Thank you so much for having me! I’ve been doing great. I just put out my first music video and got word that my debut single broke the top 40 on the Billboard BDS Indicator Chart. I’ve felt like I’m on top of the world since getting that news!
Can you talk to us more about your new single “Come With Me”?
Come with Me is a huge invitation for everyone to hit the dance floor! It’s definitely my most club-appropriate track I’ve ever recorded. I think it captures me in a super fun light and I’m so glad I was able to release it as my debut single.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
I love dancing and being with people I love, which is really what Come with Me is all about. I honestly drew inspiration for Come with Me from so many memories and places. A big underlying theme throughout the track is about feeling free and being yourself… that’s something I’m all about and I’m proud to send that message to the world.
As a new artist in the pop scene, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about myself and developing my artistry. Since the song has to do with losing inhibition and really liberating yourself, I feel like it’s an accurate snapshot of where my life is at right now as a 20-year-old being released into the music industry.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The set was absolutely amazing to be on. Bobby Hewitt was the director and he did a fantastic job brining my concept to life. Being that it’s my first music video, I think it’s important to show who I am as an artist and I believe we killed that. I love all the fashion, mystery, and edge. The dance scenes were some of the most fun to shoot, we did those at the very end of a long day of shooting and I was really in the zone at that point.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing and recording process for Come with Me was phenomenal! I got in touch with multi-platinum Damon Sharpe through my A&R. He sent me some tracks he was working on with his friend Eric Sanicola. I remember when I first heard the track for Come With Me… I freaked out! It was exactly what I was looking for at the end of my writing/recording process for the project. We brought in Lindy Robbins immediately and wrote the song super quickly. Working with such incredible people who’ve written some of my favorite tunes was a bit intimidating at first, but ended up being an amazing and unforgettable experience. Everyone was so kind and really encouraged me in my writing. The song added a super bright moment to my catalog of music… as soon as it was completed, I knew it had to be the first single.
How has the 90s influenced your music?
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a Britney Spears fanatic! Being in the pop/dance world, I view her as royalty in the industry. I also really love Justin Timberlake. Both artists made their debut in the 90’s, and I feel like having a career as legendary as theirs is a huge goal of mine. I love the way they brought together pop music, fashion, and dance. Outside of strictly pop, I love the new jack swing style and actually recorded a song this year in that genre. It’s got such a 90’s throwback vibe and I can’t wait to release it in 2018. Overall, the 90’s was such an incredible decade and had so many iconic music moments. A lot of my favorite songs of all time came from this era… some of them are Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega and Black or White by Michael Jackson.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s your new album coming along?
I’ve written and recorded a crazy amount of material this year and I’m so excited to be releasing it in 2018! I’m putting out 5 brand new songs that I feel fit together very nicely. The project tells a story from start to finish and I can’t wait for everyone to listen. While a full album isn’t on the horizon yet, you can definitely count on the EP to come in the next couple of months, followed by a trail of singles and many more surprises… I have a feeling 2018 is gonna be the best year yet for my music and I!
Are there any tentative release dates or title in mind?
I’m currently aiming for a release in mid January. The EP will be titled “Night Of Your Life” in honor of the tracks, specifically the lead single, Come With Me.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m embarking on my first national radio tour in early 2018 and can’t wait to thank the DJ’s who have been spinning Come with Me like crazy. A lot of promotion will come first, but I’m hoping to hit the road again soon after that. Performing is actually my favorite part of the whole process. After a year of being cooped up in the studio writing/recording, I’m ready to spread my wings again and tour to see all of my fans.
What else is happening next in Johnnie Mikel’s world?
Besides a lot of interviews and promotion for the single, I’m winding down 2017 and looking forward to going home to spend Christmas with my family. I’m so grateful for everything this year has given me and am excited to see what 2018 holds. While the holidays are such a great time, there’s a lot of stress in gift-buying! Right now when I’m not filming a music video or flying to LA to write/record, I’m pretty much running like crazy to get everyone’s gifts in time for Christmas… I’m sure a lot of people out there know what that’s like!