Space Mike is a rapper and producer based in Denver, Colorado who just released his first official
project: D.O.A (Dead on Arrival).
After spending the last year focusing on production and engineering on several releases from artists around the city, the life-long rap fan is ready for his turn on the microphone. Buzzing off the release of his single Gutter, the artist and I have a sit-down discussion about his musical journey and what’s next.
Jesse Bender: Who are you?
Space Mike: I’m Space Mike.
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 23 years old.
Q: You got a project coming out?
A: Yup, DOA, Dead on Arrival.
Q: When’s it coming out?
A: Mystery, within a week (note: Interview was held on 10/14/18).
Q: How long is it?
A: 5 tracks, 2 features from Hologram Grady and Alxndrthgr8.
Q: What song are you most excited for people to hear?
A: I’m really excited about “Reasons” with Hologram Grady, we performed it out in New
York, it’s really sick, a banger, produced by Mulatto Beats. He did that song and Gutter,
the song I put out as a single.
Q: How long have you been doing music?
A: Been doing rap music since sophomore year of high school, so like 2010, f**k that’s a long time.
Q: 8 years, that’s how long you have been writing music?
A: Yeah that’s when I started coming up with bars and stuff.
Q: When did you start doing the production and engineering side?
A: Started dabbling in it after graduating, 2013/14, went to school for it last year, for audio engineering. Taught myself Ableton and Logic, learned Protools from actual school.
Q: Can you remember the first lyrics you wrote?
A: Lowkey I remember like writing this lil’ poem in third grade and the teacher pulled me aside and asked me why I wrote “broken home” in my poem…I probably just got it from another rapper or something.
Q: What do you use (program wise), when you are mixing, mastering, recording?
A: I produce in Ableton, I also have some hardware I use like my SP-555, couple synths. I use the Tempest. Software-wise, Ableton for beats, Protools for recording and mixing. Mastering in both.
Q: Do you play any instruments, or do you have the desire to learn?
A: I do have a desire to learn hella instruments, hopefully, teach myself some. I know basic music theory, so I can work my way around a piano. I definitely want to learn some string instruments, whatever. Shout out Mac Miller, taught himself a bunch of
instruments, I’m tryna be like that. Life has sucked since he died.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Denver, Colorado, grew up in Englewood and then moved to Littleton when I was 8 in the suburbs.
Q: What do you think of the music scene in Denver?
A: Um, it’s definitely weird. That’s the first word that comes to mind, rap wise there is a couple rappers I f**k with, I like DNA Picasso, I like him a lot he’s a really nice guy. For Denver, females are running the scene. Kayla Rae, Lily Fangz, Dava, Yasi.
Q: What or who inspired you to make music?
A: Back in high school, Earl Sweatshirt. Just because we were the same age like this dude is 15, 16 years old, if he can do it I can do it.
Q: What do you think of the trends of hip-hop currently?
A: I like where rap music is right now. I see people post on twitter saying, “how can you only like one music?” And they always talking about rap, but rap has so many genres in it. You could listen to rap all day and listen to 100 different genres.
Q: What do you think of the trends in music, like how album sales are low because of streaming, or the presence of social media in music?
A: The internet has changed music so much. It is made so someone in their bedroom can get noticed, but it also has saturated the market. Which makes it hard to find really talented people unless you are put on by other people. Which is how it’s always kind of been. But I just kind of like how back in the day in the 90s even you had to pay so much to get into the studio even know someone to let you in, now you can go to guitar center and pay $300 and you can record music.
Q: What inspired you to make this project DOA?
A: Mostly my brodies, it’s long overdue. I have like 100s of songs on my computer.
Q: This is the first official project?
A: First official project, just singles, it’s just pretty much go time.
Q: Why should people listen to your music over anyone else’s?
A: People should listen to my music if they are looking for something that sounds great but isn’t following every trend right now. Sound wise I think my music is in a great place. It’s just gonna get weirder. If you like this project, keep in tune for what’s to come even in the next couple of months.
Q: What is your goal music wise?
A: To be able to live off the shit, to walk into any studio and be respected as an artist,
engineer, producer and a rapper.
Q: You kind of answered this just now, but is this for life?
A: Yeah for sure.
Q: Can you tell me about the pigeon man?
A: I can tell you about the pigeon man.
Q: I have no idea what it is I just see you tweet about it
A: Pigeon man is a song that a lot of people like that I took off just cause I didn’t like the mixing, ever since I went to school for audio engineering and learned more about it, it was like ugggh this song good but I need to take it off quality wise, I don’t wanna f**k someone’s ears up. Pigeon Man is from an episode of Hey Arnold, everyone has seen that episode. It’s a great song about two-faced people and people you grew up with putting you in stereotypes and the pigeon man sets you free.
Q: Can you remember any of your old rap names?
A: Half White Mike, very cringe moment for me, Blue until I found about the other rapper Blu. Space Mike after that.
Q: What are your plans post this project?
A: Planning to drop a spooky project with the brodies. Spooky samples from like classic
horror films. For the winter we got Alxndrthgr8 project coming up soon. Kundalinans
wise, we trying to focus on our solo projects. KusCO is dropping a project with Ghandee
that will be his solo, after that then its album mode for us.
Q: Where are you in 20 years?
A: 20 years from now, I’ll be 43, it’s a Sunday, hopefully taking my kids to a football game. Little league.
Q: When you grow up will you go by Space Michael?
A: Maybe…I might just eventually go by Michael Leonardo.
Q: That’s it, thank you.
Listen to D.O.A below.