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THE GRAMMY CLASS SPEAKS: MIKE POSNER

This year's Grammy Awards will fall on Island artist Mike Posner's 29th birthday. He wrote "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," which was recently nominated for Song of the Year, on his 26th birthday. Where was he then, where is he now and what's in store? Find out here.


INTERVIEW BY SIMON GLICKMAN

I understand that this is something that was in your thoughts and dreams for some time. I’d like to know your sense of what the Grammys mean to you.
Well, the Grammys, unlike some other award shows, are decided by voting members. And to be a voting member, you have to have a certain number of credits. So the people voting are songwriters, producers, artists, engineers and so on.

Your peers, your community. 
Yeah. People make a stink about it sometimes; they paint this picture of six cigar-smoking white men in an oak boardroom deciding. There are 18,000 members, to my knowledge, and they’re all people who make music. It’s the closest thing we have to a merit contest, I suppose. Yeah, it’s important, because it’s people who do what I do telling me the work’s good. So I imagine getting a compliment from another painter—maybe that means something more than getting it from just a person walking down the street. I mean, they both feel nice. At the end of the day my job is to not care, to just make the music I hear in my head. 

Speaking of the music you hear in your head, do you want to say a little bit about “Ibiza” and where you were in your life when you wrote it?
I was in studio on my 26th birthday, hanging out with my friend Jake Owen, who’s a wonderful country artist and singer, and we were passing the guitar. I’d play a song on the guitar and then I’d pass it to him; he’d play one and pass it back. I played some old tune of mine. And he said, “What inspired that?” I said, “It’s about a girl I had a thing with in New York, and I sort of took her story and some of it I just made up.” And he looked at me and he said, “Why don’t you just tell the truth?” I didn’t have an answer for him. I suppose the answer that I had to that question wasn’t the machine-gun barrel of words that I shot out of my mouth after he asked the question—it was this song, which I wrote immediately after leaving that studio. I just realized that in telling this story, the Grammys this year are on my 29th birthday and I wrote this song on my 26th. 

What’s on tap for you at the top of the year?
A lot of things, man. I have a book of poetry, my first book of poetry, titled Teardrops and Balloons. It will be available March 24. My next project is a collaboration with one of my favorite artists in the world and one of my best friends, Blackbear; we have a group called Mansionz, and that’s definitely the best music I’ve ever made. It’s coming out next year. After that will be the next Mike Posner album. 

Congratulations. Everyone on your team at Island is over the moon.
It’s been a long journey for them. They’re definitely a unique label, and they probably tune me out because they’ve heard me say it before, but I wrote this song three years ago, they signed me two, two and a half years ago, and the first year and a half of that, nothing really happened with me. We released an EP, and my core fans were certainly very content with that, but there was no mainstream success. So they just stuck with me and they continue to stick with me and they have faith. It’s a wonderful home for a real artist, a wonderful team. I feel very safe.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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