Singer Sebastian Mikael is taking the world by storm on his own terms. His songs are sincere and personal with a vintage R&B feel that bring back memories of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He is a prime example of following your own dreams and not letting anyone else define your journey. Venturing into the music industry and exposing your soul to the world can be a jarring experience, but Sebastian goes about it with pride and confidence.
After reaching almost overnight fame in 2012 with his single, “Beautiful Life,” he was thrust into a music scene that he was maybe not fully prepared for. After taking a few years off to define his own sound, he made his comeback in 2019 with his album entitled, I C U U C ME Pt. II. From his emergence in 2012, even his physical style has transformed. He now sports bulky jewelry and a dapper display of tattoos along his abdomen and arms. He is doubtlessly cool, and this is effortlessly shown in his music.
His latest single, “Exit,” mixes soulful melodies and jazzy beats as he croons in his perfect falsetto about a love he will never let go. The music video was shot in New York City and is available on YouTube and his personal website, sebastianmikael.com.
The Folklore spoke to Sebastian about his style, music, and growth over the years as a person and artist.
We love your style. Where you draw your main inspiration from for your outfits?
I draw inspiration from pretty much everything. Everything I have around me inspires me. For me, style is all about individuality and aesthetics. Not being trendy. I got it from watching artists, especially from the 1970s and 1990s.
If you were going to bring back a trend from any decade, what decade would it be and why?
It would be the early 1970s and late 1960s, and maybe the 1990s, too! In the 1990s, the 1970s came back, so the 1990s is my final answer.
A lot of your music has a late 1990s or early 2000s vibe. Does your inspiration come from artists of this time period or do you find it elsewhere?
The mainstream stuff that came out in the early 2000s is not what inspires me, so I never really got inspiration from that. It’s more about neo-soul and some of the lesser known R&B that came out of Lenny Kravitz and artists like that.
How did you first begin as a musician?
We used to do street performances. We’d post up on Newbury Street in Boston and just play, and we noticed that people would stop and listen. We always wanted to try it, and it was just a fun thing to do. I never did it for the money, it was just genuinely a lot of fun to do.
So now that you’ve taken control of composing your own music, take us through your creative process.
It really just comes. I really don’t have any control over when I get inspired or when ideas come to me. I feel like you just have to be placed in a creative environment. It has to be somewhere you feel comfortable with the people around you and you feel like your brain is really going.
You took some time off from the music industry. How did that help you grow as a person and as a musician?
This time away definitely helped me grow. It was my time to fall back and think about the sound that I wanted to have. Well, it was about finding my sound and honing in on what I wanted to do personally and not be worried about labels or what I thought other people wanted me to do. So it really just came down to doing the things that I love and doing it until I felt like it was right.
You recently released your music video for “Exit.” What was your favorite part about filming it?
It was filmed in the neighborhood I live in here in New York, and I loved that it just showed my everyday life here in quarantine. I love that video. Every shot was meaningful as far as being true to me. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I like the shots in the apartment with the gold walls.
If you weren’t a performer in the music industry, would you be interested in pursuing any other career?
Producing or songwriting. I feel like as long as I can be creative and make music, I’ll be happy.