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Echoes of the Chase: Jey Mikaelson's Quest for Musical Identity

French artist Jey Mikaelson talks musical evolution, inspiration, and creative process in a recent interview. With his latest single "The Chase," he delivers a message of self-discovery and freedom.

Jey Mikaelson © 2023

GH: Hi Jey, Thank You For Being Here at Goathead!

Jey: It's my pleasure!

GH: Can you tell us about your background and how you got started in the music industry?

Jey: I was born and grew up in France with my family. Our father was absent the majority of the time, so I was mostly with my now-deceased mother and my younger sister. I started playing music when I was around 13 or 14. I played the drums. I was a huge fan of Nirvana at the time, and my goal was to become a drummer in a rock band. I did have a band back in 2016. It lasted two years, but then we eventually split up. That's when I started rapping and taking singing lessons to start a solo career. After a few years of polishing my craft, I released my first single, "Too Fast," in April 2021.

GH: Your latest single, "The Chase," has been gaining a lot of attention. What was the inspiration behind the song, and what message do you hope to convey to your listeners?

Jey: I'm really glad "The Chase" is doing as well as it does right now. It's a song that I'm really proud of. A few months after I released my latest songs "Red City Lights" and "Aqua", I kinda went through a musical identity crisis, and I felt the need to reshape my sound. I wanted to stay true to myself but also bring something new to the table. Something I haven't done before. That's how I got to write "The Chase". The song talks about being lost and searching for yourself in the depth of your mind, while also dealing with the pressure that society puts onto us. They're not letting people the time to figure out what we wanna do in life, and pressure us into having a job, getting an apartment, getting a car, having a family etc... But most of us don't even know where we wanna go sometimes. With "The Chase", I want people to know that it's ok to take a break and search for yourself, your identity, your goal. I firmly believe that Jesus will always be there to help us into that process.

GH: Your previous single, "Red City Light," also received positive feedback. Can you tell us about the creative process behind the song and the meaning behind its lyrics?

Jey: "Red City Lights" was one of those songs that took me a long time to finish. My cousin, who did most of the beats for my songs, sent me a snippet of the beat back in September 2021. It immediately caught my attention, but at the time I was busy working on other songs. So, once I was done with them, I immediately asked him to finish the beat so I could start to work on it. The first thing that came out of it was the choir you hear at the beginning of the track. It gave me a sense of freedom, like I was flying through the sky, and that's what set the tone for the whole track. With a friend of mine, we worked on the rest of the song, and it was done in a couple of months. The lyrics talk about temptation. When you get caught in a flirt that you know you're not supposed to be in, but for some reason, you still like it and enjoy it. Even though you know the consequences if you get caught by your partner or the other person's partner, you just can't help but keep going and getting closer to the crossing line. It happened to me once, and it was such a mess. I never want to live that again.

GH: As an artist, what do you think sets you apart from others in the industry, and how do you continue to innovate your sound?

Jey: That's a tough question. Since I'm French but sing and rap in English, I believe I have a way of approaching songs that might be different from other English-native artists. My patterns and methods are different due to the French cultural influence I have. Also, as I take inspiration from many different genres and types of artists, I pride myself on being able to make songs that can appeal to everyone, no matter what genre you're into. I have yet to fully unleash my potential, though, which will come with time, so watch out for that.

GH: Can you talk about your experience collaborating with other artists and producers in your music career in France?

Jey: I haven't done any collaborations with other artists yet, but since I started making music, I've mostly worked with my cousin. He's been my beatmaker for the past 2 years, but when I went through the musical identity crisis I mentioned earlier, I felt the need to work with someone else, and now I'm working with the producer that made the beat for "The Chase". He's really open-minded and has a different vision. I believe he brought my music to another level, so I'm looking forward to keeping working with him.

GH: What do you have planned for the future? Any upcoming projects or performances ?

Jey: We're working on a music video for "The Chase" right now. After that, I'll be dropping a new song in June that should announce the release of my next EP that I'm still working on, so stay tuned for that as well. I'm going to be pretty active during the summer.

GH: It was great having you here today. Before we end, do you have any final thoughts or messages you would like to share with our audience?

JEY: Thank you for having me on the show. I just want to say that it was a pleasure to be here and share my thoughts with your audience. I hope that our conversation was informative and insightful, and I look forward to the opportunity to connect with you all again in the future.

Don't forget to Follow Jey on Instagram and Listen to his Art on Spotify


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