Interview with: Makk Mikkael

If you had your eyes peeled on this blog or its chat show on Instagram recently, then you’ve definitely seen this pretty little face around – MAKK MIKKAEL – thanks to her debut ‘Jungle’. Featured last November, the single found its way to NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2017 list, ranking at #7 and is currently named Song of the Month by the blog. With a grand entrance to the music scene, I think she deserves a place on the interview hot seat…

NLM: Thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

MM: Thanks so much for reaching out to me, and the constant support you guys have shown me.

NLM:  First up, I have to ask you this question: is Makk Mikkael your real name? If not, how did the name came about?

MM: It is my real name with a swedish twist on it. The correct spelling of my name is Mackenzie Michael but I prefer going by Makk Mikkael.

NLM: You released your debut single‘Jungle’ back in November.What’s the public’s reception beyond this blog?

MM: I’ve been stoked on the feedback I’m getting from listeners. I recently won a contest with “The Deli Toronto” as artist of the month. The fact that I was even included in that is just bizarre. Excited for everything that’s happening and the journey I’m on.

NLM:  How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

MM: Artist wise I would say my music is in the same category as “The Weeknd, Esthero, Alina Baraz, Imogen Heap” to name a few. I really look up to those artists. Toronto has a really cool thing going on sound wise right now so I’m inspired by the scene there. I think my sound would be described as spacey, ambient R&B.

NLM:  What’s your inspiration behind your unique sound?

MM: I experimented with a few different sounds earlier on in my career when I was around 14-15 and released a country album. haha I don’t do country now and could never see myself doing that again… In the last few years I would say my style evolved to my sound now and keeps evolving constantly with artists I’m inspired by and from experiences I have. I love the R&B sound a bunch so I think that’s just what I gravitate towards naturally.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist who would it be?

MM: Just one? That’s brutal. I would without a doubt collaborate with The 1975. I’m constantly inspired by what they do and who they are as human being’s. They produce their own records and co-produce with Amber Bain of “The Japanese House”. The sound they’ve created for themselves is a sound that really speaks to millennials. I think we’d make some great stuff and dive into something unique.

NLM:  If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

MM: I would put all three of my wishes towards making sure all artist’s can make a living doing what they love. Having the financial freedom to create whatever they want whenever. Artist’s are so valuable in our society, if we could focus 100% on our art it I think it would make a difference.

NLM: So what are your plans for 2018?

MM: My goal is to start touring with artists and obviously continue to release music. I’m currently working on my album and more music videos.

NLM:  How can potential fans make contact with you?

MM: I love having fans/artists reach out to me. On my website you can send me a direct email. Or on my instagram: makkmikkael you can leave me a direct message.

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what would you do?

MM: I think I would be a photographer, screenwriter, author, or director. Anything in the creative field really. I Love the idea of being behind the screen and creating for people. I’m very into directing I think that’s super cool. Sophia Coppola is my favourite movie director, would love to work alongside her on a project in the future.


New Track: OAK – Terrell Morris & Free n Losh (ft. Basecamp)

Upcoming Toronto hip-hop duo TERRELL MORRIS & FREE N LOSH have dropped their brand new track entitled, ‘OAK’ last week.

The pair is gearing up to release their debut album ‘Molasses’ next month, with Terrell providing  his slick vocals and lyrics to the nine-track collection, leaving the production duties to Free n Losh. Leading up to the release of the upcoming project, Terrell has amassed over 5 million plays so far with various acclaimed singles.

These guys are the real deal…get the first taste of their forthcoming album:

New Track: Good Girl – Gena Perala

GENA PERALA releases a haunting new single and visuals for ‘Good Girl’ today, which marks the new chapter in her musical journey – and the departure from her last album (Exactly Nowhere, 2014): Perala trades in her piano for a synthesizer and a drum machine. The result is a synthed-up, down-tempo production that flirts with pop elements.

With a voice that is both heartwarming and chilling, Perala creates a style all her own – soft yet strong. “The song is about an abusive relationship and ultimately how every day my friend stayed in this relationship, it was killing her,” Perala explains. “But it’s important to understand how complicated and wrapped up in our past these situations are, so the song is also about the enabling that went on with the abuse and then my own helplessness and anger around men fucking with women, especially when those women are my best friends.”

The accompanied visual is an eerie depiction of the artist floating in water surrounded by darkness and at times drowning. Dancers writhing underneath fabric represent the relationship eliciting visuals as unnerving as they are interesting.

‘Good Girl’ is the first of a string of releases Perala plans for 2018, with long-time producer Chris Gestrin – so expect some intensely honest lyrics that will take you on a journey through a seamless fusion of genres, creating dark melodies.

Check out the video for ‘Good Girl’.

New Music Video: Make Circles – Croatia

Canadian synth pop group CROATIA makes an entry on NEW LEASE MUSIC with a brand new music video to their latest single, ‘Make Circles’.

Boasting a stunning fusion of soft electronics and synthed-up pop, the four-and-a-half minute release embodies their heavy influence of the 80’s. Frontman Justin Campbell’s memersing vocals perfectly glides along the hazy combo, adding that magical and spine-tingling sensation.

‘Make Circles’ is the first single from their forthcoming EP, ‘Half Dreams’, set for release in the spring. In the meantime, check out the equally hazy visuals to their newest offering (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

New Track: Undone – Art of Shades (ft. Sylo Nozra)

Franco-Italian producer ART OF SHADES has teamed up with singer Sylo Nozra for the release of single, ‘Undone’, taken from the forthcoming EP set to drop this spring via his record label, Sounds of Shades.

Although ART OF SHADES is based in Paris and Sylo Nozra resides in Toronto, thanks to the power of the internet, it didn’t stop the pair cooking up a four-minute production, packaged in a downtempo electro-hip-hop slammer. Through this collaboration, they became great friends and are now both a part of the same Canadian squad, OTrip.

‘Undone’ marks the slick beatmaker’s new musical direction and his request to collaborate with different musicians across the globe.

Check out the video to ‘Undone’.