I've been a huge fan of Mike Posner since he was pushing his mixtapes all the way back in 2009. I was really happy to see him achieve mainstream success with his debut album 31 Minutes to Takeoff. He was all over the radio with singles like "Cooler Than Me" and "Please Don't Go" showcasing his talent not only as a vocalist, but as a lyricist as well.
In the past year, we haven't heard much from Posner, but that's all about to change. He stopped by the Z studio last week and I was lucky enough to ask him a few quick questions before he performed an acoustic set for us.
Tynan: You’ve worked with a ton of huge artists, from Lil Wayne, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, to Justin Bieber. What artist do you like collaborating with the most?
Mike Posner: It’s always special working with Big Sean because we started out in Detroit in my mom’s basement. When we get to make music now, on a higher level, in nicer places, it reminds me where we came from and it reminds me to be appreciative.
T: Your 2012 mixtape The Layover was a huge body of work. What’s it like to put together such a large mixtape between albums?
MP: It’s hard for me to turn off writing songs. It’s sort of a gift and a curse. You make an album every year or so, 10 or 15 songs on it, and maybe you wrote 100 songs that year. I don’t love every song I write, that’s why I don’t put all of them out. But maybe I like 50 of those 100, and there’s only 15 that are going on the album. Some I sell to other artists, I just hate leaving stuff on my laptop. I guess my pen is more active than the structure of the music industry. I like to just put out the music.
T: You’ve mentioned that you almost got out of the music industry after your last album. What inspired you to come back to it and do Pages?
MP: The Dalai Lama said to figure out where your talent fits in to make the world a better place. At the time, I was very lost, disillusioned, because I had accomplished all these things that I thought would make me happier, and they didn’t. And I didn’t really know what to do with my life, and that’s when I started writing songs for other people. I did “Boyfriend” for Justin Bieber, “Beneath Your Beautiful” for Labrinth. And when I heard that quote, I started thinking about it. I didn’t know where my talent fit in to make the world a better place. I knew what my talent was, which was writing songs.
I was on an airplane two years ago. I bit into a sandwich and I had this idea, to make an album, and for every album I sold, I’d serve a meal to a kid, one for one. The idea felt more like a calling. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to. I ended up teaming up with a food bank from New York City. That’s why I’m making an album, because I feel like I’m using what I’m good at to make the world better. Instead of using it to get more money or have a hit song. I did all that already, it didn’t work. It didn’t make me happy.
T: Who can we look for on Pages?
MP: A lot of the guys I wrote and produced for returned the favor, so Sean, 2 Chainz, Labrinth, and Justin Bieber.
Are you guys excited for Mike's new album? Let me know on Twitter @TynanBuck.