Filipino-American rapper Ezekiel Miller, better known as Ez Mil, has shared some insights about pursuing a life abroad based on personal experience.
During an interview with Filipino-American media personality Jannelle So-Perkins on her magazine show So Jannelle TV, Mil said that living and working abroad is not always a positive experience. In fact, he revealed facing culture shock and racial discrimination when he moved to the United States.
“It’s like this new world, just that alone. The struggles like just being us Filipino-Americans or just Filipino and coming here to America like, ‘Yo, you got a weird accent,’ are some of the racial things that…you just shrug it off. But at the end of the day, it kind of like weighs on you,” Mil admitted.
He recalls memories “like always the first days in school” when he would get picked on by his peers. “I didn’t let that sway me though. Like at the time, I just dealt with it. Because I was just trying to make some friends… Laugh it off and call them names, too.”
Asked his top three advice for new immigrants on how to survive and thrive and America, he suggested sticking to your core, not forgetting your roots, and being yourself. “That’s going to amplify your confidence when you just go about life.”
He credited his resilience and hospitality as a Filipino as his personal traits that he thinks will push him to succeed even further in the American music industry. “Without resilience, I don’t feel like you can make it very far if you don’t want to put in the work. It’s like code to the streets as well. If you ain’t hospitable, how are you going to sell? How are you going to garner people to come in your circle to do what you’re doing as well?”
Mil made a name for himself through his notable blend of hip-hop, trap, and traditional Filipino sounds. The singer-songwriter’s breakthrough came with the 2020 Filipino-pride anthem “Panalo” from his debut album, Act 1. He now has over a million listeners worldwide, with top areas including Toronto and London to the west, as well as Sydney and Melbourne down south.
Due to the impact of his work, the musician scored a joint deal with Eminem’s Shady Records, Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope Records. He even debuted in the Billboard charts in August with “Realest,” a collaboration with Eminem that reached number 3 on Billboard’s Rap Digital Song Sales and R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales.