THE first interview of the week…
sees me ‘jet’ to New York and speak with Goldkey – the alias of singer-songwriter, Mike Horn. He discusses the awesome new single, Faster, and the story behind it. I ask him about influences and the musicians who have guided his ideology; what New York is like in terms of fostering new music; how Faster compares to early work – and whether a trip to the U.K. is on the cards.
Goldkey chats about musical memories and new artists to check out; why Jeff Buckley is such a pivotal and entrancing force; how he relaxes and chills away from music – the interview concludes with a rather lovely song!
Hi, Goldkey. How are you? How has your week been?
My week has been awesome, thanks for asking. Coming down from the new single release on 2nd March, which has been holding steady at number-one on Hype Machine's Popular Songs on Twitter rankings the past few days...
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. My name is Mike Horn and I've been performing in several projects for years. Goldkey is a newer project I started at the beginning of 2017, after tracking an entire album worth of tunes - of which I eventually scrapped. Only one of those songs stood out to me as something I wanted to put out to my listeners - that song was Mountain (it can be heard here).
I've released and/or have been involved in several projects over the past couple of years. This one was more about exploration…
Faster is your new song. What is the story behind your latest work?
Faster is a song about something, mostly, everyone can relate to – trial and error but, also, finding your rhythm and wanting to slow down your pace of life.
You worked with Ben Rice on the track. How did you two meet and come to collaborate?
Ben Rice is a brilliant producer at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ben and I met years ago after one of my older Alt-Rock bands recorded at his old studio in a basement. He's the only producer I've worked with for Goldkey tunes - and is a major component of how well these songs came out.
How does Faster differ from What Am I Supposed to Do? and Mountain? Do you think you are growing in confidence and scope?
Faster is a song that I think combines all of the elements I enjoy most about music - bringing the listeners along for a wave of emotions and incorporating build-up to send a clear and concise message. With this one, I feel the songwriting is getting stronger and more personal. With every song, I'm shaping my sound even more than the track before.
That's always the goal.
Will there be more material coming later this year?
I anticipate I will release another song or two this year - and possibly even an E.P.!
New York is your base. What is the state like in terms of new music? Do you think it is the best place in the world to be?
As I mention in my song, Mountain: “New York's the only place that I've known/and I'm sure that I belong here". For all its quirks and the stress of living and breathing N.Y.C. air, it's the only place I want to do what I'm doing.
Tell me about the artists you grew up with. Which musicians do you count as idols?
Michael Jackson is always my go-to, because I've listened to him since the moment I was born (until now). I was two-years-old when Bad was released - and I've been a fanboy ever since. Around my college years, I got into Jeff Buckley's Grace and have been diving into his catalogue headfirst ever since.
You and I are both big fans of Jeff Buckley! How did you discover his work – what is it about his music that speaks to you?
I don't think there's anyone else who has been able to replicate his sound. That's the dream of every musician, isn't it? To create a sound only you can have. His songwriting and song arrangement was extremely unorthodox and questionable at times - but that voice of his could fix almost any average song and turn it into a masterpiece.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
You sure can! I'll be at The Delancey in N.Y.C. on April 27th for the glamglare showcase. I have some other shows in the works that I will be announcing soon.
Do you think you’ll head to the U.K. and play? Do you like British music?
I would love to - but might need some help getting there. Haha. My first concert ever was Oasis' Morning Glory Tour in 1995. To say I'm a fan of British music is an understatement.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jonathan Wilson/PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea Nakhla
What do you hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
I want to keep making great music and sharing it with the world.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Back in 2005, I performed a couple of shows at CBGB's 313 Gallery. I was one of the last to play there before it shut its doors. I've played to packed out rooms there a few times.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be persistent, be patient and don't lose confidence. A lot of people will turn your music away - and that's always going to be the case, since music is subjective.
Hang in there!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I unwind by listening to records - so not much time ‘away’ from music. Haha
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I'd go with Belle & Sebastian's new song, Poor Boy. It's a funky Indie tune. Enjoy!