Try sitting through one of Miles Carter’s videos without either feeling your throat tense as you hold back your tears or completely letting your emotions take over and just cry it out. This emotional reaction can be true to many of Carter’s short films. The artist is responsible for creating 5-minute-long videos ranging in topics from love to heartbreak, to insecurities, depression and happiness. His creations are a cross-breed between poetic readings infused with instrumental backdrops and aesthetically beautiful visuals. From his first YouTube post in 2018 to now, Carter has uploaded more than fifty videos and even dropped an EP, The Weatherman, in 2019.
Each video has its own message, one that the artist says is an “honest expression of what I have learned in life thus far.” Always stemming from his personal experiences, thoughts and feelings, he puts into words universal messages that appeal to each and every one of us as we’ve lived through heartbreak, falling in love, growing spiritually and feeling down. We often feel so alone and get very isolated into our own little worlds that we forget that the experiences we face in life are so much more often experienced as a collective.

Carter’s short film To My Next Girlfriend was his first massive viral hit – it currently has over two million views. It’s barely two minutes long yet it says everything you are feeling but don’t know how to say. The scene is beautifully put together, visually telling the story of a young, heterosexual couple. Carter’s monologue begins: “Hi, I’m Carter, I don’t eat pickles and I don’t eat pork. I think you’re one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever talked too.” Since then, he’s kept creating reflective videos that talk to the masses, thus becoming a sort of online guru for our generation. In this interview, we speak with him about what gives him hope, opening up to the world, mental health, and sending universal messages.
How would you describe what you do to those that are unfamiliar with your work?
It isn’t easy for me to describe, but I like to consider it an honest expression of what I have learned in life thus far. For me it’s a time capsule, something I hope to revisit years from now to understand where and who I was at certain times in my life – the experiences I had and the lessons I learned through them. To many, it seems to be their own thoughts and feelings put into words, which might help them in understanding what it is that is happening in their minds and hearts, to more easily work through those issues. It’s a reminder that we aren’t alone. The issues we feel aren’t so deeply rooted and exclusive to us, but rather, in vulnerability and honesty we realize we are all quite similar.
YouTube is home to a such a wide variety of content, from vlogs to tutorials, to music videos and many more. Did you see an opportunity to spread your message in a market that maybe was not catering to this specific kind of content?
Initially, I made these videos to relief myself of the thoughts and ideas that were stockpiling in my mind. I shared my first video on my personal Instagram thinking I might encourage an honest dialogue about the things I had been thinking about with anyone who would be interested in engaging. The fact that it has attracted such a large number of people is both a surprise and a blessing for me, honestly.
When did the idea of being a YouTube personality come into your head? And how did that lead you to post your first video?
Around the time I shared my first video, I had spent a lot of time with myself in isolation, and I needed an outlet for all that was going through my mind. I shared my first video from a need to be more honest with myself and those who knew me. I couldn’t anticipate a community being formed around this vulnerability, so I give thanks for that. Still, I don’t define myself by what I do. I wouldn’t consider myself a YouTube personality. I am who I am in my everyday life, and what I share are the lessons and realizations I find along my way through life.
Take us back to a young Miles Carter. Were you always as creative as you are now? What influences helped shape you into the artist that you are now?
I have always sought after means of expressing myself in whatever medium conveyed my truth most accurately. Before moving into content creation, I was a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer. I look back on my life and see how everything, the good and the bad, has been worked together to shape me into who I am and what I do today. I thank God for that.
Even more, what I considered to be faults have been turned into my superpower. On the other side of my insecurity was always self-awareness. What I understood as anxiety was also creative thinking. Depression inspired self-reflection. I only had to be patient, allowing the reason for my circumstances to reveal themselves in their divine time. If I could tell my younger self one thing, I would remind him to be patient. It’ll start to make sense in time.
From your first video, Open Dialogue, to your most recent upload; How has your philosophy about how you approach content changed?
I would say my approach to content creation is more purpose driven now than it was when I first started. I’ve come to understand that there is true purpose attached to each of our lives, a reason for our gifts and an imprint we are meant to leave on this world in our short time here. We have an opportunity daily to bring to the world what no other human being can: our perspective. Through our gifts and talents, we share this perspective in a variety of mediums. My hope is that my content reflects an honest telling of who I am and what I’ve done with the life I’ve been given, that it might inspire others to take into consideration what they would like to do with theirs.
I can tell you from personal experience, the emotional connection one feels when watching your short films is truly powerful. The way I would describe it is as if someone really saw you and was able to put what you’re feeling into words. We (the viewers) relate to the words you speak and the art you create. Would you go as far as considering yourself the voice of our generation?
I’m honoured that what I have created could have that kind of impact on you or anyone else. If I’m a voice for anything, I would like to think I am the voice of my own experience. To be able to express that in a way that is eloquent or creatively stimulating is a gift. And if it is a gift, then it has been given to me, so I can’t claim credit for what is not my own.
I would consider myself instead a vessel through which a light is channelled directly to you. And whatever accolades are given to me, in my heart, I give them to God in awe of what he is doing through me for the world.
You often mention topics such as depression and anxiety in your films – whether it’s a small mention or a whole video dedicated to the topic/issue. How much of your content is a reflection of your trials and tribulations? And why do you feel the need to address the subject of mental illness?
A lot of my content addresses the struggles I face, but also the clarity I have found through them. I’ve realized our strength is not in how well we avoid the hardships in life but how well we accommodate them. I’ve learned to accept the hills and the valleys, knowing life does not happen to us but for us. Mental illness is no longer something I seek to get rid of but something I seek to understand. In taking the time to walk through my thoughts and feelings, I develop a deeper understanding of what shapes me into who I am. Offering grace and patience rather than blame and condemnation gives me an opportunity to make peace with my mind. This is the perspective I want to share through my content. 
Again, I think it’s important to talk about the kind of emotional connection a viewer feels after watching your videos. To My Next Girlfriend, If You Decide to Love Someone and Seeing God inspire a real essence of hope. Do you agree with the statement that your content inspires a lot of hope for your viewers? Can you discuss with us what that means to you as a creator?
I would hope that my content inspires hope (laughs). It’s what’s needed in our world. People need to know that the work we do in this life is not in vain. The work we do within ourselves, the work we do in silence, the work that is done without accolade or praise, it is not in vain. We need to understand that an iota of light makes a sea of darkness dimly lit, and that is the power we hold no matter how small we might feel. In a world so seemingly full of darkness, we need hope to facilitate our becoming of the light we would like to see. So if my content inspires hope, then I’m proud of what has been accomplished thus far.
Now switching gears to your creative process and your role as a creative. To say your short films are aesthetically pleasing is definitely an understatement. Down to the location, actors and soundtrack, the overall product is beautifully executed. So, take us inside the mind of creative director: how does a project first begin for you, and how does it evolve from the first idea to what we see?
I love music. There are certain artists that create music in a way that it stimulates your way of thinking. For instance, the music of an artist like Ed Sheeran puts me in a frame of thinking to appreciate the experience of love in a more honest and optimistic way. This might inspire me to write about my own experience with love in a way that is true to me, and so my writing often starts in the form of a journal entry. If I find it is something worth sharing, I’ll monologue those thoughts and attach music that recreates the atmosphere in which I wrote it.
My intention is to invite someone into the world of perspective I’ve found, so I try to use visuals that complement how I see things. It isn’t always a big production or the best quality, but it is always an honest reflection of how I feel. That’s what matters to me.
Your videos are being reposted, retweeted and are trending all across social media. Was there one project that really put you on the map or that marked a ‘before-and-after moment’ in your career?
To My Next Girlfriend was the first of my videos to get viral attention. I remember when it first blew up, people started making their own versions. I thought, this is amazing. This is the kind of content I want to see and experience more – people being honest and vulnerable and normalizing a space for others to do the same.
How do you take all the things that you have now mastered and apply them into another space? For example, are there any plans to create feature-length films, write a book or possibly even live performances?
I have asked God to allow me to fulfil my purpose in as many mediums as I can in my lifetime. He’s given me a creative spirit, so I only have to share that as honestly as I can, whether it be in live performances, writing, film or music composition. The beauty in being human is that we have so many options; what we are not naturally gifted in we can learn with enough time and effort. That perspective reassures my pursuit expression in new spaces without doubt or fear.
You inspire hundreds/millions of people, but what inspires you to continue to create and push out content?
The content I create will always be an honest reflection of my life, and because there is always room for growth, room for change and development, there will always be room for content. I’ve also come to understand that my life is not my own. I know that this life I live is but a breath in an infinite wind, so while I’m here I want to continue fulfilling the purpose that is attached to it.
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