“I didn’t realize the significance of geography and where I was recording,” Rob Milton says of ‘Georgia Smile,’ “until that moment."
Matthew O’Brien, who plays bass on the song, invited Milton and Jacque Hammond to a recording session in his Atlanta, Georgia home during their recent visit to the city. “We thinking we going to a studio,” Milton recalls, “and we end up in the woods at this guys house. So we go to the house, open the door, and his whole living room has organs, drums, bass guitar, the whole living room was an abundance of music.”
“Georgia Smile” is a major departure from Milton’s typical upbeat, funky sound, but its bluesy-gospel roots are not unfamiliar to Milton. The New Jersey native grew up primarily in Northern Baptist churches, until he moved to Richmond, Virginia at age 13. “The Northern Baptist church is a lot different from the Southern Baptist church. The soul is still there,” he says, “but it’s not as heavy.”
The live scratch draws near worship when he croons:
“I want to leave this place feeling better/looking better/thinking better/Oh, smile, Georgia/Georgia, smile”
“Once that’s in you,” Milton says, “it’s in you.”
This past December, Milton released his seventh EP, Songs from the Internet, and he’s now leading into his first full album, Rebirth, set for release on June 19, with a single called “Bad Habit.” The album’s cover is designed by Kendrick Daye, illustrator of Large Fears, and the single art is by Llanakila. “I wanted the album to be as strong visually as the music is," Milton says
Milton let me hear the single “Bad Habits,” produced by Black Spade. The ode to toxic relationships is unapologetically black, fun and free, and a good way to kick off the summer with some radical self-love and potential thottery. More than that, it solidifies Ebony magazine’s 2014 claim that Milton is someone to watch
The single was released Monday morning through Afropunk, and you’ll want it on repeat as the summer begins and you let those bad habit lovers go
Want more music-related content like this? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below.
Blavity is a community of the most exceptional multi-cultural creators and influencers in the world. We partner with diverse content creators and influencers to help them reach a wider audience, amplify their message, and fund their hustles. We believe that the world shifts according to the way people see it— and if you change the way people view the world, you can transform it. A subsidiary of Blavity, Inc.