Mikey Mike

Music industry enigma and Rick Rubin-produced songwriter Mikey Mike is a poet like no other with Beck-worthy pop melodies twisted into different shades of deeply soulful, indie rock-guitar-rap.

Mikey does things his own way, and because he’s such a poetic and brutally honest lyricist, every song he makes is a conversation-starter, as are his unorthodox strategies. Igniting his rise to success was all thanks to Mikey catfishing the top music executes and influencers into opening his email and listening to his music. Mikey Mike portrayed to be a retired porn actress who was “helping her younger brother’s friend out,” and the responses went wild, getting more than he even excepted and lead him to a Rihanna feature, a Grammy win, and his now-manager.

That’s not all, as his face and phone number have been splashed on bizarre billboards and posters (screenshots below) all over Hollywood over the last two years, garnering over 30,000 calls and texts. To date Mikey has met up with several hundred callers in Hollywood – if he’s in town he’ll literally meet you at Bar Black to chop it up. Mikey loves people and wants to meet everyone and know everything, he’ll ask how your dog is doing and whether you believe in aliens. Mikey Mike answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.

Do you feel on top of the world having your first EP out?
I feel good but honestly I’m itching to get more songs out. The EP is songs from as far back as 5 years. I’m on a whole new wave I can’t wait to share with the world.

Being your first EP did you agonise a bit more about the songs to best represent you?
Honestly I did not overthink it. The songs are a little all over the place but I think in a good way that shows there are many different vibes and spirits to the music. Some more sung, some more rapped, some more spoken, some more poetic, some just simple and fun. A wide enough net that you might not love everyone but there is probably something on there that will speak to you enough to keep looking out for me.

Being your first EP did you agonise a bit more about the songs to best represent you?
The same as after I got to Hollywood! It’s all bullshit until the end of time. It never ends or gets better, the trip just changes to a different kind of bullshit. I just try to focus on why I do it, and that is to try to touch people with the songs.

Was it liberating when you hit Hollywood?
It was liberating being in Hollywood in the sense that there is a limitless amount of people to meet and things to experience. So many amazing creatives, if you can think it up, there’s a way to put together the team to pull it off. Also was liberating to be in a city where there was more than 2 bars. A lot of new places to get kicked out of!

How did you come up with the idea to use a porn-star name and later a missing person’s styled campaign with your own phone number in it?
The porn-star thing came from having a list of industry contacts and having the epiphany that everybody will answer an email from a porn-star they used to watch and fantasise about. The idea came to me in the shower, where most the great ones do. The billboard with the missing ad was a extension of a previous flyer campaign I did about being new to LA and lonely. It was just the next evolution.

Were you stoked when you reached Rihanna?
Yeah the Rihanna thing was amazing because she was the Holy Grail of the placement game and she was my first real placement. The odds of that happening are astronomically low and I still look back on it as such an incredible blessing. It gave me the money to move to LA and really start The Trip. She and that era will always hold a special place in my heart.

Can you believe how much your life has changed?
Yes i can believe it, because it always has been changing and always will. I don’t expect anything and am attached to no outcome. I’m just trying to Be Here and In it. I feel super blessed and excited about the way it has changed though and I know what’s coming soon will be even more exciting.

What’s the best advice you can give to an up and coming talent who is struggling to break through?
Make your own lane, in every way. That is number one, always. You can be the best in the world at sounding like Drake but there’s already Drake. If you do something that is so inherently You and unique, you almost can’t be wrong no matter how shitty it sounds and people will feel that authenticity and grab on to it. But you can’t just stop at the music, you have to carve your own lane in every aspect of your career, from the people you work with to the marketing etc etc.

What’s next for Mikey Mike?
A bunch of fucking awesome shit! You’re gonna love it!

Interview by Rob Lyon

mikey mike - life on earth

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