Mykeljon

I’d like to dedicate this album to my godmother Elizabeth Maas, who was nothing short of a true inspiration to all that knew her.  On my quest for music, it was she who got me started.

 

Mykeljon’s dedication to his godmother, taken from his 2012 debut album, World Stood Still, helps mark a milestone in a long journey that has spanned years and continents.  What’s remained consistent along the way though has been Mykeljon’s passion and dedication.  These traits have kept him going through the beginning of his musical education, to the completion of the recording of his first album.  But it was Mykeljon’s godmother who helped fuel that passion, inspire that dedication, and nurture the talents he displayed from a very young age.

 

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Mykeljon found his way to music and the guitar at only four years old.  His natural aptitude for performing brought him the honour of playing for Queen Elizabeth II when he was eleven.  Even with this, music was not the career path that Mykeljon was set to follow.  Years later, as a university student, he released a demo tape that got a surprising amount of airplay on local radio stations.  It was then that he made the very bold move of quitting his current studies and throwing himself head first into a future in music.

Planning to apply to a few Australian conservatoriums, Mykeljon decided to take a year to prepare for this by studying under his godmother, who happened to be a conservatorium lecturer from the Netherlands.  That year made a world of difference and he was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane. He enrolled in a five year course and graduated as a Music Technologist in guitar and jazz.  As a Music Technologist, Mykeljon was educated not just in how to play jazz guitar but also in how to produce, compose, and arrange music.  Somehow, all of this knowledge made him over qualified for the Australian job market and so he had to start up and work in his own production studio during the day, while performing in local bands at night.

Through his own studio, Mykeljon performed a variety of services including recording jingles for radio and television, producing songs for other musicians, and arranging music for classic music acts of all sizes, from quartets to 50 piece orchestras.  While the success in this area was nice, the performance side of things was more stifling; many of the groups Mykeljon found his way into were more interested in playing cover songs than original material.  It wasn’t until he started fronting his own band that his own song writing started reaching a live audience.  Still looking for more, and having just gone through a fairly rough break-up, Mykeljon decided to move to Los Angeles, California, and try his fortunes in America.

Though America itself was good to him, the life of an independent musician is not an easy one; many a night was spent sleeping inside a “combi” van, parked behind the bar that last night’s gig was played behind.  While challenging, the lifestyle of living from performance to performance, only helped to strengthen Mykeljon’s abilities as a vocalist and guitarist.  The acclaim that his performances drew eventually afforded him the chance to record at David Benoit’s 29th St. Studios, cutting the single, “You Are My Fantasy.”  He was joined in the recording by noted session musicians such as drummer John Ferraro (Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville,) guitarist Pat Kelley (Jose Feliciano, Al Jarreau,) and Andy Suzuki (Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck.)  Record producer and world renowned pianist, Rickey Grundy was incredibly impressed by Mykeljon’s talents, stating;

"When it comes to substance Mykeljon excels… He is a natural when it comes to his craft as a songwriter, lyricist and performer. Mykeljon's material takes the listener on a passionate journey from love to social commentary to feel-good topics, all set to a variety of grooves and moods. No matter how radio tries to categorize him, Mykeljon is heartfelt soul.”

Eventually, after seven years in L.A. (not all of which were spent in the van, gratefully), Mykeljon returned home to Auckland, more experienced in performing and recording than ever.  He started setting to work on recording his first album, World Stood Still.  The sound of the record is Mykeljon’s own and is best summed up by Grundy when he says,

“The genius of Mykeljon and his music is that it crosses over several genres from rhythm & blues to smooth jazz to rock to world beat. He brings a true freshness and uniqueness to the industry, something that very few artists are able to successfully deliver."

Indeed, World Stood Still has already garnered positive reviews; Heath Andrews of ReviewYou.com rated it a perfect five stars and commented,

Mykeljon’s style of composition and playing is unique enough to incorporate several different genres of music, primarily jazz and rhythm & blues, yet still make for a cohesively sound album, as artistically rich as it is entertaining.

Among the many stellar songs on the album are “Surrender to Love,” with its soaring vocals and lovingly poignant lyric, “Sorrow,” a moody R&B number full of atmospheric keyboards and a tremendous saxophone solo, and two versions of the light-hearted, pop-rocking, “Day At a Time.”  World Stood Still delivers listeners the unique opportunity to hear elements of their favorite genres of music, fused together in a way that makes every song special and entertaining.

Mykeljon’s godmother knew there was something special inside her godson.  Sure enough, he proved her right by going on to win Australian BASF awards for producer of the year and song of the year.  But more than that, he proved her right by carrying on her legacy of love, passion, and dedication to music.  His music is real, from the heart, and made by a person who loves music itself as much as he loves bringing it to others.  Not only is Mykeljon a unique voice in the world of music, but a passionate one as well.

Official Website: www.mykeljon.com