and consolation, while also paying tribute to the example of faith set by Miller’s parents and expressing his own gratitude for the many blessings in his life.

“The songs minister to me,” says Miller. “They calm, they soothe, they uplift, they refresh and invigorate. … The whole objective of the project is really to share the word that God has shared through me with people, and if one person’s life is changed, I’m cool with that.”

His daughter, a bright young woman who suffered from anxiety and depression, shares a co-write on one of the tracks, “Jesus Is the Way.” A singer herself who also wrote poetry, she offered that line to her father when the song was just a melody in his head without any lyrics. Though Miller grapples daily with the agony of losing her, he has found a measure of solace in his grief, certain that her actions were prompted by a change in her medication only days before her untimely death.

“That was not Lauren that did that,” he says. “The thought process going on then was not Lauren’s thought process. … As much as I miss her — and only people who have lost a child can appreciate where I am emotionally — I’m OK because of my faith. God needed her more than I did and more than I do. Her work here was done.”

It is that faith that reignited his songwriting passion when he believed he had nothing left to say, even though he had set his sights on a music career since he was a boy. Miller grew up singing in the church — his first performance being an unscheduled rendition of “Oh My Pa-Pa” at his grandfather’s funeral when he was just 4 — and taking piano and trumpet lessons. In high school, he formed The Soulful Seven with his brother Doug (now a member of the Count Basie Orchestra).

The group was signed to MGM Records — home to artists such as Lou Rawls and the Righteous Brothers — and spent five years gigging throughout the region before their career was cut short, following the fire that broke out in their rehearsal space. Miller was studying voice - Vocational Passion


The heart of traditional quartet gospel music comes to life on My Journey, the debut solo offering from Conrad Miller. A former member of MGM recording group The Soulful Seven, and an once-familiar songwriter best known for writing “Carla, My Love” for the Baltimore-based soul group The Softones, Miller revisits his gospel origins along with his music career, which had been on pause for over twenty years. He teams up with prominent producer Steven Ford to help him along the journey while mildly commanding the album’s attention by penning virtually all the songs by himself. While Ford proves to be a multi-taskmaster by working on almost every sound imaginable for the project, the studio effort also ushers in guitar virtuoso Jonathan Dubose, Jr.; giving the album a more livelier, acoustic atmosphere.

Much of the album leans on traditional, bluesy-anchored midtempo rhythms swollen up with smooth male harmonies and Miller’s sweet lead vocals. It’s the friendly, very familiar Sunday morning sounds, yet highly laid-back and innocent than most aggressive, full-throttled gospel workouts usually done in the traditional camp. If your mind can conjure and find satisfaction with the old-school comforts of Billy "Soul" Bonds or any of the Southern blues pantheons, one could easily enjoy Miller’s hospitable approach used on My Journey.

Where Miller shines the most is on the soulful batter of “Jesus Is the Way,” “Blessed By the Best” and “Amazing,” which quickly resonates well among traditional enthusiasts due to its accessible melodies and traditional hooks. “Movin’ On Up,” which ironically bears the exact essentials of the previously mentioned, features a sample of Curtis Mayfield’s “We’re a Winner.” “More than Enough,” using smartly inserted “oohs” and “ahs” during Miller’s verses, is treated with the sensibilities of soul groups like the Stylistics and Blue Magic. The song never picks up with intensity nor the needed modulation to launch the song into single-ready status, but it remains one of the album’s more reverent offerings. - My Journey CD Review

"The Black Gospel Blog"

Back in the day, Conrad Miller was a card-carrying member of the Soulful Seven, a nationally-known group whose cover of the Swingin’ Medallions’ “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love" (MGM) is a northern soul collectors item. Miller also wrote the passionate “Carla My Love” for the Softones, a sweet soul group from the Seventies with a sound similar to the Stylistics and Manhattans.

Although Miller grew up singing in his church choir and is now vice chairman of the Deacon Board at Second Baptist Church in Doylestown, PA, until recently he hadn’t stepped out as a gospel artist. After the untimely death of his daughter Lauren a day after her sixteenth birthday, the singer/songwriter decided life was too short to put off his official entry into the sacred music industry any longer. My Journey, produced and arranged by GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award-winner Steven Ford, is the product of that decision. The lyrics may be grounded in personal faith, but the songs on My Journey sound as if they were pulled off old vinyl records. Miller has maintained his charming, pleasant tenor voice, and delivers his songs in a polite, reverent manner. Expert backing comes from strong, tight male groups (variously the "Back Bench Boys" and a quartet that includes Steven Ford) that give the album a quartet sensibility.

The eleven songs are amalgams of traditional gospel and sweet soul, with Biblical references peppered throughout the lyrics. Thematically, Miller sings of redemption from worldly appetites, the pleasures of salvation and the service and thanksgiving that follow. For example, on “Blessed by the Best,” a no-nonsense angel throws Miller down to get across his point. Many tracks employ the three-and-a-half minute soap opera technique that was compulsory for pop song architects during the transistor radio era, though on My Journey, Miller stretches some to five and six minutes.

While “Amazing” is the catchiest tune on a CD bulging with bubbly, bouncy songs, “Paradise” is the surefire winner. It's a deep northern soul ballad, complete with staccato guitar licks, that sets its sight heavenward. The quartet on the all-too-brief “Movin’ On Up” tosses in tight falsetto harmonies that recall the Esquires’ “Get On Up.” On the concluding song, “From Here to Eternity,” Miller interpolates lines from the quartet chestnut, “Where He Leads Me.” Fans of classic soul and gospel quartet especially will appreciate Conrad Miller’s My Journey. - My Journey CD Review


My Journey, 2009
Keep Pressing, 2013



Gospel music is celebrated through a variety of sounds and styles. Conrad Miller is an artist whose versatility in the genre is skillfully showcased on a brand new project, Keep Pressing, scheduled for release February 12, 2013. The Doylestown, PA, resident, accomplished singer, composer, arranger, recording artist, deacon and choir member gained countless fans nationwide with singles from his debut project, My Journey. Songs like “Amazing”, “Breathe On Me” and the favorite “Momma Prayed For Me” blared from radios all over the country. Now the artist is continuing his musical journey with a new inspirational record, Keep Pressing.

Produced by GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award winning producer Steven Ford, the new release finds the artist adding a contemporary flair to the more traditional styles fans have been accustomed to. Spreading his musical wings a bit, Miller lets Ford shine as he spices up the new CD with lush, orchestral arrangements and full, solid instrumentation. The title tune from Ford’s pen, “Keep Pressing,” is an infectious and feel-good track. Ford also takes the lead on songwriting for the project’s first single, “I Need You”. The track showcases Miller’s traditional side. A true hand-clapper, the song’s lyrics are easily relatable to anyone who’s realized a need for God. They easily capture the essence of a heart in desperate need of the Lord.

Keep Pressing contains a mix of soulful, heart-stirring songs including “He’ll Never Let You Down” and “Our Prayer”, inspired by The Lord’s Prayer. Miller also covered two well-known songs on the project, “Amazing Grace” and “Center of My Joy”. In addition, songwriter Jackie Cordoroy was brought in to share her tunes, “I’m Living“ and “Without Fail“.

“Just Because He Loves You” was a creation from the artist. “The hook of the song was a revelation to me,” shares Conrad. “The old folks used to say, ‘When I think of the goodness of the Lord and all He’s done for me. My soul cries hallelujah; thank God for saving me’. This song is an attempt to define grace and mercy. We don’t deserve His grace and mercy and He gives it to us anyway. Why? Just because He loves you”.

As the writer for the song, “Our Prayer”, Conrad says the track is a treatment of the model prayer. Bringing to mind The Lord’s Prayer, Conrad “prays it will anchor itself in people’s spirit.” He says that the song will help listeners to “pray without ceasing”. He also gave fans something unexpected, a rendition of a popular gospel song, “Center of My Joy”. “We decided to do a cover, something we hadn’t done on the first record,” shares Miller. “With Steven’s relationship with Richard Smallwood (as his long-time producer) and his intimate knowledge of Richard’s catalog, it just seemed to make sense,” he recounts. “The lyrics in the song are so poignant and reflective.” The new record is the perfect way to display Conrad’s love for the Lord and his love for music.

Music has always been a part of Miller’s life. Hailing from North Little Rock, AR, but growing up in Grambling, LA, Conrad exhibited musical talent from an early age. He started piano lessons at the age of 5 and trumpet lessons at the age of 8. Honing his musical skills in the church, he began singing seriously at the age of 12, when the adult choir director at the family’s home church asked him to join. While in school, he grew musically, singing in a variety of choirs and small ensembles, and playing in bands and jazz ensembles. It was in high school that Conrad began his serious pursuit of singing, starting an R&B group along with his brother Doug, an accomplished jazz saxophonist and member of The Count Basie Orchestra, and several other schoolmates. Their group, The Soulful Seven, performed throughout the US over a 5-year time span and was signed to a recording contract with MGM Records, where they were “label mates” with Lou Rawls, The Righteous Brothers, and Donny and Marie Osmond, to name a few. The group also appeared on national television several times.

Conrad’s musical training continued at Fort Hays Kansas State University where he studied voice with Donald Everette and trumpet under James Olcott. Receiving a full scholarship to do graduate work in voice and opera at The University of Michigan, he sang in the Michigan Men’s Glee Club, the Chamber Choir, and sang lead tenor roles in several operas. While there, Conrad had the privilege of performing solos at Carnegie Hall in New York City and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He also performed recitals and solos in Europe and the Canary Islands. It was also in Ann Arbor that Conrad’s composing skills began to surface. One of his R&B songs, “Carla, My Love”, became a “hit” for the nationally-renowned group, The Softones.

In spite of his songwriting success, for almost 20 years, he put his pen down, still continuing to sing occasionally as a church guest vocalist. In early 2001, Conrad rededicated his life to the Lord