BROOKLYN PARK, MN – When you hear the raspy texture of Mike De’Cole’s sultry and soulful voice, there’s only one way to describe it: A God-given talent.
The words unique, talented and charismatic have all been used to describe him over the years by the likes of MTV and BET, but the accolade he’s most proud of is one that highlights his character.
“I’m real,” he said. “Few people sing so honestly from their heart and so, and I do so in just the right way – combining art, story and song in perfect unison.”
The most recent display of this artistry is from his 17-track album called “So It Was Written.” Its songs feature a distinctly old-school vibe of R&B and soul sounds from the 1990s. And rightfully so, as De’Cole points to greats such as R. Kelly and Dave Hollister as his initial inspirations into music. Growing up in Chicago, he said he remembers when he first heard music from New Addition and how the feeling he experienced was something that he immediately fell in love with and wanted more of.
“That’s why I love R&B and Soul,” he said. “I love how it makes you feel. Plus, back in the day you could always get a girlfriend if you could sing to them, and I could always sing. I have my own way with a unique texture to my voice, and I think that has helped me to take some great strides in the five or six years since I’ve been making music professionally.”
De’Cole has made a number of singles over the past five years, but he hasn’t released many of them to the world because they haven’t met his standard of excellence. At one point he even considered giving up on music altogether. It came after a high point in his music career after releasing the single “Lost Without You.” Prior to that time he had always collaborated with other artists, having them write songs for him while he sang and performed them. But this single was his attempt to write music on his own, and it received some high praise – so much so that he was invited to participate in an Indie Icon competition presented by Verizon Mobile. If he’d have won, he would have been invited to perform at the Essence Festival. But as he made his way on stage, with cameras broadcasting his performance to millions of people on the Internet, he froze.
“I forgot the words to my own song,” he said. “It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life, and I seriously thought about giving up music altogether. But I faced that and decided not to give up. It’s been hard work coming back from that, but even when you don’t get the accolades and praise you feel like you deserve, you have to remind yourself that you’re doing it because you love it.”
That love pours out in his new single, “This Must Be Love.” Even the name of the song nods to his love of music, and hearkens back to the 1990s R&B and Soul that he first fell in love with.
“This is a song that remembers back to the day when you used to write letters and then mail them,” he said. “You had to wait for a response. But today you have texts and emails and everything happens very quickly. I wanted to rewind time and go back to the way it used to b e. So I hand-wrote this song on paper. Growing up I used to read album covers from front to back and find out who wrote what and who played what on each song. That’s when I first fell in love with music – before there was email, before there was texts … a time when love was expressed with a pen and a pad and the words from your heart.”
Recently his music has garnered him some attention from bigger names, including the Waalm Academy in the United Kingdom, for whom he has signed on to do an EP later this year.
To hear Mike De’Cole’s music, or to follow him on social media, please visit the following links: