We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul D. Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Paul D., what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I grew up in Washington DC and both my parents were involved with academia. My dad was Dean of Howard University and my Mom was a historian of design and we had our own family business. I guess I always was independent. I’ve never worked for anyone else. I majored in Philosophy and French Literature at Bowdoin College, and just went from there

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an artist and dj I guess it’s always been about moving beyond the silos. When I say “silo” – it’s pretty wild. I’ve been active in the arts since the 1990’s and mainly focused on digital media and it’s interdisciplinary foundations. Think about dj’ing as a kind of surfing through media and making a collage of anything and everything. Basically it’s all about pattern recognition. I never have fitted into any boxes, that’s why I like to think of my work as a kind of “anti-silo” – I use the world as my record collection. So much music is based on being in one little category. I hate that. I like to think of the world as a mega mix, so basically everything is game for a remix. The main thing I learned as I started to be a global dj is that many people are really small spirited and do not want to see other people succeed. I was blown away at how petty and trivial people are. I want to make music that unites people and art that gives people a sense of critical thinking. Right now I’m finishing two books and getting ready for a very very very strong 2024. The pandemic was one of the only times in my adult life that I could take a break. It’s been amazing to get a sense of perspective, but I need to get back on the scene. That’s why I think every artist should take a year or two off every once in a while.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a big fan of the idea of learning about the world by traveling through radically different regions. I’d start with islands – which are all under threat from climate change, and the environmental crisis. We’d start at the island of Yap, in the South Pacific – this island created the first cryptocurrency. Milton Friedman did his PHD on them. Let’s call is stone age social ledger! Next stop is the island of Svalbard, where they have the World Seed Bank – an archive of all the seeds humanity has collected. We’d then head the island of Crete, where Europe’s most advanced Bronze Civilization started and mysteriously collapsed. Last island would be Rapa Nui aka Easter Island where an ancient civilization collapsed because of over consumption of all the island’s resources. Great arc of travel!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
No one is independent of their community. Mine foundation goes straight back to my family. My Mom was a historian and owned her own business. My Dad was a lawyer who became Dean of Howard University Law School. I also look at friends and peers like Stephon Alexander who I am starting a new institute called Sound + Science, where we will be looking to work with kids to get them into science through music and the arts. Other major influences are people who have contributed to my books like Brian Eno, David Byrne, George Clinton, and writers like Colson Whitehead, Octavia Butler, JG Ballard, William Gibson and beyond.

Website: http://www.djspooky.com

Instagram: @djspooky_official

Twitter: @djspooky

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/subliminalkid

Image Credits
PHOTO BY JANELLE PIETRZAK

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