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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Vid Pick: Makk Mikkael – Jungle
Friday, December 01, 2017

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a blue moon I’ll hear a song and immediately think, “This could be the next big thing.” This was exactly how I felt the first time I wrapped my ears around Makk Mikkael’s “Jungle.”

Her sound, which is one part R&B, one part trap-pop, immediately grabs a listener’s attention. Mix in lyrics with emotional depth, and some dope, vibe-y, vocals, and Mikkael’s “Jungle” is a territory you’ll love exploring.

Breaking down the inspiration for the song, Mikkael’s explains, “‘Jungle’ was written in a dark phase of my life where I was looking for little glimpses of light.”

Wanting to know more, I caught up with Mikkael to ask her about escaping bad relationships, how she developed her sound, and the first song she ever sang on stage – spoiler alert, it’s adorable.

The relationship you’re singing about in “Jungle” doesn’t sound like the healthiest relationship in the world. How did you eventually get out of that relationship, and what kind of advice do you have for people who may currently be in such a relationship?

You gotta surround yourself with good people is the bottom line.

Being around someone that’s toxic will only ever have a negative (effect) on you, and your life, in the long run.

I was around someone who took all of my energy, and it drained me emotionally. I felt like I was underwater for the duration of the time spent around them, which was fairly often, because it felt like we connected on some other level.

You gotta eventually wake up and understand that you don’t feel happy, and that it’s time to move on.

(It’s) good for the art though. {laughs}

Tell everyone about the project “Jungle” is off of. What’s the sound? What’s the vibe? When will we get to hear it?

“Jungle” is going to be off my debut album. When I know more – as far as when the album is coming out – I will fill you in!

The sound will be very “Jungle” esque, lo-fi sounding.

I gravitate towards anything ambient, and R&B. I listen to a variety of music, and love so many different genres. I think pulling sounds and ideas from various genres adds depth, and just gives the music a pop of color.

Speaking of color, your social media pages have become very yellow. I know this color has a deeper meaning to you. Why is it you connect with the color yellow, and think it’s a good representation of you, and your music?

Yellow is such a transitional color for me – coming out of the dark, and into the light. I finally feel this transition of coming into the light, and releasing music. It’s all super exciting.

It felt like forever I was stuck in this phase of isolation – not wanting to do what everyone was doing. I was so super focused and driven that I was no fun, and had no fun.

I would create music as a form of expression, and freedom. I never released my music, though, because I always felt like it wasn’t the right time.

Who do you consider the musical inspirations that have helped mold who you are as an artist?

I look up to Jessie Ware, and The Japanese House, so much! Love that Toronto sound, as well – Roy Woods, DVSN, etc.

I think over the last few years I’ve really dug into finding my sound, and I found it by putting my headphones on and shutting the world out. I needed to be by myself, and dig deep, to find what I was looking for, and what I wanted to bring to the music world.

What were some of your first experiences with music, and performing, and how quickly did you realize it was what you wanted to focus your life on?

I think I’ve always had this feeling inside that it was what I was meant to be doing. Friends and family noticed it, too.

My mom was a country singer, and both my grandmothers were opera singers.

My first experience on stage was when I was around five, or six. My mom brought me on stage. I remember standing center stage at a small venue in Alberta. I looked out into the crowd and remember feeling chills all over, and feeling so happy just being on stage. I sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” {laughs} Classic.

I honestly loved every second of it, and everyone’s reaction after.

I’ve never thought about doing anything else. Writing/singing/performing is what I love so much, and what I want to share with people.

In a perfect world, Makk Mikkael gets to be on tour with …

Majid Jordan. Love those guys!

Finally, being that your name is Makk Mikkael, how often in your life have you sung Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack,” even if it’s just been in the shower?

{laughs} That is such a good question.

That song is fire. When I’m feeling myself I’ll fo’sho dance around the house blasting it.

For more Makk Mikkael, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM  
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