Age is truly nothing but a number. This is especially true in the case of Johnnie Mikel. Coming off his highly successful debut single, Come with Me, Johnnie recently released his first EP, Night of Your Life, and follow-up single, Friday Night. He’s an accomplished singer, songwriter, performer and musician who just debuted in the top 40, all before his 21st birthday!
Here’s what happened when we caught up to discuss his new EP
So you are currently on the West Coast promoting your New EP, where have you been so far?
Promoting the new EP has taken me to all my favorite places! I’ve been in LA, Nashville, and NYC, to name a few recent ones. I’ve also been doing a lot of phone interviews across the country and plan on hitting the road this fall to perform and further support the new music.
Tell me more about your new EP and the inspiration behind it?
The Night Of Your Life EP was kind of my first step into pop and dance music. I grew up listening to dance artists like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, so I had a lot of iconic influences on this record. It’s also just a super fun record about being yourself and living your best life, which I can definitely relate to right now. Making this EP was such a fun experience and I think that translates well into the final project.
What’s your favourite track from the EP and why?
My favorite track from the EP is Risk! I’m really drawn to that darker, edgier, and mysterious vibe the track gives off. I think that’s something I want to experiment with more in the future. I feel like it fits me well stylistically. It was also the track that took the longest to write off the EP, but that’s probably because the session with Joe Crow and Rhett Fisher felt like a party. We had so much fun writing Risk and I feel like that’s another reason it’s one of my favorites.
Coming off of a top 40 is there any pressure for Friday Night to do as well as come with me?
I’m so proud and incredibly grateful that my first single as an indie artist was able to reach the top 40. The reception that Come With Me received was incredible. Of course, I want to continue to achieve commercial success and top my previous projects as an artist who’s always progressing, but I feel what’s best is to make music that feels good and hope it connects with my fans on a greater level. I have to work harder than ever and not get hung up on past successes. If I’m running at full speed and making good music, it’s really out of my control at that point how well the song can perform. Fortunately, FridayNight has already been doing great at US radio and Spotify. Having my second single debut at #89 was phenomenal to see, especially as an indie artist.
What has life been like since leaving Nashville?
The new releases were all written and recorded in LA, however I still spend a lot of time in Nashville and consider it home in many ways. I learned so much writing in Nashville and feel I’ve brought certain unique skills with me to LA, like my ability to write lyrics that really engage listeners. But I’m so blessed to have been able to craft this project in LA with some of the best in the pop industry. I feel like I was finally able to show a truer version of myself as an artist. I got to say, write, dress, and perform how I really wanted to. My time in LA has been amazing and I couldn’t have gained the confidence and knowledge I have now anywhere else. It’s definitely changed me as a person.
While your current sound is very dance centric I hear traces of an R&B influence, will you be exploring this in the future?
The new single Friday Night was definitely a nod to 90’s R&B/New Jack Swing, mixed with modern pop elements. It was the first time I tried anything like that. R&B has always been one of my favorite genres and I would love to continue experimenting with that style in the future. Maybe I’ll try writing more material in that same vein soon… I’m always looking to incorporate new sounds to my pop style and cross genre lines, while staying true to the core of who I am. I feel it’s what any great artist does: they evolve and go with the flow of inspiration.
Who is on your playlist at the moment?
A lot of Hey Violet. Also, the band DALES. I’m absolutely obsessed with their material so far. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Janet Jackson classics lately. I’m a little all over the place with what I listen to, if ya can’t tell!
Do you have any upcoming performances we should be looking out for?
YES! I’m hitting the road later in 2018 and can’t wait to share the details. I’m gonna be performing the material that’s been released thus far, along with some other never-heard-before new ones. I literally can’t wait. Being on the road is my absolute favourite.
Any final shoutouts or plugs?
I’d love for everyone to follow me @johnniemikel on their favorite social platforms! I love connecting with my fans online and sharing my personal life and humor with them. I’m also gonna be posting new music and tour dates soon. You definitely don’t wanna miss it!