Popping on the Mic w/ Johnnie Mikel
Singer-Songwriter Johnnie Mikel is making his way up the charts with his fun pop tunes, but they come from a serious place. Let’s find out more about what got him to this point, and what he has planned for the next stage.
SB (StarBeat): Quick Intro: How did you find your way to music at such a young age?
JM (Johnnie Mikel): I got into music in a super organic way. I grew up in a music loving household and was always surrounded by the records of iconic artists from before my time. The funny thing is, I was super shy when I was a kid. The only thing that got me out of my shell was anything related to art. Specifically, writing was always a way of expressing myself. When I was super young, I was always journaling, writing short stories, or doing poetry. After growing out of that phase, I randomly picked up a guitar at 14 and found myself putting my writings to music. Even before I was officially singing and songwriting, I feel like I was training myself for many years.
SB: Origins: Where do you find inspiration for your music and songwriting?
JM: I get inspiration in a variety of ways… it’s really everywhere! More than anything, I’d say life experiences that triggered some sort of emotional response. I like telling honest stories and sharing certain things with my audience. I really hope that my words can help my fans in similar situations by giving them an outlet. I also get inspired by what’s going on in our world and seeing how people relate to that. Overall, songwriting is a very honest and emotional process for me.
SB: Rising Star: Can you tell us a bit about your current single ‘Friday Night’ on this Monday morning?
JM: Of course! Friday Night is my latest single and my goal with it was to bring my listeners back to a different era. When I wrote the song and started discussing ideas with the producer, Nash Overstreet, we discovered we have a mutual love for 90’s R&B, new jack swing, and pop. We tried to combine reminiscent elements of that time with a modern 2018 feel. Lyrically, the song is about having the time of your life with friends. It’s super positive and just has good, carefree vibes throughout. It’s unlike any other song I’ve written and so it’s very special to me. Seeing it climb the Billboard dance charts as of late has been unreal…
I’m so grateful people love the song!
SB: Planning: What do you have in the works for the rest of the year?
JM: I just got back home to Nashville from a long stay in LA and had an amazing time completing my next EP. I think I’m excited more than ever for people to hear this new music… I think the new material showcases me in a very real way. So far, I’ve dropped a lot of lighter, dance-y songs to establish myself as a pop artist. However, this new music is much more deep, honest, and edgy. I got to incorporate a lot more of my musical influences throughout… it’s super unique! While finalizing the mixing and mastering of that project, I’m beginning rehearsals in Nashville for upcoming live shows. I can’t wait to announce the dates and get on stage with my latest songs!
SB: Locations: You’ve lived in a few different spots – what did you get from each different place?
JM: I grew up in Kentucky, spent some years in New York City, and now live in between Nashville and LA. I’ve definitely gotten something from each place. Kentucky gave me a great laid-back childhood and an amazing foundation to start from. New York City was a very important time in my life, because I lived there from the time I was 11 years old to when I was 15. It made me a much more outgoing, driven, and creative person. I feel like I found myself while I was there. Nashville is where I learned to write songs at 15 and began my full-time career in the music industry as soon as I turned 18. It’s given me amazing life experiences, inspiration, and is where I kind of grew up/became more independent in a lot of ways. LA is where I can be 100% myself. The music scene in Cali helped me discover who I truly am as an artist and allowed me to use my voice. Also, that west coast weather is amazing… you can’t beat it!
Johnnie on Social:
Apple Music: hyperurl.co/applejohnniemikel