The Backpack Label duo move in silence, but definitely should not be slept on. Brothers Backpack Mula and Backpack Miller are Atlanta born and raised, but have had world-wide success, and aren’t looking to stop anytime soon. Their most recent success story comes from the track “Rolex,” with artists Ayo and Teo, which took social media by storm in early 2017 with its catchy beat, lyrics, and dances. Check out their exclusive interview with rolling out below.
Backpack Mula and Backpack Miller, are you guys related?
So, what was the tipping point that made you decide that you wanted to be in the music industry?
Miller: I’ve been playing the piano since I was five, and I started taking music serious in high school, but a lot more serious after high school because I started to see it more as a career and realized I could turn it into a business.
What about you, Mula?
Mula: I started to take it seriously in high school as well. He played the piano, and I played the drums since we were kids. Just like him, I had a love for music.
Miller: We played for our church. They didn’t have any musicians, so they decided to put us in the ministry by playing for the church. We took lessons once, and from there, we just continued to learn by ear.
You guys had a real big hit with a group that was on social media, right?
Miller: Yes, real big! They went viral. Ayo and Teo, Rolex. A viral dance that not only took over the internet, but changed music. They set the tone for 2017.
How did you run into them?
Miller: They’re actually with Jazze Pha, and just working with the other producer that’s on the record, Blessed; we worked on this track months ago, like in December. The track, and the beat was done, then we ran into them at the studio, played it for them, then a week later we put it out. In less than 7 days, we had millions of hits. It’s crazy how fast it happened. Recorded it, got it mixed, put it out, then they started dancing to it, and it went crazy. Just unreal.
How did you go from playing at your church to being Backpack Miller and Backpack Mula who everyone knows as great producers?
Miller: Teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream work. It’s a family business. We’ve been around for over 10 years so we have a lot of people in our crew, and we hold each other down. When a label tells us no, someone will pick up that slack, and we’ll learn whatever it is that we need to improve on. We’re an over-night success over 10 years. Everyone thinks this is my first big record, and yes, it is my first bog record, but it’s not my first time dealing with the music business.
You’re beat with Ayo and Teo is original?
Miller: Yes. Original melodies, original drums. Just something off the top of our heads. Blessed said “give me some church chords,” and I gave it to him. So, it started off as a weird church sounding song, then we added some flutes and it went from there. A lot of songs in 2017 have flutes, Migos, Gucci, Future, the list goes on. So, I think that really set the tone for the success of this song as well.
As a producer you really hear that type of stuff?
Miller: Yes of course. You know the average listener doesn’t hear stuff like that, they just like to listen to music they can vibe to. As a producer, I listen to the trends of songs, and it gets really deep.
A little birdy on the street told me that you just got out the studio with Lil Kim and Cardi B.
Miller: Yea, we’re trying to level up and do some writing. I think it’s going to be a good record, but it’s done and its ready to go.
Backpack Mula, you do A&R correct?
Mula: Yes, I do A&R for Backpack the label; me and my boy Thunder. We go out looking for different artist seeing who can bring something to the table. Like right now I have this artist named Dime, who’s from New York and she’s really dope. We’re just here trying to take over from the North to the South.
How old are you?
Miler: I’m 28
Mula: I’m 27. We look young, but we tell people don’t play us because we’re grown men, and we’re about our business.
Who came up with the name Backpack?
Miller: Actually, a friend of mine used to always see me show up to the studio with a backpack. He started calling me backpack so I ran with it and started branding everything as backpack.
Mula: Well, I used to be called Young Money because we used to throw parties. We threw teen parties, and we were the youngest people doing it; we were the first people to bring Soulja Boy to Atlanta. I came up with Mula because I was the one always sealing the deals.
When you said Soulja Boy, that really put a timestamp on how long you’ve been doing this.
Mula: Yeah over 10 years.
Miller: The party scene really opened doors for networking. We were having parties at the same time when Soulja Boy had all the dances going, so it’s just amazing to see how it came back around with us working with Ayo and Teo. The dots are definitely connecting.
You’re currently being sought out by labels?
Miller: Yes, everyone just wants a piece of the pie. It’s a new game, and people aren’t looking at major labels like we used to anymore; we are learning how to do things on our own. Google answers a lot of my questions, and my attorney is there to back it up. So I’m at the point where I don’t even want a label because I’m moving around and traveling just as much as I want to.
You mentioned your attorney, so you know it’s very important to have a team.
Miller: Yes, me and my attorney are very close. That’s my dawg. His name is Omar Landry, and he’s been holding me down. We’ve been tackling everything from licensing to television.
This is a great time for you. You’re doing a lot of traveling, you’re based in Atlanta, your hometown, and you’re getting the chance to recognize and experience the business in other markets.
Miller: Yes, and I love it! Every market has different ways they do business. That’s another reason why I didn’t sign to a label. I wanted to really experience and learn what happens after a record takes off. I’m learning so much. I wouldn’t be where I am if I was signed working for someone else.
How does your upbringing and the way you were raised affect the way you are today with you being so close?
Miller: Our mother always told us to stick together, and that’s what I try to do. I make sure we stick together. Of course, we fight and argue, but we come back together and focus back on our music.
How do you all use technology and social media?
Miller: Same way we did with the parties, marketing. When we were having the parties, it was at the time when the internet was getting big, and Soulja Boy was taking over as well. We took the concept of passing out flyers, doing school tours, and advertising, and just applied it to social media.
Instagram: @BackpackMiller and @BackpackMula
Twitter: @BackpackMiller and @BackpackMula