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INTERVIEW: Micky James Is The Superstar And Loner Of The Year

INTERVIEW: Micky James Is The Superstar And Loner Of The Year

If Micky James isn’t all over your playlists already, that’s ‘Not Okay.’ But don’t worry, because you’re just in time to join this fandom – Micky just blessed us with his Loner Of The Year EP, a glittering exploration of what it means to be a loner in a time when we’re all more clueless and isolated than ever. And we know we’re not alone in thinking it’s one of the best projects anyone has dropped this year!

The EP kicks off with the existential ’New York Minute,’ an energetic track about the fast passage of time and how easily things can change – and for longtime MJ fans, you’ll definitely enjoy how he sings “my wasted time” similarly to how he sang “just another way to kill some time” on ‘Give It To Me Straight.’ It sets the tone for a thought-provoking project that will encourage you to take advantage of the time you’re given while also acknowledging the more difficult side of that, extending a warm hug in a glittering musical form to tell you that you’re not alone in feeling lost.

We go from NYC night life to an anxious night in on ‘Loner Of The Year,’ a song reflecting on the chaos of modern life. It feels like a conversation with a younger Micky in a way, with lyrics like “‘just try to follow your heart,’ well, where’s my mind?” calling back to his fan-favorite song ‘New Heart.’ It’s a reminder of just how far he’s come and how you can feel hopeful one second, then lonely and scared of the future the next. Feeling like the loner of the year has emboldened Micky to offer some of our favorite music of the year, and an EP that we’ll certainly have on repeat through the rest of 2023 and beyond.

‘James Brown’ picks the energy up a bit, describing a confident woman who’s not afraid to work hard for her dreams. “You’ll never catch a dream if you don’t find yourself a way to chase it,” Micky points out with a message anyone could benefit from hearing. If this song isn’t motivating, then we don’t know what is! Thematically, it complements the two prior songs while also shifting the story in a different direction, moving towards hope and ambition instead of fear and doubt. 

Another dance-ready track, ‘Girl Talk’ looks at a relationship through the lens of what a girl tells her friends. Micky insists, “I give no damns what your friends tell,” shedding other people’s thoughts about the romance and who he is in general. It’s a fun continuation of the themes of individuality in earlier Micky songs like ‘Walk The Line’ that’s bookended by the EP’s final track (and one of our new all-time faves), ‘Losing You.’ The song wraps up both the project and seemingly the relationship, wondering whether a connection is truly over. It offers an interesting contrast from the IDC attitude from ‘Girl Talk,’ showing that it’s natural to care what someone thinks of you if they’re an important part of your life. It’s clear that Micky has found a healthy balance of knowing when to let go of someone’s opinions and when to try to make things work if that person is valuable to you.

As if getting to enjoy this incredible EP wasn’t enough, we got to ask Micky all about the songs and the process of making it! Make sure to press play on Loner Of The Year, then keep reading to learn about it from the legend himself.

Image Source: Courtesy of Hello PR

Hi Micky, congrats on your new EP, Loner Of The Year! How does it feel to share the project with your fans?
It feels liberating! This EP has been a work in progress for quite some time so it feels fulfilling to finally have it out in the world.

We think Loner Of The Year is such a cool title and we’ve had the song of the same name on repeat since you released it in June. What made you choose to name the EP after ‘Loner Of The Year?’
I’ve had that title sitting around for a few years. I would try and write songs around that lyric and nothing seemed to click until about a year ago the title seemed to fit in perfectly with what I was writing about. I’ve always thought that it was a strong title and it very much resonated with me. When it came time to put the songs together for this EP, I thought that title felt the most compelling.

Which song on Loner Of The Year means the most to you and why?
I think ‘New York Minute.’ It has a nostalgic feeling about it and when I was writing it I felt quite reflective of my past and the experiences I had when I was a young adult. The song is about letting go of the past and learning from those lessons to create new beginnings in life.

There are so many amazing lyrics on this EP, with one of our favorites being “is it now, is it never, is it never again?” from ‘Losing You.’ Is there a certain lyric on the project that you’re especially proud of?
That’s really tough to say. They all resonate with me for different reasons. I really like the overall sentiment for ‘James Brown.’ It’s a song for the people that may feel less represented. A song to inspire those to live their lives as loudly and authentically as they choose. The message of self-love and self-expression. I like that it’s direct and gets to the point.

Which songs on Loner Of The Year took the longest and shortest amount of time to make? Were there any challenges you faced while creating them?
The longest song to make was ‘New York Minute.’ We wrote it about three or four times. The song took on many different meanings as we continued to play around with it, until we eventually rounded the bases on it about a year ago. I think we started that song in 2020.

The shortest song to make was ‘Loner of the Year.’ I wrote it and demoed a majority of the song in a few hours one night. I was trying for so long to fit that title into different ideas and it never seemed right, so when it found its home, the song sort of wrote itself and the vibe and title just clicked.

Inspired by ‘New York Minute,’ if you had a minute to broadcast a message to New York or the world, what would you say?
My message has always been that I want people to know that it’s important to embrace all of the things that make each and every one of us unique. It can be frightening sometimes to free our most authentic selves, only by carving our own path can we feel truly liberated.

One of the most special things about you as an artist is the fun energy you bring to live shows, and we’ve been lucky enough to see you at a festival a few years back! How do you get ready for a show and put together the perfect setlist?
I don’t have any pre-show rituals, really. I usually have a green room playlist that I put on and stretch and warm up my voice. I get a lot of fulfillment putting my outfit and setlist together. Putting the outfit together helps me get into character – it feels transformative. I really enjoy that theatrical side of performing.

A great setlist always needs a powerful beginning and ending. Once I figure out that bit of the show it makes it easier to fill out the middle off the set.

Speaking of live performances, you’ll be playing an EP release show in New York City! Which song on the EP are you most excited to perform live?
‘James Brown.’ The energy of the song live feels powerful and fun.

See Also

You’ve come such a long way since releasing ‘Give It To Me Straight’ in 2018. How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since then? Has your creative process changed over the years?
The creative process certainly changes over time as you evolve and you find and develop new ways to create and new ways to spark creativity. I’ve been able to be more self-sufficient when it comes down to the recording side of things. During the pandemic, I was allowed time to loosely figure out recording softwares and demo new material on my own, as opposed to waiting to get into a studio to flesh out ideas. It’s been extremely helpful to have that tool handy and helped the creative process for the better.

At THP, we’re all about discovering new talent and finding the next big hit before it blows up. Who are some up-and-coming artists you’re digging lately?
I’m not sure if these acts are that “new,” but for new alternative acts, I’ve been listening to Wet Leg, Inhaler, Fontaines D.C.

What can your fans look forward to in the rest of 2023?
Hopefully there will be some tour dates announced for the remainder of the year and of course, new music will be out at the end of 2023 / top of 2024.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention or say to your fans that the questions didn’t touch on?
A big hug and kiss to everyone that’s been on this journey with me thus far. It’s a long road and I appreciate the support my fans have given me over the past few years. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. 

Image Source: Skylar Watkins

If Loner Of The Year is any indication, then what lies ahead is going to be pretty amazing! Thank you so much to Micky for answering our questions and pouring your heart out into each and every one of your songs. Change for no one!

Now we wanna hear from you! Which song on Loner Of The Year is your favorite? Is there a certain lyric that really hits you? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And while you’re at it, check out more of our exclusive interviews!


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