As he prepares to set out on his walk across America, Mike Posner admits he’s “terrified” — but also extremely excited.
“The allure of it is its difficulty, its magnitude — and the inevitability of self-growth through the project,” Posner tells Billboard. “I don’t feel like I’m walking to show people who I am. I’m walking to find out who I’ll become.”
Posner plans to launch the 2,942-mile (give or take) trek at noon ET from Asbury Park, NJ on Monday (April 15). His route will take him straight west to his home town of Detroit, then on a diagonal path to his ultimate destination in Venice Beach, Calif., at some undetermined point in the future. “It’s impossible to really know, because so much is weather dependent,” notes Posner, who plans to chronicle his adventures via social media. “There is sort of a time constraint; You want to get through those Rocky Mountains before it starts getting cold.”
His will be an “assisted” walk as well, with an RV driving ahead to each night’s destination. Posner, who will alternate between several pairs of sneakers and hiking boots, plans to perform some free “ninja shows” throughout the journey in a variety of locals, and he’ll spend his time either in “walking meditation” or listening to a library of 500 albums he’s loaded into his phone. “I plan to hit all of those,” he says. “I’m 31. I’ve been doing music seriously for 23 years and professionally for 10 years, but there’s still Rolling Stones songs I haven’t heard. So I think it will be really fun to hear all those things I wish I would’ve heard by this time.”
The walk is something Posner has wanted to do “for years and years,” but after the death of his father, attorney M. Jon Posner, in January of 2017, and then his friend Avicii during April of 2018, the trek became a priority. “I feel everyone has a list of things they’d like to do in life and then a list of things they have to do,” Posner says. “After (the deaths) I realized I couldn’t wait to do these things I had to do on that list. I’d been putting (the walk) off for years and years and years. The time is now.”
The walk comes in the wake of the January release of Posner’s third studio album, A Real Good Kid, which he co-executive produced with Ricky Reed. Posner says he has “a bunch” of other music on the runway but adds that “I shouldn’t say too much about it, ’cause we don’t have a plan in place yet.” He expects the walk will inspire more music and creativity, but Posner has other, personal goals that he hopes to achieve as he puts one foot in front of the other.
“I’d like to fall in love with the present moment and not worry so much about how far I am from the goal,” he explains. “The first 30 years of my life, I’ve set a goal out in front of me and worked like hell to get it. I always felt like something is wrong until I get there. On this walk…I have to figure out how to be in love with where I am right now. That would be good and be a skill that would benefit my life ahead.”