The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper

Arts and Entertainment

Teen Singer Nova Miller Revives 60s Tunes

By Staff Writer Sumani Alem

Multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, and impressive five-octave singer Astrid Fanny Granström, better known by her stage name Nova Miller, is bringing back the nostalgic music of the 1960s with her catchy tunes and 70s stagelike performances. An 18-year-old from Sweden, Miller has been gradually rising to fame since the start of her career. Growing up in a musically talented family, she learned how to play the guitar, violin, and piano at a young age. She was also a child actress before singing professionally, starring in numerous Swedish TV shows. At the age of 12, she was scouted by Lolene, a British artist and music executive, at a dance studio in Stockholm. Lolene gave her the stage name Nova Miller, and her musical career soon took off.

Miller’s first song was her 2015 track, “Supernova,” which she released when she was 12. The single includes lyrics of self-acceptance such as “Ooh, take that hurt and turn it inside out/There’s a universe inside of you now” that reference her own experiences with bullying. She was continuously taunted by her classmates and had to seek therapy. At the time, singing “Supernova”  helped her cope with the bullying, and today, she raises awareness about bullying as an ambassador for Reach for Change, a Swedish non-profit organization. With “Supernova” and her devotion to anti-bullying causes, she hopes to encourage her young fans to ignore remarks from bullies.

Album Cover for “Supernova”

Although “Supernova” found a niche with its touching message and youthful tone, Miller still had difficulty achieving critical acclaim. Miller moved to Los Angeles in July of 2019 to start her career in the US, but she was constantly belittled as a young female singer in the music industry. As Miller explained in the East Portland Blog, “It is really hard to be a young, confident, ambitious girl. Starting out in the industry, I always had to prove myself in different ways. I was constantly being underestimated for my age and blasted for my confidence.” Although she was snubbed by critics, Miller is grateful that she has always been surrounded by supportive women, such as Lolene, who encouraged her and believed in her abilities. 

Miller was fascinated by the sounds of the 60s and 70s that portrayed self-discovery and self-expression. Taking inspiration from this era, she markets herself as “the next 1960s pop star,” and her most recent single, “Do It To Myself,” has  70s-inspired visuals, including vintage hairstyles, boho-chic looks, and a sample of the 1960s song “California Dreamin” by The Mamas and The Papas. Her music is inspired by some of her favorite artists, including The Beatles, Cher, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Aretha Franklin. She finds similarities between her situation and Cher’s, who was also not taken seriously in the male-dominated music industry. Miller said, “Cher was dismissed as a ‘promiscuous woman’ despite all the talent she had. She overcame that prejudice and established herself as a major musical figure of the 1970s, and for that, I immensely admire her.” 

Miller will be releasing an LP in the spring. In the meantime, check out her newest single “Do It To Myself” on YouTube and Spotify. Follow her TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram at @NovaMiller for more updates about her music.


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