Written By: Jayme Face
This is going to be a BIG year for singer Johnnie Mikel! His latest single “Come with Me” will have you dancing in no time!
upfrontNY: Can you describe your sound and style?
Johnnie Mikel: Yeah, For sure! I am definitely a pop and dance artist, but one of my favorite things to do is kind of marry in a bunch of other elements. I definitely have a lot of electronic sounds in my music, but when it comes to just style in general I really love having this rocker on stage persona. When it comes to fashion and me being on stage it’s kind of something I like to pull out for sure.
upfrontNY: Since you are a pop artist what made you put roots down in Nashville?
Johnnie Mikel: Well, I’m actually from Bowling Green, Kentucky originally and then I lived in New York for a few years before I came back to Nashville. Around that time is when I got into music and originally I was going to go to Belmont University for songwriting. I was going to start last year and then a bunch of opportunities came up; I started taking trips to L.A. for writing and production and that’s when I was like okay I can just go for it and start my career now or I can just go to school. I took the risky route for sure and just went for it and I’ve been really happy about it. Yeah, I am based out of Nashville, but I’m pretty much in L.A. more than anywhere anymore. It’s been a lot of fun though I think it’s a great place and it’s not just country. I think it’s just something that’s always been here and that’s what people assume, but it’s actually been really cool to be here as a pop artist because there’s definitely that scene that’s coming up.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your single “Come with Me” and the music video?
Johnnie Mikel: “Come with Me” is really funny because it’s actually one of the last songs I wrote for the project. I remember looking over my material trying to decide what the first single should be and I felt like there was something missing like I needed this huge single worthy club track to put out at the start. So, I decided to go back into the studio and I met with Damon Sharpe who is a multiplatinum producer, he’s worked with people like Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and Ariana Grande. I was like we have to do something big. I sent him over some tracks that I really liked and just kind of like my inspiration and I met with him in the studio a couple weeks later. He played me the track for just the music to “Come with Me”. I freaked out because it was exactly what I was looking for and then at the point we brought in Lindy Robbins and that’s when we actually wrote what would become “Come with Me”. It was so much fun! The track is really just about being yourself, being with the people you love, and having fun. I think it has a lot to do with just losing inhibition and being honest with yourself. It’s really true to where I am as an individual. As a new pop artist, I wanted to put that message out there first. The music video is similar and I think after you watch it you get a good glimpse of who I am. It was important for me to put that out to start.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about the EP overall?
Johnnie Mikel: I am so excited about that. I have worked toward this project for a really long time and had been recording all year for it. I picked the five songs that really represented where my life is right now and I think it captures me in a really fun light. There’s a lot of upbeat party songs on the record, but it’s got a cool message to it. Every song as you listen to the album tells this big story and I’m super excited about it. I got to work with some great people like Damon and Lindy. I collaborated with The Ready Set, so there’s a lot of really cool things on the EP. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
upfrontNY: What made you want to become a musician?
Johnnie Mikel: Well, it’s actually funny. I feel like I’m kind of backwards from what most people did. Most people when they are writing songs they pick up the guitar and then they start writing, but my whole life I’ve been this creative individual, always in the arts some way or another. For some reason writing is something I’ve always done naturally. Then when I was fourteen, I don’t really know why, I got into playing guitar. I picked up the guitar, just on a whim, and after I did that there was no looking back. That was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I just started putting poems and things I had written in the past to music, it kind of just morphed into pop songs. I really don’t know what made me want to become a musician, but I think one thing that is important to me I want to spread a positive message. That is what I try to do with my music it’s all about being yourself, being cool and being kind to other people. I want to definitely spread that message through my music.
upfrontNY: What artists inspire you?
Johnnie Mikel: My all-time favorites would be Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, they’re so cool. Stylistically I really love people like David Bowie because they’re such innovators, like no one has done what David Bowie has done. Same thing with people like Lady Gaga. I really love those super dramatic artists that just keep everyone on the edge of their seats.
upfrontNY: Now you lived in New York for some time, what is something you miss about New York?
Johnnie Mikel: First of all, let me say I love New York. There is no place like it. I think that it’s probably that every day is different there. I feel like you could live there your entire life and not see everything and I think that is really a cool thing. Moving there from Kentucky there is all of this diversity, so much creativity and so many things to do. Up until that point in my life I had never really been exposed to all of that. So, I think that it would have to be the endless possibilities of what it means to live in New York.
upfrontNY: Will you be touring soon to promote this album?
Johnnie Mikel: Yes, the radio tour is probably in the first quarter of 2018 and then I will be doing promotion for the record. I’m hoping touring comes after that, so around the summer. We’re in talks with a few different groups about what that is going to look like. I am so excited to get back on the road! That’s actually my favorite part of the whole process- being on stage.
upfrontNY: The New Year is here, any resolutions?
Johnnie Mikel: Not really. I would say probably just this year is going to be about working even harder and pushing and moving forward. I think that the success of the single and how people have received it lately has really inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing, just on a larger scale. Yeah, I’m just going to keep working even harder that’s my New Year’s resolution.