By Alec Wooden
Born in Bermuda and raised largely on his parents sailboat, reggae-folk rocker Mishka‘s music career began by chance when a record executive heard a rough demo in the mid ’90s and quickly signed him to UK label Creation Records for a relationship that lasted two records and garnered a substantial buzz within the UK. Over a decade later, life has come full circle — the hype is back, thanks in large part to iTunes dubbing him 2009’s “Best New Artist.” Mishka’s attitude on life and music hasn’t changed much, though his home in the latter has. Residing now on actor Matthew McConaughey’s J.K. Livin’ label (a relationship also fostered completely by chance), the ever laid-back Mishka has a new record (Talk About), the golden touch of producer Butch Walker (two tracks on Talk About) and the makings of a musical resurgence he doesn’t plan on wasting.
So you’re checking in from Hawaii, right?
Ya man. Moved out here about seven months ago I guess. I love it. I’m a wind surfer, ya know, so it’s great for me. I love being by the beach.
Talk a little about your musical upbringing.
My musical upbringing was a pretty broad landscape. I grew up listening to a lot folk music and 70’s reggae and some rock, classical, everything. My parents were really into listening to music. So I had a strong musical foundation as far as listening. There’s a lot of musicians in my family. My big sister plays guitar and sings. My father can play harmonica, my mother liked to sing. There’s a lot of music in my family. It’s just sort of natural thing that I was always around, ya know? It just sort of grew and grew as I grew up. I love it. It’s part of life.
What’s your general philosophy as an artist?
I’m about one love. That’s the inspiration in my music. I really just look forward to being out there onstage doing the music. That’s what it’s about. There’s so much inbetween – getting there to that place where you’re actually playing your music. There’s planes, trains and automobiles and hotels and all the time in between, so it’s always just nice to be playing and that’s what I look forward to the most.
How does that fit in with the J.K. Livin’ (“Just Keep Livin'”) label philosophy?
JK Livin’ is Matthew’s [McConaughey] label that originally started as a movie production company. He started to branch out because he really liked my music. It’s hard for me to say what the actual philosophy of the label is other than that’s just the reality of living – you just keep doing it. Read more about Q&A with Mishka; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar on May 28 …