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“I really try not to pay attention as much as I can to the reaction to the art. For me the reward is in the making of the art in the first place.“
An accomplished singer, songwriter, poet & producer, Mike Posner knows what it’s like to be rich and famous.
He also knows what it’s like to be forgotten. To grieve. To grow. To embrace that which is most important. And ultimately express his truth through art.
This is the story of a remarkable talent’s attempt to live an artist’s life — the struggles faced and lessons learned along his most mercurial path.
In 2010, while still an undergraduate at Duke, the Detroit native’s career exploded with the release of his debut song Cooler Than Me. The irresistible pop song topped charts worldwide, selling more than two million copies and launching him into the stratosphere almost overnight.
But fame is fleeting. Unable to immediately top his debut, Mike’s solo career soon faltered. Turning to writing, Mike spent the next several years behind the curtain churning out hit songs for everyone from Justin Bieber (‘Boyfriend’) and Maroon 5 (‘Sugar’) to Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Nick Jonas and Avicii.
Then, in 2016, his career as a solo artist once again blossomed. A remix of his song ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’ unexpectedly surfaced as an international smash on the electronic dance scene, landing him a Grammy nomination for Best Song that year.
Not long after, Mike was hit with a trifecta of heartache. He weathered a break up with his girlfriend. His father passed after a bout with brain cancer. And his friend and frequent collaborator Avicii took his own life. It was a dark time for the young musician. But the life of an artist is one of persistence. No matter what, Mike continued to show up for music.
The result, and his best work to date, is the recently released album, A Real Good Kid — a mature, vulnerable and infectious pop meditation on grief, celebrity, ego, loss, art and personal growth.
Without a doubt, Mike is an incredibly talented musician. But what inspired this conversation has little to do with music and everything to do with character.
What draws me to this human is his spirit. An old soul with an expansive perspective on art, life and meaning that belies his age, Mike overflows with emotional wisdom forged from experience. And his unbridled, authentic enthusiasm for life and personal expression is as infectious as it is instructive.
This is the story of unpredictable highs. Low lows. Love and loss. What it means to move on. And finding solace while stuck in the middle.
I first saw Mike perform before an IN-Q spoken word event several years ago and ever since have appreciated him from afar. But I fell in love with him during our conversation. I’m fairly certain you will too.
For those visually inclined, you can watch our conversation on YouTube at: bit.ly/mikeposner431 or listen in on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Peace + Plants,
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Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect with Mike: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube
- Listen To Mike’s Music: Apple Music | Spotify
- Billboard: Mike Posner on Getting a Second Chance at Success: ‘I Hated the Thought of Just Being a Songwriter’
- Billboard: Mike Posner Announces ‘A Real Good Kid’ Album
- Rolling Stone: Mike Posner Pays Tribute to Avicii, Tracy Chapman in ‘Move On’ Video
- CBS News: Mike Posner On His New Album
- NPR: ‘Beginnings Always Hide Themselves In The End’: Mike Posner On Grieving And Growth
- Forbes: Part 1: Mike Posner On How Love And Death Inspired His New Album
- Forbes: Part 2: Mike Posner On How Love And Death Inspired ‘A Real Good Kid’
- Variety: Album Review: Mike Posner’s ‘A Real Good Kid’
- BuzzFeeed: Mike Posner Unveiled A Hairy New Look During The NFL’s Thanksgiving Halftime Show
- Detroit Metro Times: We now know who gave Mike Posner a pill in Ibiza
- The Breeze: Mike Posner’s newest album demonstrates a matured sound
- Tucson: Mike Posner stays silent to preserve voice
- Onward State: Mike Posner To Stop In State College On Walk Across The Country
- Mix 247 EDM: Mike Posner’s Inspiring Walk Across America
- YouTube: Mike Posner Calls Avicii’s Death a Wake-up Call, Wants Him Remembered for His Songs | TMZ
- Documentary: Avicii: True Stories | Netflix
- Resource: Abraham-Hicks Publications | Law Of Attraction
- Reading List: Books Recommended by Mike Posner
Notable Books Mentioned:
- The Alchemist* by Paulo Coelho
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century* by Yuval Noah Harari
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear* by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires* by Jerry & Esther Hicks
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help* by Amanda Palmer
- Brain Pickings (Kindle)* by Maria Popova
Notable People Discussed
- Jedidiah Jenkins: travel writer, entrepreneur, Instagram personality and author of To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret* and 2x podcast guest
- IN-Q: or “IN-Question“, is the stage name of Adam Schmalholz, an American songwriter and National Poetry Slam champion and 2x podcast guest
- Moby: DJ, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician, photographer, animal rights activist and podcast guest
- Big Sean: rapper, signed with Kanye West’s GOOD Music in 2007, longtime friend and collaborator with Mike Posner
- Don Cannon: record producer and DJ
- Jay-Z: record producer, songwriter, entrepreneur and one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time
- Kanye West: rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur and fashion designer
Mac Miller: Malcolm James McCormick (1992 – 2018), was an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer
Avicii: Tim Bergling (1989 – 2018), was a Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer
- Ram Dass: renowned spiritual teacher and author of the seminal best-seller Be Here Now*
- Eckhart Tolle: author, spiritual teacher and public speaker
- Dr. Wayne Dyer: self-help author and a motivational speaker
- Barry Weiss: veteran music executive and producer
- Craig Kallman: Chairman / CEO Atlantic Records
- Julie Greenwald: Chairman / COO Atlantic Records
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #395: Jedidiah Jenkins On Shaking TheSleeping Self And The Quest To Live Without Regrets
- RRP #226: Moby On Transforming Electronic Music Elevating Consciousness & Saving The Planet
- RRP #227: Steve-O (+ His Dad!) On Fame, Reinvention & The Journey To Finding Fulfillment From Within
- RRP #269: Travis Barker On Premonition Intuition & The Importance Of Following Your Heart
- How Charlie Jabaley Lost 120lbs & Overcame A Brain Tumor To Become An Athlete
Special Thanks to Mike Posner for this week’s interstitial music “Stuck In The Middle”, Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production and show notes. Video, editing by Blake Curtis and Margo Lubin. Graphics by Jessica Miranda.Theme music by Ana Leimma.
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