Updated: Oct 8, 2021
SAVE THE DATE!
Jean-Mikhael will be taking over ColorBloc's Instagram Live
Saturday, June 19th @ 1:30pm PST/ 9:30pm BST
Carving a completely unique space in the current soundscape, genre-bending artist Jean-Mikhael releases his single “Neighbours are Calling”.
“Neighbours are Calling” is a dynamic fusion of old school funk and soul brought into the modern age with Jean-Mikhael’stasteful R&B/Pop flavour. Detailing the intimacies of a tempestuous relationship of intense emotion and physical connection, the single delivers an impassioned energy that immediately pulls its listener in with defiance. Lending itself as a fine example of Jean-Mikhael’s emotive penmanship and confidence to diffuse genre boundaries, “Neighbours are Calling” reminds of the innate musicality in this young artist and why he stands so fiercely as one to watch.
Speaking on the track, Jean-Mikhael explains in depth;
“Neighbours are calling” is a true story. To be frank I did disturb my neighbours and it was quite a funny experience, so I thought why not make a song out of it. It was embarrassing at the time but looking back you just have to laugh. It is also about me meeting someone and us both being connected so deeply from the beginning. It had us at a point we could see a future together from the start, but it never went to that next step. So we were always just trying to live in the moment and relive the day we saw each other for the first time. Everything just stayed surface level in the relationship. We would have amazing sex and that’s all it stayed as. We both wanted more, but we were too scared to go too that degree of expressing ourselves so it was just a constant rollercoaster of being in each others company and then disappearing and being back for a short period again. A constant cycle of feeding into a ‘bad habit’.
We were like distant best friends knowing each other on so many levels, but didn’t want to take on the responsibilities of owning our feelings. One of us had to take the leap of asking for it to be more than what it was. It’s basically a never-ending love story I guess.”
In the lead up to this point, Jean-Mikhael charted top 10in the iTunes charts with his debut EP “Deal”, released last November, with singles from the project exciting tastemakers across the board including Clash Magazine, 1883 Magazine, GUAP Magazine and a cover featureon ASBO Magazine. Jean-Mikhael has clearly perfected this current chapter of his art prior to presenting it to the world. His confidence and skill push the boundaries of forward-thinking electronica whilst his lyrical craft is partnered with charming melodies & his rich vocals.
Having carefully selected his own time to release music recordings, his musical journey is far
from infancy as he sports an impressive CV. Not only a BRIT School graduate, following in the footsteps of notable alumni such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J and Ella Eyre, his
first musical venture was as the young Michael Jackson in London’s West-End production of 'Thriller LIVE'. Having tasted life as a performer, his show stopping, showman tendencies continue to play a central role within all aspects of his music, from the sound and delivery through to the visuals themselves, the first of which was released alongside 'The Deal' EP. His live presence has also awarded him with a packed-out headline shows at The Ned, and 229 The Venue and People’s Day festival, and live performances for platforms such as Sofar Sounds and Westside Radio/NijiMagazine.
Jean-Mikhael is all about boundless expression. Glossy, innovative and empowering, his music is a deliberate construction that has been built from a recipe of productions, emotions, visuals and lyrics, all seasoned with time rather than being rushed out, which is a standout difference to his music.
Two years after his critically acclaimed EP - "The Deal” was featured on Clash and the front cover on ASBO magazine, Jean-Mikhael has secured 200 dates across the UK and collaborations with Troy Antunes (Vocal coach of The Voice UK, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet boys) and Mr. B. (Rihanna, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj)
Photographed by Niklas Haze
Styled by Barbara Ayozie
Jean-Mikhael is a Hammersmith born and bred R&B fully rounded artist and fashion icon. Drawing influences from the master himself, Prince, Jean-Mikhael presents his newest single produced in collaboration with Swedish songwriter Nico and producer Ankara. A couple years after releasing his EP “The Deal”, that quickly reached the 8th position of the iTunes R&B charts, the young BRIT school graduate is ready to open a new chapter of his career. In his swagger-driven new song, he tackles the topic of toxic relationships. Meeting someone and feeling an instant connection without the vision of a possible future due to your own emotional limitations, leading to try to relive the initial spark over and over again by using sexual attraction in a destructive way. Accompanied by a dynamic arrangement $lled with percussive hooks and a heady bassline, complemented by the soulful crystal vocals of Jean-Mikhael climaxing on his beautiful falsetto, creates a song that has the instant impact of a fresh R&B/pop hit. Jean-Mikhael’s music finds its foundation in this exact topic. The young songwriter takes inspiration in the modern era where men are still limited in the expression of their own feelings, leading to shut down serious matters like depression and mental health issues. As a young black male, sharing his love between fashion and music, he is standing up for a liberation of those repressed emotions for all humans. In his own words, his music comes from love and emotions and that shows in this track. As a new chapter of his career, after having international collaborations and so much victories in music but also fashion, the artist paves a new path for himself that he wants to fill with positive energy, hopefully changing global consciousness and help his public to process emotions and life in a new and positive way.
What would you like the world to know about Jean Mikhael?
I would like them to probably know that I have insecurities just like anyone else. When I first started in the industry people put the artist they saw performing on stage with the person they met off stage. They try to grasp the concept of me not being as outlandish when they meet me. The charisma I have on stage I won’t ever be able to portray off stage, it’s all a different energy, something takes over me when I perform. I just would like maybe they saw that I am real at the end of the day, and that as artists we all go through things. We are ever so emotional because we put our heart on our sleeves for the world to see.
When did you start creating music?
I started from a very young age. I would sing all the time from when I was five. I probably wrote my first song at about 13 or 14. My mum said if you want to ever succeed in this business you will need to know how to write and she didn’t lie. I’m able to go into the studio wherever and come out with a complete song or 2 in a day. Obviously it’s not like that all the time, but I can write wherever I am and express my feelings without having someone else doing it for me.
Have you ever felt detached from your music? How did you overcome this?
Definitely! Sometimes you want to just give up on it all. Sometimes you hear songs you have created and compare yourself to others and think what's the point. But I always say to myself, the uniqueness in me is what has got me where I am and not to ever give up and to keep continuing. So if I keep doing what I’m doing I will get to the next stages I want to reach. A part of my everyday routine is always trying to be one with myself and aligning my spirituality. When I’m all over the place music and I have a battle but if I’m working on my individual self and mind I then start to create and the words that I want to express start becoming. Then I can tell my story with clarity.
What is one thing your fans don’t know about you?
That I’m quite shy and more reserved than people think. Public speaking is one of my biggest things I always have to fight myself to do.
Do you practice or explore any other art mediums?
I used to draw a lot when I was younger. I don’t do so much now. But whenever, I do enjoy doing silly animation type faces and cartoon type drawings. Another little thing I like doing is interior design and coming up with how certain rooms in a house should be. I’ve done just a few jobs but I wouldn’t mind really getting into it properly and having a career in that too.
Photographed by Keita Clarke
3 songs that describe you?
Prince: The beautiful ones
Alicia keys: Fallin
Michael Jackson: You rock my world
What is the greatest sacrifice you have made for your music?
The greatest sacrifice is probably having the freedom to do whatever I want whenever. This is more of a lifestyle than anything because you can’t slack off and because you never know when you will have a job pop up for a performance. So when others can be out I have to be thoughtful about my health and voice. So partly also being around friends and family. Having to be away for long periods of time. It does sometimes get tiring but I also wouldn’t ever change it for the world because I love what I do.
What can we expect from Jean-Mikhael in 2021?
I’ll be releasing some singles and those will be off of my upcoming EP. I can’t wait for this to come out because it’s such an honest piece of work, where people will get to know more about me in the song. Hopefully when this whole COVID pandemic settles there will be more shows as well. I actually had a sold out show that I had to postpone due to COVID so when I can get back on stage that will then be rescheduled and I can finally get to experience a crowd again.
What has been the greatest moment for you as an artist?
I’d say growing mentally and my songwriting skills. I could say something that seems to be an accolade but the reason why is because this year especially really could have broken many people including myself. I took it and made the most that I could have and to think as well people still being interested in my music and with me as a person means the music I have released made an impact. So that would make it my greatest moment so far.
What was it like creating “The Deal”?
Creating “The Deal” was like driving a sports car. I recorded about 30/40 songs in the year and then had only a week to shorten down my choice of songs and re-record them to create “The Deal” EP. It was an amazing process, I had people in and out of the studios directing and my vocal coach really making sure I sang the songs with the right expressions. It was a whirlwind but a beautiful time. Exciting also, as it was my debut EP.
How do you get in the mood to create?
I think as long as I woke up and my day started peacefully. I did my affirmations and aligned my mind with myself. I think I am then ready to create. I don’t really have a set up to say this is my mood but creativity comes to me all the time. It could happen anywhere wherever I am. As soon as I think I need to get the idea down I’ll write it or record it on my phone and then home in on it a bit more when I get a chance. When I do go into the studio though I like to have a good energy going and to get comfortable in my surroundings. My next thing I’ve decided though is to make a massive canvas of faces of those that inspire me to take into the studio so that I feed off of it, that’s my next thing for myself to do to keep me in the mood.
Connect with Jean-Mikhael