[INTERVIEW] Mike & Keys
In a time where hidden faces find themselves supporting movements filled with lackluster rhymes and unimaginative emotion, it can be difficult to navigate through all the chaos. Despite all the temporary enjoyment that was bestowed upon us as of late, a group of authentic and genuine leaders continue to shape the sound of music. Grammy nominated duo Mike & Keys found themselves ushering a new wave of freedom through audio dope containing a variety of sounds that have captivated their ever growing audience. While remaining hard at work behind the scenes, I got a moment to expand on the finer details where fans across the globe can find honor and respect depicted in it’s rawest form.
With over a decade of knowledge and experience in the music industry it’s no secret that Mike & Keys will be teaching future producers what it means to remain timeless. Their unique approach and undeniable display of team work is what allows these talented men to reach new heights with every beat made. Since 2009, Mike & Keys have graced so many artists with luxurious instrumentals filled with a rare feeling that’s unique and divine. Everybody from 50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco, Redman, and more have given the opportunity to allow musical history to commence as the legendary production team honored their albums with unforgettable gems. Long before these gentleman began making history one song at a time, their foundation was rooted in the Church. Both having fathers that remain pastors, Mike & Keys agree that the influence of Church music and family activities allowed for immense love and growth. When asked “What do you hope to share with the world that will represent your upbringing?” Mike & Keys replied, “How amazing it is to come from a big family of love and good energy, then spreading that.” Although Mike grew up in Louisiana and Keys in California, it’s evident that respect and their unconditional love for art and music has brought them together to teach the universe something incredible.
Dedication will lead you into the right direction no matter what may surround you. For some it may be instant gratification that is considered success while for others it’s about endless creativity and passion. Mike & Keys display an aura that embodies respect, honor, and appreciation for the art form that is Hip Hop. With so much to choose from nowadays it can be hard to remain a devoted fan. True music connoisseurs understand the importance of quality and authenticity. “We put our own feeling in the music”, says Mike, “We don’t try to copy or sound like anybody, and we just always approach music in a different way.” From the studios to the main stage, from countless hours in California to sharing your art with the universe one stream at a time, Mike & Keys are rapidly leaving their impression in the music industry for their honest demeanor and undefeated work ethic. Both agree that their collab with the talented Dom Kennedy has resulted in a phenomenal impact on their career. Fans would agree that the chemistry between them has always been remarkable and we can only hope for more music one day.
When spending long hours in the studio and executing deadlines regularly it is essential that producers take care of their health and honor the healing process. Mike considers medicinal marijuana as a tool of inspiration that enhances the creative process. Flavors such as OG & Gelato are some of his favorites, just make sure it’s rolled up in a fronto leaf or backwood. His most memorable smoke sessions have included artists such as Nipsey Hussle, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Redman. Although he’s shared a lot of weed with many talented people, he still hopes to pass the blunt to Sade Adu one day. Let’s hope that dream comes true.
“When we hear something that’s creative, it makes us wonder what made them make that. It’s hard to explain, but we get inspired by creative shit.” – Mike
Setting themselves apart from the repetitive sound waves that pollute fragile minds and drowning the globe with infinite style and charisma is what makes Mike & Keys very important to the culture. With no plans on stopping anytime soon, Mike & Keys look to expand the operation into a powerhouse business. “Just really running a full record label and having artists, producers, etc.” says Mike, “like LaFace. R&B, Rap, etc.” With such great momentum built in the last year it will be remarkably rewarding to witness Mike & Keys elevate to new heights that allow them endless honor and recognition for their artistic contributions.
Special thanks to Monte for capturing the incredible studio footage. We wish nothing but the best to Mike & Keys in the future.