Don Mykel, rapper based in Harlem, New York is an artist you NEED to listen to if you haven’t yet. Being a fan of hip-hop I can honestly say that Don Mykel is adding value to the culture and keeping the traits of hip-hop in tact while adding his own authenticity in his music.
With the ability to mix pure lyricism with catchy melodic choruses, Don Mykel proves his ability in skill while giving listeners the ability to be surprised by experimentation yet remaining genuine in his music.
Below I got the chance to ask him questions based on his artistry, thoughts on mumble rap, inspirations, how he stays focused and more.
To those who may not have heard of you before, how would you describe your sound?
I wouldn’t describe my sound. It’s more of a feel, something I can’t put into words for myself. You just got to press play.
How has living in Harlem, New York shaped you as an artist and your sound?
Growing up in Harlem and in New York in general, just being around so much of our culture and so many different cultures and customs, I’ve been exposed to so many different types of music and sounds which have all helped me cultivate my own sound.
In a generation full of mumble rappers making a wave, how do you feel as a real hip-hop lyricist that’s trying to gain a bigger following?
I’ve been a lyricist since before this Mumble rap wave. Which I enjoy as well. I don’t feel any different from any other artists of any genre or medium for that matter. I simply express myself differently, my thoughts and my emotions which are all unique to me are what set me aside.
I noticed you rapped on Sway – how did that opportunity come to fruition for you?
One of my managers, S. Whit, is close with Sway and she put that whole play together. That was a crazy experience for me just being so familiar with Sway and everything he’s done for our culture. I knew I had to come with my best.
Growing up with the influence of music all around you, who would you say aside from family members has been your biggest inspiration to create music?
Some of my biggest inspirations to make music are Tupac of course, Hov, J. Cole, Nas, Pun, Lupe…
You stated that when you were fourteen, you first started getting into rap. When did you start writing your bars seriously and start putting out music?
I’ve actually been into rap for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until I was 14 where I began to study rap history on my own. I’ve been writing my bars seriously since about five years old but it wasn’t until I was 17 when I began to release music.
Your music doesn’t have any limitations when it comes to sound. From hard straight lyricism to simpler tracks with more of a melodic vibe, why do you think it’s so important for artists like yourself to experiment?
For me honestly I experiment with music for the sake of not getting bored with creating. I like to stay on my toes and challenge myself to do different things. It’s always a good feeling to throw people off and give them something that they don’t expect.
What keeps you focused – staying in tunnel mode to keep perfecting your craft?
I get inspired by other artists to stay focused and to continue to perfect my craft and be the best that I can be but it’s just my own personal drive that allows me to continue to work hard. To avoid being broke is another motivator. Lol.
What would you say your new Infinite EP represents and what do you want your listeners to get out of it?
Infinite EP represents the mindset that is created out of hunger. That feeling of doing whatever it takes to eat. I want people to find perceptions and stories that resonate with them within this project. I just want to relate to people that come from similar struggles that I come from and allow me to be their voice of reason. I want to help them find a way out the same way music has become mine.
N.W.O. is the first visual that dropped off of Infinite, any new visuals from the project that you can hint at?
Hell On Earth visual coming soon and I have this crazy concept for Lay Low so we’ll see.
Your track Ghost till November seemed as if it was an emotional situation that you’ve struggled with that had to come alive on paper and recorded in the studio. How did that track come to fruition and how is your writing process usually?
When I was writing Ghost Til November I was in a pretty emotional state and the beat is what really brought that type of emotion out of me and it gave me the courage to speak on what I was going through. My writing process usually varies based on my mood and the music that I’m working on. Most times I don’t write at all. Just formulate bars in my head. It’s a skill that was honestly built out of laziness. Other times I actually write pen and paper if the music dictates it. It brings different emotions out of me.
What are you most excited for during your elevation process in the industry. Why?
I am most excited for touring and really just going out and touching the people who my music inspires and in turn becoming inspired by them to keep going.
Stream Don Mykel – Infinte EP below on Soundcloud.