As artists, we all live or own journey. Our gift is the ability to take that journey and turn it into art without having to conform to any outside pressures. Our recent find Mikarlo shares his truth in new album Crowded.
We had a chance to catch up with the inventive pop artist for a discussion about his journey and new album. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, tell us about the name Mikarlo?
Well “Mikarlo” actually came from Michelangelo but I completely tore the name into bits and added some letters until I found a name I liked. I remember being a junior in high school and my mom was driving me to school so for some reason I thought “I need a new name!” And boom, Mikarlo was born.
How would you describe your sound?
I like to think that my music matches my personality, and I’m a very mellow person, so it’s very moody. Perfect driving music or something you can dance and/or cry to.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
Growing up, I was a huge Aaliyah fan. She was talented, beautiful, and she seemed to be so kind. She was so special to me. It wasn’t until high school when I found out about Lady Gaga and felt empowered to be myself and to pursue my dreams of being an artist. There are quite a few artists who have influenced me but those two are closest to my heart.
What drives you to create music?
I remember being very quiet when I was younger. I felt like no one wanted to hear what I had to say. I wasn’t popular, I didn’t know any talents I had, I kind of just existed. Over the years, I had managed to hold in so much that it became too much. I became severely depressed. I realized I had to use my voice in order to heal from my past and I have to say it has helped me so much more than I had hoped. Music saved me, it helped give me strength, courage, and hope. I now make music, not only to express myself but in hopes that someone else can heal from my music as well.
Has Los Angeles treated you well as a LGBTQ+ Pop artist?
I would say that being the kind of artist I am, looking how I look, dressing how I dress, talking how I talk, I’m a bit of an outsider. Living in this city has shown me that this is a real “crabs in a bucket” situation, so it’s really hard to find support. The good thing is that I never really belonged to cliques nor did I ever try to so, in a weird way, it’s working out for me.
What can you tell us about your brand new album Crowded?
I love it so much! This album is a huge exhale for me. The main idea for Crowded was to show what really happens inside of my mind on a day-to-day basis. Every day I experience episodes of depression, mood swings, invasive thoughts and much more and I really wanted to express that because I felt like I was hiding what was behind the straight face I give daily. My mind really feels Crowded! Most of this album is a conversation with myself. From feeling suicidal (Daylight), to trying to fill the void with whoever is in front of me (Dignity), to finally accepting and loving myself (All I Need). This is a really special moment for me and I’m so happy to share it.
How does a song come together for Mikarlo? What is your songwriting process?
It usually takes about 10-20 minutes to write a song. Once I know what I want to say, everything else just comes out. I’ve written so many songs that will never see the light of day so I every time I’m about to write, I have to ask myself “What do you really want to say?”
Share some advice for other artists trying to get noticed in the Pop scene?
Do your homework, be kind to other artists and yourself, and work work work! A lot of us start off with small budgets and no team behind us, so it’s important to know what you want and go for it. Also, please be prepared to be rejected and for things to go wrong! It’s all part of the job but you have to remember to keep going.
What does the future hold for Mikarlo?
I never try to plan the future out anymore. 2020 really taught me so many lessons. I just know that I’m going to be releasing a lot more music, visuals, and collaborating with some of my favorite artists!
Keep up with more from Mikarlo HERE.