Born in Australia, having lived in both NYC and London, and now based in Berlin, MIKEY. is someone who transcends geographic limits with seeming ease. Not merely freed from geographic boundaries, however, the musician also surpasses canonic definitions that try to box artistry or identity. With an otherworldly flair to their aesthetic and an almost spiritual message underlying their sound, MIKEY. is fearless and vulnerable at once. Bold, futuristic fashion statements co-exist with their ethereal voice and strikingly honest lyrics—the result is a fluid realm, where the human experience is liberated from its own expectations.
In their latest audiovisual project, Genitalia, MIKEY. explores the implication of falling in love as a trans non-binary person. Marking a one-year anniversary since the musician’s debut music video, Paths, this project tells a story of how unconditional love is conditioned by fear, with MIKEY. re-evolving out of water in the shapes of eight novel lifeforms. “We are all spiritual, divine beings living a human experience,” the artist states, themselves becoming a living and breathing example of this ideology. Set to release a new body of work on April 25—an EP titled Pearl—MIKEY. has Glamcult irrevocably hooked and wanting to know more. That’s why we sat down with them for a brief but profound conversation that spans music, fashion and, perhaps most importantly, (true) love.
We recommend you play MIKEY.’s latest EP, Paths, if you wish to experience a fully immersive read.
In what ways is music powerful to you? What can music be a transformative tool for?
The making of and everything in the universe is music. Therefore, there is not one thing music doesn’t transform. Music is vibration and vibration is everything.
The moment when I’m writing and discovering a song is a thrill like no other. It’s a birthing and the first breaths of the other world come through into this world. It keeps living on like a fractal. Once it’s been born through the writing of a song, I give birth to it again through performance. The audience pull it out of me and into themselves—like a reverse rebirth. Then, it’s passed on one by one as they share it. It moves forward and backwards, in and out, breathing through eternity.
There’s a certain narrative to each song you’ve put out, both from a sonic and lyric perspective. Can you briefly take us through your process of creation? Where does a project start, and how do you know when it’s finished and ready to go into the world?
I’m learning to really trust signs of the universe and be guided by synchronicities. Last year, before I filmed my first music video for Paths, I was so scared of leading and of being the person to oversee it all; there were just so many things to organise. I looked over all aspects of designing, styling, casting, and choreography. I brought a team together to help make it happen, I booked the venue, equipment, and transportation too. The list goes on, but the hardest thing always is to start.
So, I forced myself to just begin and slowly chip away at it. I found that the more I put out and let the universe know I needed this or that, the more things magically fell into place. There were so many unbelievable synchronicities happening. So many that I even went a bit crazy and started thinking that even the smallest irrelevant instances were signs. Maybe they were though. As far as knowing when something’s ready to go into the world, it just depends on the intention of the release. If you know your intention, then you’ll just know when you’ve worked on it as best you can and when it’s ready.
In the music video for Genitalia, we see you wearing very complex, multi-layered garments that all somehow point towards nature in their texture or symbolism. What is fashion’s role in your creative and personal expression? And why the naturalistic elements in the latest visual?
I think using fashion is taking a risk to express a certain part of me. It’s a thrill for me, but also for those who see it and who, maybe, fear expressing themselves in any way other than where they perceive themselves to be in their lives. I believe that when they see someone like me, with such a freedom for expressing myself through fashion, deep down it gives them a sense of hope and permission to strive for being more than what they are. Everyone loves playing the fantasy, or performing another role than the one they already know, though people fear it and most will probably never admit that desire because of their fear of judgment. But it’s written in the core of our existence, to be everything and nothing. So, why not play or express different versions of yourself to live through different experiences and create new stories for yourself?
The naturalistic elements in the latest visual were another synchronicity of my subconscious. A result of following signs through pieces or designers that landed on my path at the exact right time. The only brief I had at the beginning of planning this film was that I wanted to go through a process of re-evolving and that I wanted to film it in nature. It all happened naturally.
Speaking of nature, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on why the spiritual might be key element in creation and personal growth in our age defined and shaped by technology and obsession with rational progress?
We are all spiritual, divine beings living a human experience. It sounds simple, but I know through my own awakenings over the last couple of years that not everyone on this planet is meant to know that or understand it. We must realise that everyone will come to be in their own journey. We are all on different paths and growing at different speeds; all vibrating in different frequencies. Maybe some people’s role of being is to not realise that, at least in this life, because they are here to learn other lessons.
What does love, in its truest form, mean to you?
True love is not something you can find in another person or partner. True love is looking inwards to your own self. Journeying into the depths and hidden caves of your own darkness. No one can travel there for you.