Johnnie Mikel is making huge waves in music and with the success of his song" Friday Night," it's clear there's no stopping him. We talked to him about his inspirations and finding his sound.
How did you get started in music?
Johnnie: I kind of fell into making music in the most natural way possible. From a young age, writing has always been how I communicate with others and express emotions. As a kid, I was writing short stories and pretty deep poetry. I'm not sure where it came from, but it's something that I always did. My other love was art/music! So when I was 14, I picked up a guitar for the first time and combined my two loves of writing and music. I began writing songs, taking trips to Nashville, and performing shows around the age of 15.
Tell me about finding your sound? How did you know what you wanted to sound like?
Johnnie: Finding my sound was definitely a journey, and it still is! I feel like any great artist is always experimenting and evolving. As a songwriter who first lived in Nashville, I've written songs in pretty much every genre. Pop, country, rock, hip-hop, etc. But when it came to putting my own project together, I knew pop was the lane for me. However, I still like to incorporate other fun elements like throwback R&B vibes. I'm hoping to add some more elements in the future, specifically live and organic sounds, to create an even more unique style. I'm so excited about continuing the journey.
What’s the story behind your song “Friday Night”?
Johnnie: I wrote Friday Night with Nash Overstreet, Richard Harris, and Rollo Spreckley. They're all amazing LA songwriters and great guys that I now call friends. When starting the session, Nash (who produced the track) asked me what some of my all-time inspirations were. I told him I grew up in the Britney/Justin Timberlake era, and that's the vibe we went for. It's kind of a modern pop song with some throwback 90's R&B/new jack swing elements. It's such a fun and bright track and unlike anything else in my catalog. The song itself is pretty self-explanatory. It's about having an amazing friday night with your best friends and living it up!
What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Johnnie: One of the biggest recent challenges is the fact that I still live in Nashville, but work out of LA and spend more time on the west coast than at home. It's tough traveling between two places constantly and losing touch with people you care about. I always miss my family and friends when I'm out west! But when I'm in Nashville, I'm missing the writing scene in LA, my west coast friends, and the amazing weather. I'm hoping to make the big move to LA
What influences your music?
Johnnie: So many things! First and foremost, what I'm experiencing in my life. Artistic integrity and writing honest lyrics is insanely important to me. I also am inspired by what others go through and our world as a whole. Finally, I'd say what I'm listening to, watching, or reading at the time. There's so much inspiration out there, it's just a matter of finding it and being open enough to let it influence the music.
What’s you best piece of advice for a young musician?
It sounds cliche, but being yourself and not losing sight of that is so important. Both as an artist and a human being. It's easy to be molded by what others around you are doing. Finding your lane and staying faithful to it is so important. You'll always draw bigger and better opportunities and find real friends by just being real than going with the flow. It's all a process of finding your true voice... and I'm so grateful to be finally arriving at that place in my career.