MANILA -- When his hit song “Panalo” registered a massive 73 million views to date, it totally overwhelmed Fil-American rap artist EZ Mil. The song that went viral undeniably became his signature anthem to the music world.
“That’s crazy,” EZ Mil, or Ezekiel Miller in real life, told ABS-CBN News.
“Panalo” is EZ Mil’s brilliant, reimagined version of the traditional Filipino folk song, “Cariñosa,” that even showcased his trilingual rapping – English, Tagalog and Ilocano, having born and raised in Olongapo City. The rap song gave the world a glimpse of who Ez Mil is.
At the airport, EZ Mil gets unbelievably mobbed. Everybody is taking pictures as they see him. Not a few are tagging him as the most recent “Idol ng Bayan.”
“We know that Filipinos are so heartwarming and sobrang lambing,” he noted. “I just love it when I’m with my biggest supporters and fans.”
Recently, EZ Mil released his sophomore album, “DU4LI7Y,” distributed by Virgin Music/UMG under FFP Records, that showcased more of his versatility as a singer-composer-musician. He also produced and engineered the tracks.
The letters A and T in “DU4LI7Y” were 4 and 7, respectively the number area code of Olongapo City, EZ Mil’s hometown. “My duality,” he stressed. The album is actually a “continuation” of his initial release and first project, “Act 1.”
“I hope everybody listens to ‘DU4LI7Y.’ Everybody will get a peak as to who EZ Mil is. There’s no more question as to who I am.”
The whole album will introduce EZ Mil “vaguely” to his growing multitude of fans and listeners. “Duality in itself just explains to me as a person,” he explained.
“I hope everybody listens. It’s an open conversation whatever anybody’s take on it, that’s going to be valid. It’s art. There’s only so much in my story that I can tell.
“So I just put it vaguely and went crazy with the music. There are layers and layers of the music, but I hope everybody enjoys the songs and have a blast.”
When EZ Mil started doing his music, there’s an identity crisis about who he is actually representing in this world. “This album solidifies who I am, to the point that I don’t necessarily have to be too much of anything else but myself. I feel like I’m two people.”
“That was the music that I first started to create which is heavy metal, rakrakan. I’m excited for everyone to listen to the first song [‘Rapture’] on this album because it breaks me down.”
The album took some time to be completed. “'DU4LI7Y’ is just my second album, but I’m used to writing a lot of songs,” EZ Mil explained. “Mas compact ang writing. We chose 10 from 16 tracks. It just came down to just 10.
“This was not the regular project that I’m used to making. It took three years within the creation of the entire project and some changes. Iba rin kasi talaga.
“There were a number of songs originally intended for the album. Some 16 tracks were lined up because that was what I was usually used to. The listeners will have many songs to choose from.
“But the story was tightly knit. We trimmed the cuts to 10. All of the titles have individual stories. If you listen to the album back to back, from song number one to song number ten, everything is connected.
“You will pay attention even to the audio, everything you’re hearing in this album. This album focused more on my musicality that’s why I’m so proud of it.”
The collective decision to release only 10 tracks for his latest album came from EZ Mil’s mom, girlfriend and the bosses at FFP Records.
“It’s my choice what I will allow the world to hear,” said EZ Mil. “My style, with the help of their trimming down because sometimes, my style gets out of hand.”
EZ Mil, who describes himself as “superbly romantic,” recorded the songs in “DU4LI7Y,” from his house in Las Vegas, Nevada. He returned to the Philippines to recently launch the album, promote and perform the new songs.
The first single off the album is the explosive “Re-Up,” which EZ Mil recorded with his sister Raynn rendering her infectious vocals.
“Can U Keep A Secret” is a Michael Jackson-inspired track. “Spinning” vents about EZ Mil’s life living without his dad, while “27 Bodies” is the most recent single released and his take on putting his own instrumentalists to his 24-bar challenge.
The video racked up more than eight million views on his own YouTube, with “27” just merely EZ Mil’s favorite number.
The heartfelt “Ridin’ With the Moonlight” unveils a softer, more sensitive side of EZ Mil as a young musician, also released with an official video.
Early on, EZ Mil released the single, “Dalawampu’t Dalawang Oo,” a tribute to Olongapo City where he grew up.
“EZ Mil is the hardest entity in the genre box who is always willing to push the boundaries,” he said. “I’m trying to piece everything together. I feel amazing right now.
“For the simple fact that this is one of a kind opportunity that I’m willing to be called upon the whole world. I’m just excited.”
Born in Olongapo, EZ Mil now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his family. “We started a little bit struggling. I did odd jobs, but it got better later on for me and my family,” he revealed.
Today, EZ Mil is a full-time musician in the US. “No more odd jobs,’ he smilingly insisted. “Things happen. We enjoy simple benefits [in the US] and here I am making music.”
EZ Mil loves to venture into acting one day, too. “If anyone has a crazy person role that I can probably play, I’ll do it,” he said. “If I get featured in a ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ film, I’m okay. I’ll be happy.”
He expressed his desire to also work with the likes of Gerald Anderson, Sarah Geronimo and Nadine Lustre.
On July 30, EZ Mil heads off to London, UK, where he performs with Bamboo, KZ Tandingan and Darren Espanto.
Then on August 13, EZ Mil will pay homage to his hometown by staging a concert at the Subic Gym before he returns to the US.