Here's my interview with Mikey J
- How’d you get started in music?
I’ve been playing instruments for as long as I can remember, starting on the piano, before moving though the violin and cello and singing in choirs. My father bought an acoustic guitar when we had a Japanese exchange student living with us and that was when I really truly fell in love. It’s my main instrument now and has helped me through so many different experiences and led me to new and exciting things all the time. I now also play bass, double bass, ukulele, banjo and mandolin and am going to start honing my skills with a slide in the hopes of getting a lap steel at some stage.
I started writing and recording music ‘properly’ during the initial lockdowns in Melbourne during 2020 and haven’t looked back! In the last 12 months I’ve released 3 albums, with another coming soon!
- Who are your inspirations or influences?
My all time favourite band is the Beatles, which you can probably hear from my own music. I love most music from 1962 - 1975: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces, The Kinks, CCR, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Queen… Also have a real soft spot for 90s music - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Weezer, The Cranberries, Ben Folds Five - and a few Aussie bands - The Cat Empire, You Am I to name just a few. These days, in addition to these classic acts, I love the indie music scene: Modern Amusement, Scoopski, Fuzzruckus, The Kintners, Rough Sketches, Portobello Express, Joe Peacock, Ant Holland, The Claret, Monte, The Blams, Kelly Creswell, The Future Us, Ade Wilding, JC Miller, The Negatrons and so many more! There really are such amazing artists creating and releasing music everyday - it’s awesome!
My inspiration mostly comes from my family. A lot of my songs are what I like to describe as ‘sappy love songs’ but I like to write about personal experiences and most of my personal experiences involve my family! I also draw inspiration from the people and places that affect me - Shanghai, what I see on the news and what I experience through Social Media and the real world.
- What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Follow those dreams. It takes a lot of hard work, hours of honing your craft, learning new skills and jumping through hoops, but it is worth it! I would also say - payment for plays and promotion is dangerous. A jump in numbers may feel nice, but it’s not real fan engagement. When you get messages from people across the world saying what they love about your music, that is a genuinely awesome feeling.
- How do you set yourself apart from other bands?
I try to be me. The songs I write and record come from the heart and are all performed, recorded and produced by me. There may be some imperfections, but that is also true of all of us. I put my heart and soul into everything I do. I’m super happy with the results of my labours and hope that others enjoy what I make!
- Any new gigs or albums in the future?
My next album is scheduled for release on October 22. It’s another album called Suburban Musings and consists of 11 tracks ranging from power-pop, psychedelic rock, indie rock, singer-songwriter ballads. There will be a couple of music videos that come out alongside it which I’m also really excited about!