Updated: Jan 23
Give me a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you get started in music?
I’m from a city that never sleeps in New York, NY. I was born in Harlem but was brought home to the Bronx. While my mom worked. my grandmother cared for me between Harlem and the Lower East Side. My aunt also cared for me in the Bronx which was easier on my mother traveling-wise. My aunt lived on the same floor as we did.
I would say that I got started in music at an early age. My mom listened to just about every genre of music there is. Reggae, R&B, Jazz, Latin, Country, Pop, Doo Wop, and Gospel. No matter the genre, my mom’s ear was impeccable. She knew the difference between good and bad music. She would have her chill moments to herself and just mellow out with a glass of wine or her favorite drink and just vibe out. Dancing around the living room just enjoying life. That’s where it started for me. That’s how I developed an ear for music.
What was the most memorable moment in your music career?
There isn’t one particular moment that’s memorable. Being nominated for two Grammys was definitely special as well as winning multiple music awards. But, if I had to choose one moment, it would have to be in 2009 at ROC DA MIC Studios with KRS-1. He was recording his album, Self Construction”, and I ended up on not one, but 2 tracks with himself, LYFE Jennings, and Cassidy. To be on not just 1 but 2 songs with KRS-1 was the highlight of my year. It was dope. He never put the album out for reasons unknown, but he had everybody on it.
What was your most challenging moment?
My most challenging moment whether it may be music or life-oriented would be learning how to deal with negative people. Haters. Naysayers. Disbelievers. I had to learn to accept them for who they are and utilize their negativity as fuel for my engine to keep going. I’ve adopted the philosophy “They Talked About Jesus Christ”. If they're not talking about you negatively and spreading lies and hateful rumors about you then you’re not important. You’re not as they say, poppin. I’ve learned to embrace the hate and focus on the positive. I let my work speak for itself, a hater can speak about me, not for me. My work, my history, and my status do that.
Who are your musical influences?
Now that list would probably be beyond these pages. But Michael Jackson, Prince, Janes Brown, Etta James, Stephanie Mills, Quincy Jones, Bee Gees, Duke Ellington, Wynton Marcellus, Big Pun, Kool G Rap, Wu Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, and many others. I’m just influenced by so many genres of music. There’s not just one. They all inspire me.
If you could do a duet and or have someone to write a song for you from your favorite artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Hands down Michael Jackson. He’s my all-time favorite artist, producer, and entertainer.
What is the last song you’ve listened to by another artist and who are your present favorites?
The last that I just listened to was myself. I was having a nostalgic moment and was vining out to some of my past music.
What was your most embarrassing moment while at a live performance or interview?
Oh, this is an easy one, I FARTED! LOL! I farted during an interview and was sitting there praying it wouldn’t stink and it did! If I smelled it I know she did. She had this look on her face like “did he just let one go” i just kept my cool like it wasn’t me. LOL!
How many singles/albums do you have out presently and are there any projects in the works? I Just released my new single, “Phenomenon”. Currently, it’s streaming on all platforms and it’s also available for download. I hope to finish my album once I complete my film projects. Outside of my music are my films. On February 15th, I released, “Time Matters”. I began my promotional tour of this film on January 7th. Currently, I'm still promoting it on press tours and touring city to city hosting red carpet premieres. “Time Matters” will be available for streaming on May 25th, 2021, on my website, AIGNEFILMGROUP.COM. My comedy, “Chill Pill” releases on June 22nd, and my drama, “Color Blind” releasing August 4th. Currently, I'm filming “A Chefs Ingredients to Deception” and, “Keys & Cuffs”, a Police Drama. “Keys & Cuffs”, released on April 23rd. Last, my Romantic film, Hopeless Romantic”. 2021 has been ready, set, go since January 1st.
What are your either weird habits or traditions before performing live or recording?
If praying is weirdo, then that’s my weird tradition. I pray before I perform and after. I pray before I roll the camera before filming and after. That’s my only tradition.
What advice would you like to give to upcoming artists?
Never give up your dreams or yourself. Never listen to a naysayer and don’t worry about haters or non-believers. Your dreams are your dreams. Not theirs. Your goals are yours. Tackle them at full speed. Always keep your faith and never lose that faith, especially in GOD. Whatever will happen for you will happen on his time, not yours. Do what you do for the love it. For the art, the culture, and the creativity. Don’t do it for monetary gain because when the money doesn’t flow like you would want it and you’ll be disappointed, but if you do it for the reason I mentioned then, you’ll forever be happy and your stress and anxiety of the money part of it won’t even matter or bother you. Keep pushing and never never, never give up.
Facebook: Mikey Jay (Michael Steven-Paul)
Album: PHANOMENON (Single)
Record Label: AIGNE Music Group
Donations: St. Jemuel Family Day Care Group
AIGNE Film Group
A Vision & A Dream Brought To Fruition