Manchester-born neo-soul singer/songwriter Pip Millett delivers smooth, laid-back R&B with a confessional, bittersweet edge, as on her 2018 debut solo single, "Make Me Cry," a lyrically biting rumination on her battle with anxiety, and her 2020 EP Lost in June, a study of the part our families play in shaping our character.
At four years old, Millett moved out to the Greater Manchester suburb of Marple, a green area of the Borough of Stockport, to the south of the city. Her Merseyside-raised mother played artists such as Joni Mitchell and John Martyn around the house while she was growing up, and her father introduced her to the music of Bobby Womack. Her early music-making experiences revolved around acoustic guitars and choirs, but by the age of 14 she had committed to learning the bass and then the electric guitar. Although Millett initially considered pursuing a career in fashion, once she was at university in London, music became her central focus. After a track that she'd recorded with fellow students came to the attention of Brixton producer and DJ Joe Hertz, the two collaborated and her vocals appeared on "Goodbye Kisses," a single from his 2017 album Night/Daze.
Millett then signed to the independent label and management company - FOURS, which issued her debut solo single, "Make Me Cry," in May 2018. Following the recording of a Colors Studio version of that track in early 2019, its video alone enjoyed just under three million views in a 12-month period. The success of "Make Me Cry" surprised Millett, as it was the result of her first session in a proper recording studio. She swiftly followed it with the sunnier, less intense "Love the Things You Do" and collaborated later in 2018 with Dutch producer Feiertag on the equally bright "Feathers." Balancing university life with her music career proved tricky, but she continued to release a slew of singles into 2019, including a Warner-distributed take on "Try a Little Tenderness," the song that Otis Redding made his own.
That June, after finishing her degree, Millett issued her debut EP, Do Well. It comprised four songs that were produced by Josh Crocker, who had previously worked with Mabel, her up-and-coming R&B contemporary. This release filled Millett with the confidence to perform full shows, safe in the knowledge that her repertoire was growing. As a result, in September she performed two sold-out shows, one in London and the other in Manchester. Three singles preceded her second EP, Lost in June – including the introspective, entirely solo performance "Deeper Dark" – before it appeared in April 2020.