CAMDEN, NJ – Going to jail can either be a major eye opener, or the first step down a very dark path. As Mikey Maker likes to put it, “If you don’t learn the first time, something’s not right.”
When he spent time in jail for drug dealing, Mikey Maker learned his lesson. He also learned that he had a talent for making music, and dreams that had blossomed as a young boy began to re-bloom during his days spent in jail.
“I would always play on the keyboard making beats as a kid,” Mikey Maker said. “I never really thought much about it until I was locked up. For years I was just playing around on the keyboards – I always knew how to cut a record and make a beat, but I never thought I could be a producer one day. In jail, I realized I could probably become a good producer. So when I got out of jail I got a lot of equipment to become a producer, and after awhile it just started become natural to me.”
“Once I found out a better way, I changed my life and just focused on music. Lessons learned!”
And he wants to pass on some of those lessons to others through his music. In fact, the name Mikey Maker comes from a desire to inspire others to believe in themselves. Mikey has been a nickname all his life, but Maker is something he chose intentionally to help others see that they’re made to do something special.
“Whatever God put you here to do, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “When I stopped and thought about it, it just made sense. Every person in the world is a maker in some way – you make peace, or you make food, or you make money. You’re a maker – you create stuff. It’s about who you are and the purpose you have in life.”
A lot of that life philosophy is reflected on Mikey Maker’s mixtapes, “Free Giveaway Vol. 1” and “Free Dope Vol. 1,” both of which are available on Soundcloud. One of the standout singles – “$20s, $50s, $100s” – uses money as a metaphor for overcoming obstacles in life and making something out of life despite the many challenges that may come along.
“In this moderate day of music, people love talking about money,” he said. “They love talking about spending it and how they get it and what they do with it. My concept of it was to go into detail about how I got money – to tell a story about how I went through struggles and went through this and that just to get a couple of dollars to take care of me and my family. Ultimately I wanted to try to be a little different with it – it’s more of a concept about life than just about getting into money.”
Like most of his music, Mikey Maker created this single as an outflow of producing. He said he typically starts a song by exploring and mixing beats. As he discovers beats that he likes, he said he “comes alive.” He then takes the stories from his life and begins writing to those beats.
“The rhythms and beats add up to words,” he said. “Then I come up with a hook. I try to be different – I don’t just want to rap about the same things everybody else is. And then I fill the beat by coming up with different ideas. Most of my music is based off the beat. I have to listen to the beat first. I can write, but I have to feel the music – hear it, listen to it, feel it. If I can’t feel it I won’t be at my best.”
Fans can hear his best on his mixtapes by visiting his Soundcloud page. Those who want to catch him live can also follow him on social media, where he frequently posts alerts to live shows and new releases. Follow Mikey Maker on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all new music.