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Conversations with Mikarlo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikarlo.

Hi Mikarlo, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started out as a child in Fresno, California. I started writing songs at the very young age of 12 but didn’t start singing until I was 16 years old. I always knew in my heart I was a star, I just didn’t know how to show it or how to make anyone else see it. I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and started taking voice lessons, piano lessons, I was teaching myself how to produce, and overall just learning what I want to do.

I always knew I wanted to make “sad music you can dance to” but I never knew how to start. Once 2018 was coming to an end, I was 24 and decided I have waited long enough. I bit the bullet released my first song “Blue.” It was a song about feeling left behind while the one that broke your heart has moved on with a smile on their face. Ever since then, I’ve constantly been cheering myself on, having to reassure my reflection in the mirror that “everything will be fine, the music will be heard, you will be ok.” It’s now 2021 and I’ve just released my first album “Crowded” which explores my various moods and mental journeys throughout the days. I’m still fighting to be heard but I’m feeling better and more confident. I know I have it in me, it’s time to show everyone else.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve faced so many struggles throughout my journey. When I moved to Los Angeles, I felt alone. It was a new city, I was surrounded by so many people with the same dream but I still felt alone. Nobody believed I could do it, there were many comments made about my weight, appearance, my voice, and so much more. I felt defeated before I even got started. For the first six years, I saw no progress and only knew being disappointed. I guess it was my fault though, I relied too much on others to get things done instead of handling it myself. It took me six years just to create and release a song, that’s insane. All because I was waiting for someone’s help, somebody’s approval, for someone to give me the green light but in reality, I never needed any of that because I took control and did it all on my own. I will say that I’ve faced many traumatic moments in my life that I try to talk about in my music. Experiencing sexual assault, losing loved ones, the many episodes of depression, it all weighed on me heavily. Making music was the only way I felt any type of relief from this pain.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I sing, dance, I write songs, and I try to produce as well. I’d like to believe I excel in my songwriting abilities more than anything. To be able to convey the exact emotions I once felt and to blend it beautifully with a dance beat, not to toot my own horn but I do have a gift for it. I’m not afraid to admit that. When I listen to some of my songs off the album, I cry. I meant every word I said and it came from a place of pain. Now it feels like a therapy session as if I’m talking to myself. That was actually my goal when writing all of these songs. I want you to dance, to vibe, to cry, I just want you to be in touch with how you’re feeling inside. That is definitely something I feel sets me apart from everyone else. My appearance may change, my voice may change, but my heart remains. I make music to help others, like myself, get through their rough times. I’m paying it forward in a way. It makes me happy.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
My definition of success? When someone tells you that your song helped them get through dark moments. Any time someone is actually hearing what you have to say, rather than just having the song play in the background would be my definition of success. I know being internationally known, gaining the fame, money, the glamour could definitely land someone the title of being “successful” but as nice as that sounds, in case I never reach that point, I’ll just be happy if I can change someone’s live for even a day. Seeing the happiness of others is all I need.

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Image Credits:

Photos taken by McWhorterphotography, Bonnie Nicholads, and myself.

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