In a wide-ranging interview Friday morning (Dec. 9) with Sway Calloway on SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning, Mike Posner reflected on his long, winding road to success, his song of the year Grammy nomination for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” and his new debauched side project while previewing work from an upcoming book of poetry.
One of the things he’s most excited about is a new duo project with fellow writer-producer blackbear, called mansionz. “It’s madness and it’s incredible,” he said of the collaboration. The duo released their debut single on Friday, “STFU,” which also features Spark Master Tape. The low-key track is built around a gently strummed guitar and blackbear’s plea to a lover to slow down and, well, “shut the f— up right now and let me do my thing.” Posner said he realized those lyrics make it sound like a “terribly misogynistic” song about a woman his partner bear may have had a relationship with, but he said his lyrics are a bit different.
Posner just asks for a little bit of “me time” during his verses, singing, “Don’t you be blowin’ up my phone/ I’m in a different time zone/ Ever since a matter of time, all my girls is badder than nine/ Hope to banish the debt, you hammered, you still don’t know how to handle your wine… but when I’m in another city, shhh, be quiet.”
But what about the line where Posner explains that he is intimate with a woman only three times because he’s afraid she’ll fall in love with him? The well-read MC explained that that philosophy is based on the main character, Tomas, from the best-selling 1984 novel by Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being. “It goes both ways,” he said of the rule’s application to men and women. “I’m pretty upfront [about it].”
As for the other tracks on the album, which the pair recorded nearly a year ago, Posner said he could recall a nearly seven-minute poem he turned into a song, as well as one called “Dennis Rodman” that features, yes, former NBA rebounding champ Dennis Rodman. “He’s wildin’ out on the record, he’s not rapping,” he said of the flamboyant baller, adding that unlike the more enlightened nature of his recent solo music, the mansionz project was inspired “by the wild, decadent success gone wrong theme… Mansionz is a rollercoaster of hedonism, just debauchery.”
Admitting to Calloway that his freestyle skills have diminished considerably due to lack of use when he suspected the radio host was looking for some off-the-top verses, Posner instead offered a preview of his upcoming book of poetry called Teardrops and Balloons (March 24). He actually shared a piece from a second book of poetry that doesn’t have a release date yet called “I Believe” (read an excerpt below):
I believe this to be the truth
I pray it doesn’t bore you
I don’t believe life happens to you, I believe life happens for you
I believe in more than I can see
I believe this is heaven, this is hell
I believe it’s beautiful to be part of something bigger than yourself
Perhaps I’m the tool of another, a rock to be thrown at the wall
I believe those that really know say next to nothing at all
So what does that say about me?
What’s that say about us?
I’m just one star in a galaxy caught in the gravity of a tour bus…
“They’re [my band] ripping these crazy solos and I think, ‘I gotta do something to hang with them,’ so I started dropping poems… to impress these guys I would write a new one every day” he said of his creative process. “Last summer we did 50-some shows and I did a new poem every night… we’re gonna pick the best one and release a live album… they sound really cool with the crowd.”