Miles Ahead

EC rapper wants his mixtape to mean something

Marie Anthony, photos by Andrea Paulseth

WORTH THE DRIVE. Local rapper Miles Blvd, the stage name of Phil Faucett, dropped a full length mixtape in October called Moonlight Drive. While this record is catchy with big sounds, his next project will be more introspective.
WORTH THE DRIVE. Local rapper Miles Blvd, the stage name of Phil Faucett, dropped a full length mixtape in October called Moonlight Drive. While this record is catchy with big sounds, his next project will be more introspective.

So where to begin?
It’s something within
Something of panic and trouble
I’m manic and double a mannequin’s struggle to grin.

These lines are those of Phil Faucett, 22, also known as rap artist Miles Blvd. On Oct. 24 – four years into crafting his work – he decided it was time to release his first mixtape, Moonlight Drive. The emotion in each of Phil’s tracks are what I find so compelling. As we sipped our macchiatos and mochas, Phil opened up to me about what this entire experience has been like.

“My favorite place to be is in my car, by myself, listening to music. That’s my safe place. When those doors close, the world is outside, and I’m free to drive and to think about life.” – Phil Faucett, a.k.a. Miles Blvd

Moonlight Drive encompasses all of the layers that are a part of Phil Faucett. Tracks like “Ramone’s” highlight his fun and easygoing nature, while “Melting Pot” and “Caught Up” reveal his deeper, more introspective side.

“The biggest thing that went into this record was my personal journey, especially this year,” he said. “I went through a lot of personal issues. It got to a point where I wasn’t making music anymore. A lot of dark times and isolation helped shape this album.”
“I think it’s weird that I’m not a Gemini because a lot of the time I feel very conflicted, like I have a dual personality,” Faucett said. It’s why he chose the moniker Miles Blvd. Miles is an homage to Miles Teller, his favorite actor. Phil explained that what he loves most about Teller is his quirky, charming, and lovable personality. As for “Blvd,” it reminds him of one of his favorite places.

“My favorite place to be is in my car, by myself, listening to music,” he said. “That’s my safe place. When those doors close, the world is outside, and I’m free to drive and to think about life.”

He had dreams of being a rap artist at the age of nine, but he didn’t start to take it seriously until high school. He worked on some tracks with Evan Middlesworth at Pine Hollow Studios when he was 18, but he still didn’t feel ready to share himself with the masses. He still felt his messages were juvenile and immature. Phil is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. He refuses to release just any rap song.

“A lot of rappers will write just a s—-t ton and put out a lot of music,” he said. “I’m the opposite. I’m very slow and methodical. I want the message I share to mean something.”

Faucett is most thankful for the people he’s met along the way. During the process of creating his mixtape, Faucett met two of his “favorite human beings,” Justin Anderson (who helped him engineer Moonlight Drive) and local musician Caitlin McGarvey (who is featured on three of his tracks). Faucett is grateful not only for their talents and support but also for their friendship.

“The support I’ve received and just having the opportunity to record my stuff has been very humbling and emotional,” Phil said. “There were times during the recording process that I almost cried.”

Faucett is already working on his next project. He explained that the purpose of Moonlight Drive is to let everyone know who he is, so that they’ll pay even more attention when his next songs are released. It’s why this mixtape is an intense and powerful 30 minutes. His next project will feature inspiration from Hunter S. Thompson, journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Faucett wants that compilation of songs to have the psychedelic feel of Thompson’s “Gonzo Journalism.” His next release, he says, will be darker and uncover even more of his deep-rooted emotions.

Phil admits that sharing his words with others in such a public way is very scary because all of his words come from such a vulnerable place. “People will judge the s—t out of you,” he said. “There’s always gonna be the good and the bad, but making an impact, that’s what this is all worth.”

As important as sharing a powerful message is to Phil, he’s very human and honest. “I want people to listen to my stuff and know that this kid isn’t messin’ around. I’m here to inspire people and to make some noise.”

You can stream and download Miles Blvd’s mixtape Moonlight Drive at milesblvd.bandcamp.com or soundcloud.com/miles_blvd.

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