Milán — Life Through the Lens of the NJ Rapper’s Debut Album, “All That Glitters”
What is your full name/artist name and where are you from?
My name is Milan Ajay, but as an artist I go by Milán. It’s actually because my birth name is pronounced like Mill-in (or like Dylan with an M) instead of like the city in Italy like my artist name, so I had to make some distinction between the two. I’m from a small town in South Jersey near Atlantic City.
What makes you different as a person/artist?
For starters, I’m an Indian-American and the product of two immigrant parents. For a long time in India, rap culture wasn’t really poppin’ nor was it wholly accepted as an art form (I’m sure that’s changed by now though), so for a while it was hard for my parents to accept that this is the route I want to go. They always wanted me to be a doctor, and for a while I was convinced I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. I even majored in Physics in college and just graduated from Rutgers University. But I’ve put the medical dream on hold to chase this one, and I’m doing it for the same reasons I wanted to be a doctor: I see the healing power and catharsis of music, and I want to be able to be there for people in their good times and their bad ones. That’s how my favorite artists like Mac Miller, J. Cole, and Kanye West (just to name a few) have been for me, so that’s how I want to be for my fans too.
Also as a kid, my parents didn’t introduce me to much music, so I had to create my own tastes. I fell in love with hip hop in middle school when I first heard “Good Life” by Kanye and T-Pain. The vibes on that track are euphoric, and it was the first time I realized how elegant rap could be. Eventually I started trying to rap and write bars on my own in my senior year of high school. What started off as a bunch of whack incomplete punchlines just a few years ago has turned into me greatly developing my bars and my singing voice. I’m still learning how to balance my aggressive, ego-driven flows with my more introspective, self-evaluating side though, and that’s something that’s definitely evident on my debut album, “All That Glitters”. I treat my music like an autobiography with everything I write and reveal about myself. And the songs on this project are like time-stamps of the important points in my life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Selling out Madison Square Garden. I actually said this in an interview about a year ago for a media production internship, and I never got a call back. It’s cool, they’re probably gonna have to get there pretty early to scalp these tickets though.
Milán’s debut album, “All that glitters”, releases on all platforms on May 29, 2020. The album will be available to listen to at