I spent a month in my homeland of Zambia in the summer and it’s there that I became a big fan of Mike Posner due to his debut single ‘Cooler Than Me’ which always reminds me of the summer. If you told me that 6 months later I would be sitting down interviewing the American singer I would have laughed it off and said “anyway, moving on”, however this is exactly what happened recently. Below is the conversation myself and the singer had at the Lucid PR offices recently.
Brady: Hey Mike, how’s your stay in London been?
Mike: (Finishes off eating his salad) Everything’s been great…I love it here.
Brady: I was at your concert last Thursday at XOYO (Mike: Thank you man, appreciate it) It was my pleasure, but you said the crowd that night might have been your best crowd you’ve played to in Europe, what made you say that?
Mike: I don’t know why, but it was. The crowd, they were crazy, they were crazy. (Laughs)
Brady: You were signed while still attending university at Duke, how come you decided to carry on with your studies even though you were signed?
Mike: There’s a lot of people in my family that sacrificed for me to have the opportunity for me to go to uni, so I felt I owed it, not to myself, but to my family to finish.
Brady: What was the reaction to the album (31 Minutes To Takeoff) from fans that already heard your two mixtapes? (A Matter of Time & One Foot Out The Door)
Mike: I think a lot of them loved it man. I think it was a musical growth for me and that was the best song writing I had ever done. I think some people were disappointed there were no rappers on it, but it was really important for me as an artist to make a great album by myself to prove that I could do that, so that’s what I did.
Brady: How would you describe your album?
Mike: Well the only thing I really know about my record is that it doesn’t sound like anyone else’s and I’m proud of that. (Laughs)
Brady: How would you describe your sound?
Mike: I don’t really know, I suppose my sound is like a patchwork of many different things that I grew up listening to in Detroit, but it definitely doesn’t sounds like anyone else.
Brady: You write your own music, what motivates you?
Mike: I’m just inspired by real life. I try and write about things that are real to me and just as a rapper would never say anything that was a lie in one of there songs with the fear of being caught out and losing their credibility, I would never say anything that wasn’t real in one of my own songs. (Brady: I respect that)
Brady: What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
Mike: My favourite track on the album is ‘Save Your Goodbye’, because it’s the cleverest song writing I’ve ever done and it’s a song that sounds as if it’s about a girl I can’t get out of my head, but really it’s about something else to me. (Laughs)
Brady: Which artists have influenced your music?
Mike: I’m more inspired by real life and things that happen to me, like day to day, than I am by other artists. There are many people I love listening to but I try not to steal from other people.
Brady: What advice would you give to aspiring singers?
Mike: I would say just make music that doesn’t sound like other artists and just give it away for free, oh and work harder than everybody else.
Brady: If you had to pick one highlight from your career to date what would it be?
Mike: There was a show in New York actually, it was a party and I got to perform ‘Cooler Than Me’ with The Roots as my backing band. That was like a dream come true. In fact the first concert I ever went to when I was 11 was to The Roots, so to see them playing my music was surreal.
Brady: What are the rest of your plans for 2011?
Mike: I just finished touring Europe and I go back to the States where I’ll be touring for the next couple of months and then I’ll be in the studio doing the next record.
Brady: Who are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Mike: Currently I’m listening to Frank Ocean. He’s crazy, and I love that song ‘Novacane’, it’s my favourite track (Brady: Yeah, he’s insane). I’ve also been listening to Grizzly Bear, their dope! (Brady: Never heard of them, but I’ll check them out).
Brady: Complete this sentence, If I wasn’t a singer I would be a …
Mike: Astronaut! (Laughs, Brady: why?) Because I want to go to space. (Laughs)
Brady: Which artist would you like to write a song for if given the choice?
Mike: Erm (Pauses)…If I could write for any artist I would love to write for Britney Spears and have her say something crazy. I would write for her in a way nobody else has.
Brady: So my final question is, if you could tour with any artist living or dead who would it be and why?
Mike: Bob Marley, because just listening to his live recordings I could only imagine the energy that he would bring.
You can purchase Mike’s debut album ‘31 Minutes to Takeoff’, which was released in the UK on the 25th of February of this year here. I would recommend purchasing this and blasting it out in the garden on a fine summers day.