Mike Posner Announces Unplugged Tour, Says Justin Bieber Guests on New Album (Exclusive)
The songs Posner previewed during SXSW -- including "Buried in Detroit," "Took a Pill in Ibiza" and "Craving Me" -- are definitely more introspective and revealing, which Posner admits took him a minute to get his head around. "In my heart I knew the songs were among the best I'd written, but when they came out I was like, 'What the hell do I do with this?' " he recalls. "To be honest, I equivocated for, like, six months, when I was like, 'Maybe I'll do a side project with this stuff or whatever.' And then I realized I was just being scared, so I was like, 'If you're gonna do it just do it.' You have to adjust to the material, not the other way around."
Posner says he was also influenced by country singer Jake Owen, a friend who took Posner on the road with him for a few days last year and encouraged him to "tell the truth" in his songs. "I rode the bus with him, and at night he and his tour manager would take me to country school," Posner says. "I learned about Willie Nelson like that. I learned about Merle Haggard like that and I learned about Hank Williams, Jr. and Hank Williams, Sr. So, like, the way I was inspired by hip-hop when I first started and would sort of sing hip-hop, this new (music) is kind of my take on country music. It doesn't sound country and no one uses the word country to describe it, but it's me trying to do country and it comes out weird and different.
"It's just about being honest," he adds. "I listen to a lot of stuff that's out there, some of which I wrote, and I'm like, 'Where is that? Where's the honesty?' So that's what I want to get to in my music now."
Mike Posner Returns To 'The Way It Used To Be': Hear New Single
Posner, who's been taking some vocal classes online via the Berklee College of Music, says he's chosen a title for the album but isn't revealing it yet, and no release date has been set. He wrote most of the songs himself save for a pair with a friend named Adam Friedman. He's also been working with Swedish producer Martin Terefe. As for those other two albums, Posner says that, "I really want them to come out, to be heard in some way, so I'm trying to figure out the answer to that. Stay tuned."
While he's finishing the new album Posner -- who's been working with Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine -- is represented by "Sugar," a track on Maroon's latest album V, which he originally wrote for his Pages album. "Adam (Levine) wanted the song," Posner says. "He called and asked for it months before and I said no. But when Pages wasn't going to come out and I sort of had the seedlings of this new record, I thought, 'Well, this is just gonna sit on my laptop' so I gave it to them and when they recorded the song Adam added his flavor to it and he wrote on it as well, lyrically and some melodic things, and he really sang it well. I'm a big fan, so I'm glad they did it."