One-on-One with Singer Songwriter Mikey Wax
By ETM Staff
Singer/Songwriter Mikey Wax, whose music has been featured on episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Keeping up with the Kardashians, understands the importance of a well-rounded education, which includes music.
On July 3rd, Mikey will be releasing his new song “Stay Together,” an uplifting track that he hopes will inspire positive change and inspiration during these difficult times. Mikey will be donating the first $1,000 generated from the song to Education Through Music.
We are so honored to welcome Mikey to the ETM family, and so we sat down with him to ask a few questions about how music has inspired his life.
ETM: How did you first discover music and your passion for it? Did you have music in your school?
Mikey: I first discovered music through my dad who was/is a really good piano player. We had an old Steinway piano in the living room and I remember sitting under the piano as a little kid, watching my dad’s feet work the piano pedals as he played. He taught me my first song when I was eight years old and I was hooked after that. We had music in our schools and I remember being in 5th grade playing the chords to “Wild Thing” on the piano for our classroom. Everyone loved it and started singing. Having music in school was the best thing other than recess.
How is music helping you get through the current pandemic, both as an aficionado and as a musician?
Music, especially writing music, has always been an escape for me and a way to express all my bottled emotions. At first the pandemic gave me writer’s block, because I wasn’t ready to escape the sorrows of the real world or write about it. However, once I forced myself to start writing again, I immediately remembered how there is no greater freedom than the freedom of creativity. The pandemic has us all trapped, and I am so thankful to have the outlet of writing music.
As you know, arts education is already threatened around the country, and is further threatened by the budget cuts being made around the country due to COVID-19. What do you think the impact will be on students who will no longer have access to music in their schools?
I think the fear and isolation most of us are facing from this pandemic may have real negative long-term effects. Music is such a positive and freeing release – getting lost in playing an instrument, listening to music, writing music, singing, etc – you always come out of the experience feeling so much better than you did before. I think keeping music education alive, and providing kids with the opportunity to play music during this pandemic is such a necessary thing at this time.
How can people – students, families, musicians, etc – keep music alive as the world continues to recover from the effects of COVID 19?
Apps like TikTok, YouTube, Smule, etc. are fun ways to free yourself creatively and continue to keep music alive while we’re all stuck at home. Even something as simple as singing in the shower is an instant pick me up. It’s also an awesome time to get lost in free music computer programs like Garageband and make music just for fun. You don’t have to come out of this pandemic an expert in anything, just having fun with music in any way and getting lost in it is perfect.
What inspired you to write “Stay Together?” Why is it an important song right now?
I was originally inspired to write “Stay Together” by the shared reality of everyone in the world being quarantined at the same time. Then, with the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, I realized just how much divide there really is in this world, and how important it is for everyone to come together. Since quarantine, I’ve reconnected with several people I had lost touch with and I’m learning more about our human history and about bettering society. The idea of staying together even though at times it’s going to be difficult and a learning process, that really impacted me.
Check out his newest single, to be released on July 3rd, on his website!