Many college students are looking for the next party, but singer/producer Mike Posner had a different game plan when he was attending Duke University.
The Michigan native majored in sociology and business, but he spent a good chunk of his time creating synth and pop tunes in his dorm room.
Who: Mike Posner
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Mary Rippon Theatre, University of Colorado campus, Boulder
It was time well spent, because the 22-year-old artist is now one of the fastest rising stars in the music business. Posner has a record deal with Sony, and “Cooler Than Me,” the debut single from his album 31 Minutes to Take Off, climbed to No. 6 on the Billboard charts.
The University of Colorado will reap the benefits of Posner’s success when the pop star plays a free show Friday at the Mary Rippon Theatre.
“It’s going to be an absolute party at CU,” Posner said. “I stole a bunch of musicians from Kanye’s band to play with me. I promise we will tear it the fuck down on September 10th!”
Posner’s passionate about everything he puts into his music. The artist started his career when he was a kid and he pursued his musical dreams from there.
“I started playing drums when I was 10,” Posner said. “I started making beats on my mom’s desktop and writing songs. Two years ago, I got sick of writing/producing for others, so I started singing.”
It was the right move for Posner, but the artist had to figure out a way to juggle his college work and make music.
Posner was determined to do both.
“I was a junior at Duke and my friends thought I was insane, because I locked myself in my dorm room every night to record,” Posner said. “I remember I turned 21 on a Friday night, and people were banging on my door trying to get me to go out — but I refused.
“People never believe me when I tell them I recorded ‘Cooler Than Me’ in a dorm. I’ll have to make up for all the partying I missed with one epic night at CU!”
Posner completed his studies with a pretty impressive GPA. He graduated from Duke with a 3.59 average and played shows on the weekend.
“My degree’s in sociology,” Posner said. “I had classes Monday to Thursday, then I’d go straight to the airport and rock shows until Monday.
“I’m proud of my GPA, because Duke is full of geniuses. I was probably the dumbest kid there.”
Posner scored his deal with J Records (a branch of Sony) before he graduated from Duke. The artist’s career rocketed in record time.
“It just spread super organically from school to school,” Posner said. “Once labels saw videos of me selling out shows, I found myself across the desk from the CEO of pretty much every label.
“The Internet is kinda crazy. I owe everything to the people that supported my stuff before I was signed, and had anything going for me except a pretty good beer pong stroke.”
Posner’s infectious brand of electro/dance-pop is catching on. The performer’s tunes are radio-friendly and very danceable at the same time.
“My music has elements of synthpop and electro/dance,” Posner said. “I grew up in a super diverse neighborhood in Michigan, where I was surrounded by everything from J Dilla to Rage Against the Machine.
“Great melodies, plus great lyrics and great production equals great songs.”
Out of school
Posner graduated from Duke this spring, and he’s still settling into life as an up-and-coming pop star.
The artist says the fast-paced ride has been both scary and fun.
“I remember being absolutely terrified of the real world,” Posner said. “I walked across the commencement stage three months ago, and while most of my friends are sitting behind desks, I have a job that’s like ‘professional college.’
“I wanted to make an album with 12 great songs, while at the same time leaving space to grow into what I want to be in the future. After this tour, I’ll be going back overseas and writing a lot of super dope songs.”
For now, Posner’s getting ready for his fall tour. The CU show is a warm-up for those dates.
“I’m in Germany right now and I honestly can’t wait to get back to the States,” Posner said. “Colorado is my favorite state, and I have a feeling I’m going to fit in just fine at CU.”
Posner had a very unique way of finishing off the Colorado Daily interview and he had this to say to his fans:
“My name is Mike Posner. I graduated from Duke, but I’m not a dick. I write pretty good songs. Download the shit out of my music.”
What can you say after that?