We talk to one of Dubai’s youngest acoustic players, Rob Miller, about city life and his music
I’m an acoustic guitarist with a passion for relaxation, smiles and having fun. I was never really any good at music – or never really into it – until about three years ago when I picked up a guitar and loved it. About two weeks later my dad brought me to a music shop in Wafi and we bought a cheap learner’s guitar that I still have today. I’d recommend that shop for any musical beginner.
I now write my own songs, which cover a range of topics – anything from relationships to heartbreak to death of a close friend to having a special dream where everything is just how you want it. It just depends on the mood I’m in when writing. I have severe writer’s block at the moment, which is annoying, but when I don’t I can write a song in about 15 minutes. ‘Pocket Dream’ was written, recorded and on YouTube in 28 minutes. Yes, I timed it – I am sad!
The biggest influence on my music is British sensation Newton Faulkner. He has a phenomenal voice and his guitar and writing skills are just unimaginable. If I could play alongside one artist it would be him. I think that our personalities would get along, but that might just be wishful thinking!
Although I’m only 16, I haven’t found performing here too difficult. Though there was an age gap between me and the audience at the Dubai Lime open mic nights. They didn’t make it hard to play in front of them – in fact it was quite the opposite – but I don’t think they appreciated what I played, compared to things of their generation. Otherwise, people have been very supportive. Dubai is a nice place to start playing: people are generally very kind and give good feedback. And people like the Dubai Lime team make it extremely easy to get yourself out there. I also went on the Open Mic show with Zahra on Dubai Eye 103.8 and that was fantastic fun.
How would I imagine my last ever gig? Let’s say there is a crowd of 5,000 people. I finish on a song that I believe is most popular and, with a lot of luck, people know the lyrics. I start playing and halfway through the song, a drummer and bassist appear and take over, and I stop singing. The crowd sing the song back to me. I cry a little in the corner by myself, come back on, say thanks very much for everything, and leave to applause. But back in the real world, it will probably just be a small café somewhere, with a good reception at the end and congratulations from smiling people.