The City by the Bay has some great music, we must admit. Hearing the name San Francisco other than reminiscing the good times we had traveling, is also synonymous with some of our favorite musicians, songs, or even the memory of a concert or two. So, if you love that hazy, golden place up North in California like us, we’ve got another musician to add to your SF roster, the 20-year-old and rising YouTube star Audrey Mika!
After the success of her YouTube covers garnering 1.55 million views on YouTube, Audrey Mika began to create original music of her own. Releasing two albums recorded entirely on GarageBand Are We There Yet (2018) and Level Up (2019). Her latest EP, 5 A.M. with the bops, ‘Y U Gotta B Like That’ and ‘Fake Heartbreak’ surpassed over 11 million streams alone, taking her on her very first tour in New York during the Spring. While keeping busy in the Summertime, she released three additional tracks, ‘Just Friends,’ ‘Red Gatorade’ and featured on Gryffin’s track ‘Safe With Me.’ The hit single ‘Excuses’ is her latest release and just recently, we got the music video, directed by Brent Campenelli.
In our exclusive interview with Audrey Mika, she tells us all about transitioning her career from dancing after 14 years to singing covers on YouTube. To her newest single ‘Excuses’ and the creative process of the music video, working with the producer Gryffin and revealing her dream collab with Sza! Read all about it below!
You started as a YouTube sensation, and have grown from singing unique covers of popular hits to putting out your original material – and now you’re seen as a rising star of Gen Z. How did you know this was the right career path for you?
I actually wanted to be a professional ballet dancer my whole life and music was always a side thing that I loved doing. I quit dancing in 2018 and not even to do music I just knew I had to get out of that world because it wasn’t making me happy anymore. Music truly saved me from that experience and I realized I wanted to make that my career but I didn’t know if it was even possible or I didn’t think I was good enough. But I kept writing and working and it feels like a dream come true that this is actually my life now. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything that’s come my way!
Did you have a defining moment when you decided this is what you wanted to do?
After quitting dance, I realized that music was the only thing keeping me alive. I would come home from dance, not to dance more, but to write songs instead. I was literally dreaming about my name in lights and traveling the world to sing my music. That’s when I knew I had to make this dream come true.
And you were a competitive dancer for 14 years, how did you choose to pursue a career in music rather than another art form?
I knew I didn’t want to dance anymore; I didn’t have any other passion other than music and I had always loved it. I had been singing since I was at least 3 years old and I really never stopped. I knew it was a great outlet for me that I wanted to pursue and nothing else blocked my focus.
What’s your all-time favorite cover you’ve done and why’s it your favorite? A lot of creators on YouTube do covers of popular music, how do you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other artists out there and what do you think makes you stick out the most to your fans?
One of my favorites covers is my ‘you were good to me’ cover. I made it when I was moving out of my childhood home and moving to LA. It was very emotional, but it felt good to be as real as I could be, crying and everything. The pink mic sort of became the thing that I was doing differently. I hadn’t seen anyone else do it, and it happened so naturally. And now it’s sort of become a part of my brand which makes me happy that something as silly as a toy mic can bring so many people together. Makes me love what I do even more!
Your recent single, ‘Excuses’ is super catchy and is a situation many have found themselves in, where did you get the inspiration to write this track, and what’s your favorite lyric?
This song is actually written about me and my best friend. In the beginning of our friendship, we weren’t really clicking with each other but we still really cared for each other and wanted to be friends. I was homeschooled so I didn’t have the best social skills. I would always make up stupid excuses to not hang out with her. But she saw right through it! Haha. But the moral of the story is even though I was making those excuses I still really wanted to open up to her and trust her. My favorite line is “cuz every time I get close, somebody’s letting me down” that’s why I found it hard to open up because with my past relationships people would always let me down when I got too close to them.
The ‘Excuses’ video is really creative with the use of mannequins, what was the meaning behind the music video and where did you get this idea of using mannequins instead of people?
Since the song is about excuses I was inspired by the story of Pinocchio. But instead of my nose growing, I thought a more modern take would be my hair growing. I’m really happy with how the video turned out, it really came to life. The mannequins were sorta a centerpiece of quarantine. Being safe and not having to use real people! But I love wigs and everything so I thought it would be a cute little art piece.
On a casual note, what “excuses” worked the best for you during your teen years, whether to escape work or school or to get out of anything? What’s the most unbelievable excuse you’ve used to get out of plans?
I would ALWAYS use the headache excuse. That one always worked for me.
Earlier this year you collaborated with Gryffin on ‘Safe With Me’, how’d that collaboration come about?
Dan had this song and presented it to me, and I loved it because I thought it was so accurate to the times were all in right now. I connected with the lyrics and with Dan as well and everything about the song was so seamless. It was a dream working with him honestly. I’m so grateful I got to do something so out of my comfort zone as well!
What artists or producers would be a dream collaboration for you?
I would LOVE to work with Sza. That would be a dream come true. She’s so real and her voice transcends me!
What can fans look forward to from you this year? Any EP’s or albums in the works?
They can expect something like that, possibly! 🙂
What was your favorite thing you learned about Aubrey Mika in this interview? What’s your favorite song of her’s? Let’s keep the conversation going by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP or commenting below! Want the daily drip? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the sweetest pop culture news!
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Featured Image Source: Audrey Mika via Instagram and BiBi Lara