Megan Miller, a singer from Ethel, experienced the bright, hot light of fame in 2012 and 2013.
Both years, she made it all the way to the Hollywood round of “American Idol.” And in both years, Miller was cut. It was heartbreaking.
“I felt like I’d let everyone down,” Miller said. “I was thinking, ‘Well, now what are you going to do? You failed.’?”
After being cut from “American Idol” the first time, Miller picked herself up and started again.
“I worked for an entire year to come back and win the show,” she said.
Despite being cut during Hollywood week again in 2013, the singer has no regrets.
“I wouldn’t change that for the world,” Miller said. “It got my foot in the door. It’s an interesting fact about me. Who can say that they were part of something like that?”
Instead of giving up on music and returning to normal life in Louisiana, Miller moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in May 2014.
“I was like, ‘How can I still go forward, keep people interested in what I’m doing?’?” she said.
Nashville is a powerful magnet drawing all kinds of talent. Miller is well aware that she is one of many talented young people, but she is determined.
“If I have to knock on every record company door and hand them a CD, that’s what I’m going to do,” she said. “Because I will not be happy sitting at a desk in Louisiana.”
Miller’s dream continues its path to possible fulfillment with Friday’s release of her first recording of original music. She made the EP “Aspire” in Nashville. The EP will be available digitally and later as a physical CD.
During an upcoming Christmas-season visit home, Miller will sing songs from “Aspire” on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at Uncle’s Earl in Baton Rouge. Blake Breaux is also on the bill.
“I called the album ‘Aspire’ because the definition of aspire is to strive to achieve something,” Miller said.
Miller co-wrote two of the four songs on the EP. “Guessed Wrong” and “Eyed Closed” are the two EP songs she didn’t co-write.
“But they really embody the type of songs that I wanted on the EP,” she said.
“Eyes Closed” could be autobiographical. It’s about someone who lives in a big town but can’t forget the small town from which she came.
“Trigger,” a Miller co-write, flips up the tempo and rocks with a message.
“Everyone has hurt people, and everyone’s been hurt,” Miller said of the song’s lyrics. “I think the song is a different spin on things. It makes people realize that no one’s perfect.”
As scary as it was for Miller to leave home and go to Nashville, she’s enjoying life as an aspiring performer and recording artist in the Tennessee capital.
“There’s always something to do,” she said. “Everyone is open to meeting you because none of us are actually from here. A lot of people are just like me — millennials who moved here for bigger opportunities, especially in the creative industries. The city is blowing up, full of opportunity, no matter what you’re doing.”