Montu Miller was born and raised in Minneapolis. MN and graduated from North High School. He came to Georgia to attend Morris Brown College in Atlanta, but after coming to Athens, he fell in love with it and transferred to the University of Georgia. He attended UGA for several years and then paused his studies to pursue his music interest, going on tour with KRS-One and Ishues. Last summer, he decided to go back and finish his degree, earning a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from UGA. Montu works as a Recreational Assistant at the East Athens Community Center and does event planning and consultation work with the Hip-Hop community through his company, AthFactor-Liberty Entertainment (ALE). Montu stays involved in a lot of community organizing, working to help people connect with resources. He lives on the North Side of Athens with his fiancé, Ymmilia, and their five children, Brayana (15), Sekayi (13), Brandon (12), Gyasi (11), and Liam (7), and two African claw frogs named Hip and Hop.
What is your favorite part of your career?
I love being able to get people to find their true selves. I love mentoring artists and children. I love to see people when they get that spark in them, and they just realize: this is what I really want to do-this is who I am, and they just do it, reaching their full potential. Many people helped me get to the level I am at; I have to help as many people as possible. I feel it is my duty.
What is your favorite thing to do in Athens (when we are not in this current state)?
Probably go out to eat with my family and after we eat, just going on a walk and really just getting out in the city. We go driving around sometimes, too. I love being with my family. We like trying new restaurants, and we are huge on Mexican food, so we’ve probably eaten at every Mexican food place in Athens. Sr. Sol may be our favorite. The one in the gas station on Tallassee, not the other one. There is a big difference.
If you could see any band/show, anywhere, who would it be and where?
If I have to pick one because there are three in my head right now, but if I have to pick one, it would have to be Bob Marley, without a doubt. I would go back and see one of the classic Marley shows. Maybe in Jamaica.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Probably be more patient; you will get there. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself trying to be exceptional- just be yourself. I used to not have patience, and it took me years to develop it, I wasn’t really patient when I was younger. I had a short fuse. So I’d say, be more patient. Also, never stop writing everything down. I stopped writing for years and wish I had not.
Do you have a favorite book that you find yourself rereading, referencing or gifting most often?
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I will read that book anytime. Yeah, I love that book.
Do you have a favorite movie or remember the first movie you saw in a movie theatre?
This will sound crazy, but it just is what it is because I am a huge horror head: The Shining, The Exorcist, or The Omen series. They are the best. So hard to pick one, so I will just pick the classics. But it really depends on the genre because I am also a big Black Film fan; Spike Lee’s, Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and She’s Gotta Have It are some of my favorites. That is an impossible question; I am a film aficionado.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
I would go to Puerto Rico. It is warm there, I have never been, and I would just love to have some authentic PR food there, in some random little spot, sitting there with my fiancé and family.
What is something interesting about you that most people might not know?
I put almost everything out there, but many may not know that I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I also have a learning disability, anomic aphasia. I often have trouble with word retrieval, even simple words. I didn’t find out I had a learning disability until I got to the University of Georgia, where I was evaluated. I struggled for many years without a clue. The funny part is I still graduated top of my class in high school and lived like everyone else. That’s another reason why it’s so vital for me to help people find their true selves. Everyone learns, lives, and functions differently, and once we all find that knowledge of self, it’s like having a cheat-code.
If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
It would probably be Marcus Garvey or Harriet Tubman. I would have a lot of questions. And we would go eat at Damunchiezz Food Truck, owned by my good friend Tahron “Maxim Debonair” Watkins; I would have him cook us some of his famous Salmon with a side of green beans.
If you could put anything on a billboard, what would you put?
BE YOUR TRUE SELF!!!
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
Family, Good-Food and comfort, a place to connect, love & be loved unconditionally.