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Interview with Modest Muso Mike Posner

From modest beginnings he began mixing beats in his mum’s basement, copping criticism for not having found a ‘real job’. Fast forward a short time later and Mike Posner now spends his time frequenting red carpets, gallivanting around the world with Justin Bieber and charming his international body of fans with chart-topping music. His seemingly overnight stardom sparked by hit songs ‘Cooler than me’ and ‘Please don’t go’ off album 31 Minutes to Takeoff quickly captured the hearts of unsuspecting people around the world, catapulting him into the limelight on a mega scale, and paving the way for a long lasting, ultra successful music career.

It might be worth mentioning this talented man has more than just an angelic voice, he’s also managed to forge a successful song writing and producing career; having written numerous top-hits for other big name artists. All this success at the ripe age of only 26; it seems everything Mike touches turns to gold. No wonder A-listers like Snoop and Pharrell are clambering to be on his side. Riding the success of the last album, Posner is about to release his next album ‘Pages’ inspired largely by thoughts from his personal notebook. A long way from the kid in Detroit, he’s showing no sign of slowing down, kicking off his National tour in the US this month.

A very time generous Posner spoke to us in between busy events this month where we quickly began to realize why this softly spoken guy from Detroit who started out writing songs in his mums garage quickly rose to the top of the playing field; and stayed there.

So how do you like Aus?
The first time I went to Australia was the first time I’d ever played a show overseas. I honestly thought that no one would show up! I remember thinking, how could anyone know who I am in Australia? I played in Sydney on my Birthday, where 5000 fans sung me happy birthday. [People] always ask where’s my favourite destination. I always answer Australia. The people are so nice!”

So it’s quite an exciting time for you, you’re kicking off your exclusive Unplugged Tour in the States very shortly, delighting fans with a more intimate night and a look behind the music?
Almost all my music is created over a piano, acoustic guitar or in written in my notebook. Seldom do I get to perform my songs the way I write them. As much as I love producing and making beats, (a hip hop kid at heart), there’s a magic to just a voice and one instrument. You’d never miss a word. It’s more vulnerable, and raw. I love being in front of my fans in that capacity.

You’ve had massive success with album 31 minutes to takeoff – and now you’re offering us more musical brilliance Pages- what’s this album all about, and how is it different from your first?
The album is called Pages because it’s part of my story, my poems, songs and ideas that I write in my notebook. I combine soul, hip-hop and pop into this album, it’s a window into my life.
There was a deeper motive behind this record. I teamed up with Foodbank NYC a hunger-relief organization working to end hunger poverty. I had an idea on an airplane after being served a dodgy airline sandwich that for every album sold I would serve a meal to a child.

Hit track ‘Top of the world’ ft. Big Sean has definitely got the GCMAG team listening! What’s the meaning behind this song?..
I began making music for Sean before I got my own shot – since then we’ve accomplished a lot that we’re very proud and grateful for. Top of the world is really about our hard work and achievements in life but also that we demand more and want more for ourselves. This song is about walking the thin line between gratitude and inspiration.
[Mike sings] “Doing pretty good right now just wait!’..

Favourite song on the new album?
My favourite song is called gratitude. But I really love them all.

You have had quite the colourful career so far, writing some of the most successful songs for the likes of Labrynth, Pharrell Williams, Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dog just to name a few! Will you continue to juggle both your own singing career and continue to write music for these guys?
I began song writing and I’ll continue to do it. Making music is what I do 90% of the time so I’m always onto something new. I draft hundreds of songs, so narrowing them down is hard. A portion have been requested by big artists but I often have to turn them down, as I love them too much!!

Touring with Justin Bieber on his BELIEVE tour last year would have been an eye opening experience!?
Any time on stage I’m trying to learn and do better, these skills are always to be improved. One thing I learned was how to handle and perform on a massive scale- we had a good time.

Justin is renowned for getting up to mischief; being older than him did you keep him in line on tour?
We were so well behaved! The most mischief we got up to was playing some prank wars on each other during the shows. They could get out of hand!

Aside from the music.. What do you enjoy doing with your spare time?
I love Basketball, meditation, reading, but mostly writing and singing music. 80% of my time I’m working on my music. It’s what I love.

These words appear consistently on your social media accounts; ‘Relate. Love. Inspire’..
They represent my mission; my life. Before I could accomplish anything I have, I needed to really believe. My goal as an artist is to show other kids, their dreams may not be as far away as they seem. They gotta strive for them and they need that inspiration.

In a world of celebrity, fame and fortune? What keeps you humble?
The way I view myself. I’m completely blessed to have the right people around me. I don’t really identify with the word ‘celebrity’, I sort of cringe when I hear it!

2014 is going to be a huge year for you! Are you planning on coming to Australia any time soon?
You know how much I love Aus and want to come back very soon. It’s honestly one of my favourite places and I’m not just saying that cause I’m talking to you!
There are no locked in dates, but I will get back there as soon as my schedule permits.. Can hardly wait.

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