I had a chance to talk with one of the hottest up and coming artists in the music industry these days: Mike Taylor. You may know him from the smash hit “SummerThing!” with Afrojack, but there’s a lot more to Mike than that one tune.
How would you describe your musical style?
People have trouble classifying what I do, but to me it’s very simple: it’s Alternative-Pop music. I grew up in Philly, so it’s very enriched with funk and soul. I tend to lean toward the classic Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, The Roots, and I fuse it into today’s type of music. It’s not a throwback type of thing, but it’s music for young people.
What was the role of music during your childhood with your father being a jazz musician?
I was raised by my mother, and my father wasn’t in the house. But the biggest impact was the idea that it was doable. Just to have somebody you see play an instrument and perform on stage takes it out of that magic zone. When you see people on TV you think it’s an unattainable goal, but growing up around it made it so much more real. I get a lot of my music taste from my mom. I grew up listening to her records.
Was there a particular turning point, when you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I wouldn’t say there was a particular turning point. I grew up as a performer, and everyone does something. I was dancing, acting, rapping, all kinds of things. I think people’s response to what I was doing was different than everyone elses’. There wasn’t a point, but I’ve been on the same path my whole life. The thing that kept me going this far was that I was doing better than I was the day before.
How did you get into the EDM scene?
As a songwriter, I moved out to LA almost 4 years ago. I wanted to pursue my artist career as well as my songwriting career. But the path for a songwriter is different, you just sit around all day, and write songs and pass them around and hope someone is interested. My first big EDM placement was DJ Vice’s “World Is My Playground.” I had a demo with me on the piano playing a basic progression, but Vice came in and made it huge. We went out on tours, and we were on the same stage opening for Calvin Harris.
Did you know that “SummerThing!” was going to be a smash hit?
To say I knew would be a bit of a stretch, but as an artist that’s what I’m hoping for. I make everything with the intention that it will reach its highest potential. If I write a song about “Driving to the Store,” I want it to be the theme song for “Driving to the Store”. Same thing with “SummerThing!.” It wasn’t just a summer hookup, but it turned into a long term relationship. It’s actually a true story, and I wanted to capture the spirit of the summer.
Are you planning to go on tour with Afrojack?
We’re gonna work on some new music, and our first show is at Omnia on October 31st. It will kick it off and keep going.
When are we going to see some new music?
I’m working on my solo project. I’m wrapping up my album right now, and I would love to release some new music on this side of the year. I’m planning to drop my album at the top of 2016. I do have another EDM record coming out, I can’t say who it is yet, but it’s got a really good vibe. Hopefully after that, I can drop a new single.
Does being from Philly help you choose between Team Meek Mill and Team Drake?
I can’t comment on this (laughs). It’s one of those things where I’m just disappointed. Drake is an amazing artist, one of the best, but I expected more from Meek. He let me down a little bit.
Anything else you want to say?
I’m happy people are finding my music through the success of SummerThing! I got some fire we are about to bless the world with, and I can’t wait!
Be sure to follow Mike on Facebook to stay up to date with everything. And if you haven’t liked US on Facebook, click below to do so!