Mikey Votano Interview

Music Promotions Spoke with music artist and performer Mikey Votano about his new song Shut Up and Dance, why he decided to do a cover of Walk The Moons hit, touring Australia and Canada and much more full interview below.

What was the idea to release your version of ‘Shut Up And Dance’?

The original Walk The Moon track never fails to get me to the dance floor & I wanted to recreate that feeling for our rock ’n’ roll loving friends.  There’s a beautiful group of legends who’ve been following my journey since the beginning who love to swing dance & this track was definitely recreated with their world in mind.

It has a real Bluesy feel to it, is this kind of style we can expect more of from you?

I love vintage sounds & grooves, growing up a sax player jazz & the blues are something I’ve loved ever since I began learning.  The recent recordings all throw back to a bluesy sound but the blues was the start of rock ’n’ roll & all popular music owes a debt to rock ’n’ roll so who know where I’ll end up.

Can you tell me more about the video you made for this song?

Pretty excited about this video.  It was originally meant to be filmed earlier in the year but then the world took a turn & filming was no longer possible.  It’s only thanks to a heap of fans, 63 spanning 6 continents, that a video is ready today.  These legends filmed themselves dancing, singing, celebrating times that were & that will be once more all to make this video possible.  It includes professional & amateur swing dancers, acrobats, musicians, doctors, an entire family, the cast of cruise ship stuck at sea & very good doggie.  I’m humbled by their generosity & efforts & couldn’t be more happy with result.  I know it’s going to make a whole heap of people smile.    

Do you get any stage nerves before a performance? How do you cope with any nerves?

I do get nervous but not quite as much as I used to.  Someone once told me the nerves mean you still care & I’d love to think that’s true.  I pour everything into a performance & ultimately just want to present something which brings joy, celebrates shared experiences & presents an opportunity for escape.  That’s what I love about music so hopefully I’m delivering a little of that myself.   

You also perform as lead vocalist with Silver Lover Club, do you have a preference to solo performing or as a band?

Creating music & seeing it through in a group is pretty damn special & a memory I’ll always have with those guys.  A solo act is a little scarier, there’s nowhere to hide.  If someone doesn’t like the music it feels like the don’t like you which can be pretty hard to take.  The added pressure of performing solo definitely makes the rewards all that much sweeter.  

You do also write your own original music, where do you find inspiration for a song?  

I do, it’s a very different art writing original music verses the arrangements I’ve been releasing lately.  I find inspiration comes from life experience, generally the two ends of the spectrum, the extreme highs & lows.  My favourite songs are ones which make me feel like the writer knows exactly how I felt at any given moment & I try to write as honestly as that. 

What song writers do you look up to? 

Ray Charles, Carol King, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, The Strokes, Jackson Browne, Billy Joel, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, the list is endless.  There are so many great songwriters from so many different genres I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin.  Recently however I’ve really been enjoying the lyrics & musicianship of James Hunter, a British soul/rock ’n’ roll artist who if you haven’t heard definitely give a few of his tracks a spin.

Who inspires you as a musician?

Perhaps I can answer this with who I’m listening to a whole heap at the moment? The James Hunter Six, JD McPherson, Nick Waterhouse, Vintage Trouble, The Dreamboats, Ray Charles & The Black Keys.  

You have toured all over Australia’s East Coast and at Toronto’s Canadian music week, what is that like?

Performing music & shows that I’ve created & seeing the joy it brings to people is the greatest feeling in the world.  I’m super fortunate that my job takes me around the world, I get to see new places & meet new people.  Touring is the best & I’m missing it heaps at the moment.

Where haven’t you toured which is on your list to do in the future? 

I’ve never been to South America.  I hear the people are awesome, the food is amazing & they love live music. Anywhere in South America would be amazing.   

Will you be touring this year – or next, hopefully?

The plan was to tour this year & next but none of that is in my hands at the moment.  When those most at risk are safe from everything going I can assure I’ll be out on the road as soon as possible.