Singer/songwriter and producer Mike Posner, whose debut LP 31 Minutes to Takeoff spawned hits “Cooler Than Me” and “Please Don’t Go”, is back with his follow up, The Truth EP. After close to a five year hiatus from the recording spotlight, Posner crafted some new material that was originally done acoustically. The first single “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”, was remixed and now is in steady rotation in Top 40 radio.
Posner sat down with Robert Frezza and byteclay.com to talk his hiatus, the country laced vibe he added to his new EP, and his move from RCA to Island Records.
Robert Frezza: What have you been up to? I read that you made two full LPs only for them to be shelved?
Mike Posner: I ran, I played frisbee, I did push-ups, I have a friend named Tini in Venice Beach who makes jewelry. I went to her house and played the guitar. People came over my house and we cooked together and afterwards we danced to Luther Vandross, I took two classes online from the Berklee School of Music, I studied piano with Norman Henry Mamey and Norman Krieger, I went to Detroit roughly once per month when it wasn’t not cold and grey. I ate copious amounts of almond and peanut butter, I watched films on my computer, I read books, I listened to Podcasts, I listened to audio books, I talked on the phone with people. I answered emails that have the word URGENT in the subject line a day after I was expected to, I went on two walks per day alone, I took psilocybin two times alone, I went to Burning Man, I grew a beard, I slept in a van, I fantasized about disappearing, and yes, I recorded two albums that remain on my laptop.
RF: “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” has a country-esque vibe to it. Did you draw from country music for influence on The Truth EP?
MP: Without a doubt. While my career was ice cold, I had time to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I rode on Jake Owen’s tour bus for a few days and they taught me about Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr, and Willie Nelson. “Mama Tried” became one of my favorites songs.
RF: I love the video for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”. Who thought up the treatment?
MP: Jon Jon Augustavo. He wrote it and directed it. I just stayed out of his way.
RF: You moved from RCA to Island Records recently. Why the change in record labels? Was it a good move for you?
MP: I moved to Island Records because the president of the record label, David Massey, is a truly remarkable human and he makes me a better artist. I want him in my life creatively.
RF: Will you be heading out on an official tour behind the new project? I know you are doing a few shows. What can we expect from the live shows?
MP: We’re just 6 guys who can play music really well. We like to share that. We do it as hard and as well as we can every night.