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Mikalyn Edited Photos - 2021-12-21-1.jpg

Introducing MIKALYN

What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations.Can you tell us how this has affected you personally,how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?

It’s been a challenge for sure - when COVID started I was 17 and now I’m almost 20, and I feel like I’ve changed a lot. I started university in a pandemic, but made some of the strongest connections I’ve ever had, and I think part of that was because we were all in it together. Even though it wasn’t a traditional first year experience, it was still just as special. I learned that the little things matter most - whether that be a hug, a smile, or quality time - they were all things I took for granted before. I actually got COVID during the end of March of 2021, where I was sent to a hotel over Easter. I had just had a huge life change 4 days prior - I had a long term relationship end, and then right after that was sent to isolate at a hotel on my campus when I was used to being around other people basically all hours of the day. Everyone in my personal life was pretty worried, they didn’t know how I was going to react to being alone after a change so big. I actually think it was an amazing experience all things considered - I was forced to process my emotions, because I had literally nothing else to do. I spent time with myself, and I think it was actually really healing. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve discovered to appreciate independence and being alone, and to stop running from it. 

Professionally, COVID has also had a huge impact on me. I went from gigging at least once a week to not at all. I think the music community really banded together, there were constant livestream opportunities, online webinars I could attend, and I started writing on Zoom and FaceTime. It took a bit to adjust to, but ultimately I think once I got used to it, it was easy to get back on track. I can’t wait for the day that everything goes back to normal though, there’s something special and unreplicatable about face to face writing sessions, concerts, and events. 



What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The most valuable piece of advice that I’ve been given musically was by Don Grierson, who told me when I was 11 that if I had a plan B, to go with that, because in music you have to work like there is absolutely no other option. You will hear no way more than yes, you will have set backs, and it will be hard. 

At the age of 11, I didn’t have much life experience, let alone know anything about careers or how the world works. Don told me straight up what I needed to hear, and guided me along the way for years. 

Non-music related advice that I think about all the time is that someone once told me to take a step back, and think about if something will matter in 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years. If it won’t, then try not to stress about it. I tend to be a bit of an overthinker, and I can get pretty overwhelmed at times, so remembering this can really put things into perspective.


When did you decide that a career in music was for you?

The earliest age I can remember wanting a career in music was when I was 4, before I really even knew what a career was. I just knew that I loved singing, and that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I started taking it seriously around the age of 11, when I joined different songwriting facebook groups and started co-writing with other more experienced writers. I’m trying to learn all I can about every aspect in the music business, and have made some amazing connections along the way! 


Who are your musical inspirations and why?

I would say one of my earliest musical influences was Coldplay - my parents played them around the house all the time, and when I started playing piano I covered a bunch of Coldplay songs. I think that translated a lot into my style today. My biggest musical influence though would have to be MARINA, I started listening to her when I was 12 and I really based my early writing off her music. As I’ve grown, a lot of those elements have stuck. 



Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?

I’m the oldest of 3 girls, I’m 5’11 but was cut from the grade 8 volleyball team (the same team I had made the year before…), and my favourite place I’ve travelled to would be Peru! 


What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?

I’ve been performing for almost 10 years so it’s hard to pick just 1! I always love smaller, intimate gigs because you can really connect with the audience, take requests, and the atmosphere is always amazing! I do a lot of coffee house gigs, or house concerts, so those are always super fun. One of my all time favorite gigs was in Nashville, when I got to do a songwriters round with other Canadian artists. Nashville is known as music city, and I was just so happy to be there surrounded by like minded individuals, the audience was amazing, and it was one of the best nights of my life! 


If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?

If I could perform a gig at any venue, I would love to perform a sold out show at the Velvet Underground in Toronto. It’s a mid-small sized general admission concert hall, and the best show I’ve ever been to was there. I think the atmosphere is amazing, and I think performing there would be a career milestone for me. Every time I’ve gone there to watch a concert, it’s been amazing, and all the artists that play there tend to do it before they hit a huge goal or step in their career! 


If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t in music as an artist, I think I would be pursuing a career on the business side of the arts. I think I would go into entertainment law, or marketing. I’m actually in school right now studying popular music studies, and all my electives are either law or business driven so that I can apply it to my own career. I also think it would be cool to be a tour manager - but even cooler to be the one on tour!


What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?

I started going to concerts when I was 11, and I made a goal to go to at least one concert a year from that point forward (until COVID shut them down). The best concert I’ve ever been to is hands down Bad Suns Toronto show on their Disappear Here tour. Everything about it was absolutely amazing - the engagement with the crowd, the set list, the venue, it was a perfect night. Other chart toppers would be Chase Atlantic, and Lennon Stella. 



What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?

I started going to concerts when I was 11, and I made a goal to go to at least one concert a year from that point forward (until COVID shut them down). The best concert I’ve ever been to is hands down Bad Suns Toronto show on their Disappear Here tour. Everything about it was absolutely amazing - the engagement with the crowd, the set list, the venue, it was a perfect night. Other chart toppers would be Chase Atlantic, and Lennon Stella. 


What would your ideal festival line up be and why?

I’ve been wanting to go to a music festival for years - the first one I was supposed to go to was cancelled because of COVID. My dream lineup would be a mashup of indie, pop, and R&B artists. It would have Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Bad Suns, MARINA, Halsey, Melanie Martinez, J Cole, BETWEEN FRIENDS, Frank Ocean, Coldplay, Trippie Redd, Blackbear, the Neighbourhood, the 1975, Labrinth, Dayglow, Young the Giant, Cage the Elephant, Chase Atlantic, Billie Eilish, I could probably go on forever but you get the idea! 


Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?

I have two tattoos currently and more planned on the way (sorry mom)! I have a treble clef behind my right ear, and that actually has a bit of a backstory. When I was 14, I became really sick with an undiagnosed illness that left me bed-ridden for around a month. I developed Bell's Palsy that left the right side of my face paralyzed, and made me go mostly deaf in my right ear. Luckily we caught it early enough that I was able to make an almost full recovery, but the thought of losing my hearing was absolutely terrifying, because as a musician you really need your ears. It taught me that there are so many things you think are promised, but they can be taken away at any second. I got that tattoo as a reminder of that time in my life. My other tattoo is angel wings at the base of my neck, which I got for my grandma who passed away from cancer back in 2020. My grandma always loved angels, and I got it to remind myself of her and all she stood for. 


What has the rest of the year got in store for you?

I think 2022 is going to be an amazing year - I have a release coming up in about a month, and a few more planned before I drop the EP I’ve been working on for years! I can’t wait to finally have it out for everyone to hear. I’m also hoping to take a work trip to Los Angeles, and figuring out the details for that, which would be an absolute dream. I have a great feeling for 2022, and I can’t wait to see what it brings.

What do you like best about being a musician and why?

I would have to say the people you meet. I’ve made lifelong friends through music, and learned so many valuable lessons that I wouldn’t have without them. There are so many inspiring creatives in this industry - other artists, music lovers, and people on the business side. When I think about what I like best about being a musician, one specific memory jumps out, when I was on a trip to Peru working/living at an orphanage for a few weeks. They had a music room, and one day I got permission to go in there with some of the kids just to play around with them. One of the older boys and I started both sharing songs we had written, and even though I didn’t speak much Spanish and he didn’t speak much English, we were still able to get the message across. I ended up learning the chords to his song, and we were able to play together. Music unites people in a way that surpasses language, and I love being apart of that. 


What was the first record or song you purchased and why?

Take On Me by A-ha was the first song I ever bought! I was in grade 4, and had just got an iPod Touch. I loved the song, and I probably listened to it at least 5 times daily the entire year after that. 



What things make you happy and what things annoy you?

Things that make me happy are my friends/family, warm weather, good books, good music, harmonic minor scales, basically any food, going for walks at night, finding a perfect rhyme or line, and when objects look aesthetically pleasing. Things that annoy me are diminished triads, the feeling of dry wood, traffic, when people talk loudly during lectures and parallel parking. 


Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?

I do think that social media is a good thing in the music industry, because I feel like it can be used as a tool. I’m still trying to figure out all the algorithms, but I feel like once you understand them you can reach an audience you might have not been able to find before, on a wider scale. It’s actually kind of fascinating when you think about it - when I think of my favourite artists, a lot of them I found through social media. I came across Halsey on social media before her first EP even dropped because of a dyed hair hashtag, and am a huge fan to this day. I’ve found my favourite songs through ads that play on Instagram or YouTube. Most of my collaborations have occurred through social media, and wouldn’t have been possible without it because they’re with people who live across the world from me! 

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