TUESDAY, July 5 — Three years ago, Portland native Shelby Miller, who performs under the name Shelby Ann-Marie, turned 15, the minimum age to audition for “American Idol.”
“I got so many calls on my birthday that said ‘Happy birthday, when are you auditioning?’” Miller said. “Everyone wanted me to audition as soon as I could.”
She auditioned and appeared on the show in 2014. Miller made it into the top 30 female vocalists for season 13, earning her a spot on the show’s “Hollywood Week” segment.
“It was definitely different than I thought it was going to be,” Miller said. “They just throw you into everything, and that’s where I got my first experience with all the different aspects of the music industry, from filming to working with a band.”Miller stepped in front of the cameras again recently, this time to film a video for crowdfunding website Patreon. The website allows users to become “patrons” of participating artists by paying subscription fees to access exclusive content created by the artists for the site. Miller’s first video with the site is a music video cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
“It’s just a new way of streaming,” Miller said. “We’re putting behind-the-scenes work on there and interviews, all kinds of stuff. If you were to just watch one video on YouTube, you wouldn’t get all of that information. It’s a really neat way to combine all the stuff you’ve been working on for one project into one area that people can go to.”
For the project, Miller collaborated with Grand Rapids-based musicians Chen Flakes and Zach Burger.
“We decided to do ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ because it was an up-and-coming pop song that can be a little bit of a crossover, depending on how you deliver it,” Miller said. “So I brought it to them and asked them if we could turn it a little bit more country.”
The video was filmed at Urban Beat event space in Old Town and in the areas surrounding it, giving it a decidedly local feel. In a way, it’s a final nod to Lansing as Miller prepares to move to Nashville at the end of the summer.
“I’m actually in the transitioning process right now, but I still have shows up in Michigan. I’ll be making trips back and forth,” Miller said. “Michigan’s my home and where I grew up. I love the support that I have here, but I’m definitely going to try that for a little bit.”