Tom Milek

Get the latest from Beat

Tom Milek


Milek’s performing career started in the early years of high school. “I was about 14 or 15 when I played shows at The National Hotel in Geelong and the Angelsea Hotel,” Milek says. Having started learning guitar when he was mid-way through primary school, and then switching to piano (“because my fingers were a bit small – but they’re bigger now,” he laughs) Milek was already well-versed in performance before he took to the stage.

By the age of 15 Milek had recorded a selection of his own songs; a couple of years later, and Milek had an EP ready for release. “I was about 16 or 17 when I did this EP,” Milek says, “but it took a couple of years to get it out.” The honesty that Milek sees as central to his music was already shining through. “I can sit down and spill just about anything out,” Milek says. “The songs can be about what’s happened to me, but they’re not necessarily just about me – they can be about friends’ experiences,” he says.

Milek has no qualms about baring his emotions in his music. Music, in fact, is a place where such emotional honesty should be free to exist. “The feedback I get from people is that my music sounds like me,” Milek says. “I think music is the perfect place to be yourself – especially if it sounds good.” Milek tries to maintain a level of discipline in his songwriting, particularly in the construction of lyrics. “I do try and write quite a lot in terms of poetry and lyrics,” he says. “In terms of writing the actual song, a song usually happens in the matter of about an hour – you need to get a song down pretty quickly,” Milek says.

The title of Milek’s latest EP, Love and Ambition, brings together two ideas not readily associated with one another. Milek avoids the temptation to engage in artistic pretension, while still identifying a conceptual underpinning in the record. The songs are love songs,” he says. “And there are little messages in there, though I’m not sure just how prevalent those messages are. I think love is something we’re looking for, and ambition is something we have. But there’s nothing too deep in there,” Milek laughs.

As for career objectives, Milek is typically honest. “I suppose I just want to get to the point where I can keep playing music and get by,” he says. At the moment I have to do other things to get by. Having spent so long getting this record out, I’d love to get someone to pay for my next record. That’s a pretty good career objective, I reckon,” Milek laughs.