Back in 2009 while running the Mercury label at Island Def Jam Records, I heard a very intriguing early version of the song "Cooler Than Me" and saw some compelling raw videos of the young artist/Duke student Mike Posner performing in front of adoring crowds and revealing a striking originality. He came into our offices, baseball cap, baggy jeans, tons of attitude and very much a star in terms of his confidence and his completely original musical point of view. I badly wanted to sign Mike but lost out to another label.
His new label turned "Cooler Than Me" into a major worldwide hit and Mike’s major debut album 31 Minutes To Takeoff connected also, but then Mike seemed to consciously disappear as an artist.
I knew he was still writing great songs and I always pursued him to at least write for our artists. He had a string of hits that others performed including Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend", Emeli Sandé's "Beneath Your Beautiful", and Maroon 5's "Sugar," but I remained a major fan of Mike the artist. Last year at an event we held for Nick Jonas, Mike unexpectedly jumped on the piano in front of us all and spontaneously performed two magical songs: the unforgettable "Buried in Detroit" and "I Took a Pill in Ibiza." It was as if by some mystical energy, everyone ended up singing softly with Mike the refrain of “Ibiza”... “All I know is sad songs, sad songs."
Sometimes when Mike performs acoustically like this, the world stops. He is naked emotionally to the world, revealing himself with soul, humility, and an exceptional emotional resonance. We were all captivated and I resolved to find a way to work with him which came to pass when he signed to Island earlier this year. Since then, the real Mike, the passionately committed songwriter and sometimes autobiographer, has crafted an exceptional album which will, I believe, stand out to music lovers as an outstanding body of work, with perfect lyrics, haunting melodies, the embodiment of his simple truth and his unique voice.
He has come a long way from the hip hop student turned rock star and presents now more closely to a legend like early Elton John and greats such as Neil Young.
Mike is a remarkably talented and deeply sensitive soul and he is going to give the world a very special record beginning with his introspective, and deeply personal EP, The Truth, (out June 22nd).But don't just take my word for it, here's what the artist community is saying:
"Mike Posner is one of the most clever, talented writers I know and this his best work yet. This is a very important album. It should be listened to from start to finish.” ~ Big Sean
"These are the best songs Mike Posner has ever written." ~Avicii
“Mike Posner has reinvented himself as an introspective pop artist - which sounds like it could be insufferable but for the fact that these songs are deeply authentic and astonishingly personal while being relentlessly catchy at the same time. This is one of the first times I’ve listened to an album before it’s released knowing it’s going to be a worldwide hit because it strikes two simultaneous bullseyes: unforgettable hooks and unforgettable lyrics. It’s a confessional pop masterpiece." ~Amanda Palmer
"Mike Posner can write one hell of a song. I thank him for sharing his truths with us.” ~Labrinth
"Mike Posner is at the head of a new genre." ~ Rolling Stone
I hope you listen to it at night and alone just as Mike wrote it, and let it speak its truth to you. I know you won't regret it.