Mike Posner on His Avicii-Inspired Hit 'I Took a Pill in Ibiza' and Hitting a 'Dark Spot' in His Career

Don Le Studio
Mike Posner photographed in 2015.

Singer-songwriter Mike Posner talks to Billboard about his Hot 100 hit "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," Avicii's reaction to the song that he inspired and why there was a "dark spot" after his debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff

So did you really take a pill in Ibiza?
I was working with Avicii in Sweden, and it was ice cold -- so when he had a gig in Ibiza, I flew down there. He played a song he had written that week, and people liked it. I'm an artist -- I'm insecure and a bit narcissistic, so I'm feeling a little jealous. Then these people recognized me. People don't usually know who I am, so that felt good. When they were like, "You want one of these?," and offered me this plastic baggie, I said, "Sure, man."

How did Avicii react to being mentioned in the song?
He's one of the first who heard it. He even gave me a quote for the press junket. We talked about him producing the song, but I thought, "Nah, I got to do this on my own."

Singer Mike Posner on Writing for Maroon 5 & Releasing His Long-Awaited Second Album

You have written for acts like Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber, but you haven't released much of your own music since "Cooler Than Me" hit the top 10 in 2010. Why not?
The honest answer is I made two albums, which got shelved by my last label [RCA]. They're sitting on my laptop right now because they didn't have a hit. I'll read on Twitter, "Do you still do music?" Music is all I do, all day. There was just this dark spot [after] my first album.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of Billboard.