Mikalyn’s ascent in the music business has been, in some respects, an atypical journey thus far. She gained an initial unconventional foothold when a Brazilian record label discovered her original, piano-driven music on Soundcloud and offered to transform them into EDM hits.
What followed were monster collaborations with the likes of Zuffo, Diskover, Ownboss, and Evokings. These collaborations, although not the direction she expected to take at the beginning of her career, were crucial steppingstones in building her repertoire and fanbase, ultimately introducing new listeners to her original alt-pop stylings. The Canadian songwriter pens relatable songs which touch on relationships, love (or lack thereof) and everyday experiences and emotions. Inspired by the likes of BETWEEN FRIENDS, Tears for Fears, Billie Eilish and Marina, Mikalyn’s sound is a vibrant and colourful blend of infectious pop melodies, soaring vocals and polished production.
With millions of streams for her music to date, Mikalyn has had her songs placed on numerous Spotify editorial playlists, including Canada’s New Music Friday, Indie Pop, Fresh Finds and EQUAL. She has also received airplay on CBC radio, as well as reaching the finals in their searchlight competition multiple years in a row. With a one-of-a-kind style and unwavering drive, Mikalyn shows no signs of slowing down on her already impressive trajectory as she launches her indie pop career.
What is your current music project about?
My current release is a single called Ready To Love You. It’s an indie pop song with some 80s synth pop influences. I wrote it about needing a moment to reevaluate if you’re ready to enter a relationship and deciding against it. Sometimes you don’t even realize it until you’re in too deep, which can be scary. It can be hard to commit and open yourself up to getting hurt, and I wrote the song about that emotional rollercoaster that many people have experienced!
When did you start writing music?
I first started writing music when I was 6 or 7. When I was 5, I used to entertain myself and my friends on the school bus by making up stories about completely random things. I had a very active imagination, and that year at school I put down “author and singer” as my ‘what I want to do when I grow up’ answer. I was already in piano lessons, and I think I just discovered one day that I could combine the two through songwriting. I still have some of my first songs – one of them is called Lollipop land, which is pretty self explanatory. Another is called “Tornados” and I wrote that about my dog passing away – I guess tornados was the only word I could find to describe how I felt at the time. Writing has always been one of my first passions, and I think it will stay that way for the rest of my life.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
One of my favourite methods to deal with writer’s block is to take a song I wrote and flip it – write it from another perspective, write the opposite, write a different conclusion, change the key to the natural minor or vice versa. It’s a good way to break the pattern of not writing without forcing it. Another way I’ve dealt with it in the past is by going on a random word generator, picking 3 random words, and writing them into a verse! Sometimes you need a small challenge to get you back on your feet, and I find it’s also pretty fun!
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Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that”?
I don’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t been interested in music. My parents first put me in piano lessons when I was 5, and vocal lessons soon after. I did choir for years, started performing at open mics around 11 and joined different writing/performing groups around the Greater Toronto Area pretty young as well. It’s genuinely always just been something I know I’ve wanted to do! I’ve had a few key moments where I stood back and was like “this is meant for me.” One was seeing the artist Lights perform when I was in grade 6 or 7. The concert was amazing, she had such great stage presence, and everyone was having so much fun. I felt so euphoric that night, and just extra motivated to be the one on that stage one day. Another time was when I was performing “Take me to Church” by Hozier – I remember getting super into it, and when the song was over it felt surreal, because it felt so natural being on stage. I remember thinking “I want to do this every night for the rest of my life.”
What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
I’m actually really excited for the next few months – I’ve been working on my EP for about 2 years now and it’s almost done! I have a few more singles planned, and then I’m finally dropping it, so you can expect to see some upcoming content regarding that. I’ve had mood boards on Pinterest for all the songs and am going to be creating visuals for all the songs. I’m super excited about it! I’m also trying to plan a business trip to Los Angeles to do some writing and get acquainted with the city, so hopefully that will come together! Keeping my fingers crossed!
In terms of gigs, I’m currently live streaming pretty regularly because my province is in lockdown! Once we have a more concrete reopening date, I’m going to start doing my regular gigs again, and there will be a release party/event for my EP!
Do you have a cherished childhood teddy bear or other stuffed animal sitting on your bed at home?
Yes, I do! His name is Teddy, he’s going on 20 and has needed no major repairs. I’ve had him since the day after I was born.
Do you shout out the answers at the TV whilst watching quiz shows?
Yes, I would consider it a personality flaw because I will do it even if I’m not sure I’m right. Trivia in general is always an interesting time when I’m playing – I grew up in a competitive family, so I guess that’s where I get it from.
If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
I would like to be fluent in French one day. My family is French Canadian, but I lost most of the language when I moved to Southern Ontario where it’s not spoken as much, or on any of the street signs. I want to visit France one day, so I think I’ll try to learn it before then! I also think it would be cool to learn Portuguese, because I had a few singles out under a Brazilian record label and would love to perform there!
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dragons. They breathe fire and fly, they appear in Harry Potter, need I say more??
Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?
The baddie with all the good lines! They’re always iconic, I tend to favour them in most movies. I feel like even if they don’t get the fairytale ending in a movie, they’re set up to create their own when the plot ends.
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