Mike Posner is just wrapping up his first-ever headlining tour with a full band, but he's also "a couple songs in" on his next album, which he says he started working on before his Top 10 debut, "31 Minutes to Takeoff," even came out.
"I'm experimenting with a lot of hip-hop producers," Posner tells Billboard.com. He's already worked with DJ Hi-Tek in Cincinnati and also plans to hunker down with Jake One and the Colorado electronic duo Pretty Lights and return to "31 Minutes to Takeoff" collaborator Benny Blanco.
"It'll be better than my first album...just 'cause I've grown as a writer and producer and a singer," Posner says. "I think sampling is a cool route that I want to experiment with going forward; a lot of people think that's a dirty word, but there's such a tradition in sampling now. It's been around long enough where I think it could be done in a really cool way as a singer, in a way that hasn't really been done before."
Posner won't guess when the album will be finished and out, but he promises that "it's not gonna be a situation where I keep people waiting 11 years. I'm not gonna pull a Lauryn Hill or anything." But he does predict that the result will "be better than my first album...just 'cause I've grown as a writer and producer and a singer. I know my best music is still ahead of me, so I can't wait. I just look forward to making music that sounds different than anything else out there, and that usually means doing the opposite of what people expect."
Video: Mike Posner, "Please Don't Go"
Meanwhile, Posner is busy hawking "Please Don't Go," the second single from "31 Minutes to Takeoff" that stands at No. 54 on the Hot 100, and is having an "awesome" time on the road with his six-piece band, which includes four instrumentalists and two backing singers. The sets are, naturally, heavy with "31 Minutes to Takeoff" material but also reach back to his two previous mixtapes with "Drug Dealer Girl" and "Speed of Sound" and include a cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Snow (Hey Oh)."
"We tear it down every night," says Posner, who previously preformed as a solo act with keyboards, sequencers and samplers. "All the energy that's been a part of my show from the beginning, that's still there...Y'know, my dad was a Grateful Dead fan. He would always tell me, 'Mike, the music I listen to all sounds better live. The artists I listen to, they're much better when you go see 'em than their records. And the stuff you listen to, it all sounds way worse live than it does on the record.'
"So I always wanted to...be an artist that could take my songs to the next level live and not just regurgitate the record but have songs sound better than they do on the album," Posner says.
Posner finishes his North American tour Monday in Grand Rapids, Mich. He'll appear on the American Music Awards telecast Nov. 21 and play some radio station holiday concerts in December. He'll also be part of the Good Vibrations tour during February in Australia.