Hearing this soulful release it’s difficult to believe that Beneil Miller was “not considering singing as an option” but “was more into piano… listening to Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo”.
Growing up in the Cayman Islands he attended formal piano lessons and would accompany singers in his church on piano, bass guitar and drums (learnt by ear) before being awarded a Cayman Islands government scholarship to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.
Beneil began singing after being prompted by the late Charles “Greggie G” Gregory from Cayman’s Hopscotch Recording Studios and his vocal influences include ‘The Crown Prince Of Reggae’ “Dennis Brown… you’d hear him everywhere and he was a part of my childhood without me knowing”.
He would also listen to gospel, “one of my big influences was the band Katalys Crew… it was a big part of my music journey”, and dancehall stars Papa San and Lieutenant Stitchie.
Beneil Miller - Sailing In Love (Acoustic Version)
A friend in Boston proposed “a project while I was still at Berklee and asked if I had any originals… the song itself, ‘Sailing In Love’, is seven or eight years old” and the inspiration came from one of Cayman’s beautiful seaside idylls.
“I don’t know how to describe it… it’s not even a beach just rocks that have been there for millions of years. I was out there and the whole chorus came to me. But it’s a combination of people contributing over the years … different players… different places.”
Beneil Miller’s music transcends categorisation and transports us all to kinder, calmer places… and there’s much more to follow.
“But this is the first of many songs! I intend to do some more singles and a full length album by the end of the year.”
That’s definitely something we can all look forward to…