Sebastian Mikael "Acid Part II"

by Anahita Safarzadeh

Photo by  Samson Debela

Photo by Samson Debela

Sebastian Mikael’s new introduction into the musical scene has produced some emotional and intriguing music. His work in collaboration with six instrumentalists, vocalists, rappers, and producers has generated am inspired molding of sound which has been described as touching upon the struggles of loss.

The artist who formally took a break, came back after what was a well needed journey of discovery. By diving into his identity and finding his artistic voice, Sebastain feels that now he is writing his own music, rather than people dictating what his direction should be.

We love hearing that artists are rebranding, revamping, and collaborating with others to turn their past experiences into work that's more elevated and true to their nature. Second guessing is something natural to an artist, after all, we are our worst critics, but with Sebastian, his self criticism is what took him on a journey to discover who he is and what his sound should represent. Thr group was able to collaborate, mold, and harmonize their sound to generate music nostalgic of an era where the party was about the party, and the music was about the music. The scene in the Sebastian Mikael video, “Acid Part II” looks like something out of Harlem in the late 1970’s where vibing is the action. Fashion is prominent, smoking comes in chains, and dancers keep on dancing.

What made you feel you had to take a break from releasing music? If it was to find yourself, do you feel that you have, or do you feel that finding yourself is a life-long journey which you can embark on through music production? 

I wasn't feeling inspired or passionate about the music I was releasing because I wasn't the brain behind it so I started venturing into other revenues to make ends meet. I did it for like 2/3 years and during that time I was just writing and recording myself like everyday and eventually I created a sound for myself that's when I decided to reinvent and start releasing music again.  

You and your 6 collaborators all worked together to create this music, do you feel you all had to undergo personal growth and loss in order to mold the sound you now have?

Yes most def, we was all struggling financially and were just hungry to create dope shit, we all had good chemistry in the studio so it was always fun. I didn't realize we was raising the bar musically until we started playing it to people and saw their reactions. 2 years ago I played the music for Slip'N'slide, they loved it and decided to push it, then a week later I lost my best friend in the process of mixing the last EP I put out. It was a very difficult time in my life and that was my way of turning a tragedy into something positive so I dedicated it to my brother, and named it I C U U C ME which was the name of our clothing brand. 

Photo by  Samson Debela

Photo by Samson Debela

You mention on your bio that with pain comes triumph, do you feel that channeling pain into art is something you have always done, or just more recently due to loss? Do you think that it’s an artist's responsibility to show some form of catharsis through music by channeling pain into art? 

It's not something I've always done, it really started when I started writing songs that were more personal, and the more stuff I went thru the more writing started feeling therapeutic for me, I think I was able to channel a lot of my anger and pain into my music even though I don't think about it while I'm writing or recording. I don't think every artist has to look at it that way as long as you're passionate about what you do. 

What did you do during your time off, what do you think you needed the most?

I barely have time off, I'm tryna spend more time with my girl and see my family more often. 

 Are there any genres specifically inspiring you today, the themes of the 60’s and 70’s are really prominent in your music - is that era something that speaks to you the most and why?

I'm really into late 60's psychedelic soul/funk music and 70's soul/funk we don't feel music the same way in this day and age, back then it was all about freeing your mind and expressing yourself however u wanted, the art is always a response to what's happening socially and politically and I think the climate we're in right now is similar to where it was at in the late 60's/70's so hopefully we'll get more good music in the near future.

What is the importance of keeping smoke in your newest video, the scene is clouded and hazed. Is that a metaphor?

Na we just happened to be smoking while shooting the video 

Going into your next project to release I C U U C ME Part II, how do you feel about that, and what are some of the future goals you want to set as an artist going into 2020? 

I feel good about it I can't wait for y'all to hear it. In the future I'd love to go on tour, and work with more artist, see where the journey takes me. 

Who are some of the artists you’ve been inspired by the most, more recently having come back from your break?

BADBADNOTGOOD, Roy Ayers, Funkadelic, Parliament..... 

Is fashion an important aspect of your musical art, looks like some of your looks are era inspired, do these have connections to historical movements or artistic movements you might be projecting into your music?

Yea it goes hand in hand, I get inspired by everything from designer collections, runway shows, photo shoots, different genres of music, film, painting the list goes on, my style is very 70's inspired and afrofuturistic, same for my music.

Photo by Samson Debela