IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
MIKE SARGE: I was born in Macon, Georgia but raised in what is known as “The Bubble” of Peachtree City, Georgia. I also serve in the United States Air Force and I’m currently stationed in Augusta, Georgia.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
MIKE SARGE: Growing up, I always loved music; especially Hip-Hop. Despite my love for music, I never considered being a music artist growing up. I was always intrigued by the effect that music had on me and others. In school, I would always write in my personal journal to get out feelings I felt that no one understood. Listening to my CD player, I would try free-styling every once in a while. As I got older, I became interested in all aspects of the music. The production, lyrics, mood, message, and everything surrounding the realm of music. About 4 years ago, I was inspired by my college roommate to at least take a shot at writing lyrics and it very quickly became a stress reliever to everyday life. I never took it farther than just writing though. Two years ago, I decided to finally take a shot at being a serious artist and realized that I didn’t have a gift for it but that I had a “calling” for it. It’s been nothing but a blessing ever since.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
MIKE SARGE: My music is about you! Yes, the reader or in my case, the listener. When people listen to my music, I want them to feel as if they are having a conversation with someone that understands them. That being said, I am a Christian artist and I usually come from a Christian perspective on certain songs. I like to make it clear where I stand when it comes to my faith and that I will continue to live unashamed. That being said, I’m far from perfect and I haven’t always lived a faith-based lifestyle. Sometimes, I have songs where my faith isn’t the focus but more focused on the struggles and hurt that people go through every day. In a nutshell, I like to talk about the things that people don’t like to talk about or choose to ignore. I believe that just because I’m a Christian artist doesn’t mean it’s necessary for me to always preach a whole sermon in my songs. I’d rather live a life that shows you what I believe than trying to convince you by saying Jesus or God 50 times a song.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
MIKE SARGE: This I can honestly say is a tough question for me considering all of the songs I’ve ever done have some significance in my growth. But if I had to pick one, I’d have to say my song, “Kicks.” The crowd loves the fact that they can feel involved in the chorus. Also, people seem to really appreciate the message behind the song itself when I explain it to them. For me, the song reaches all ages, has a catchy hook, and is marketable. (The song could possibly be used for a shoe commercial at some point.)
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
MIKE SARGE: One surprise to me has been the different elements there are in music. For example, I’m amazed by the different aspects of a song that are key to its success; the beat, hook, adlibs, mixing, etc. Even the business of music is a different monster itself. Another thing I would consider a surprise is the fact that many people claim they want to make it big but don’t really want to put in the work. They don’t want to do the things that need to get done to make some noise. For example, some people don’t want to sacrifice sleep, video games, shopping, or even hanging out to sharpen their craft. You show what your priorities are by your actions.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
MIKE SARGE: Growing up in the church definitely had a portion of influence in my life. Early in my life, I loved listening to Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, and John P. Kee. Christian Hip-Hop wasn’t necessarily something that was being taken seriously but I did enjoy listening to Cross Movement, and Da’ Truth. As I got in my teenage years, I enjoyed listening to guys no one even knew of yet like Lecrae, Trip Lee, and Mouthpi3ce. But in mainstream hip-hop, I was a fan of OutKast, T.I. and early works of Lil Wayne/Drake. The most influential artists in my life are Lecrae, Swoope, & Christon Gray. Topping that list is my favorite artist, Derek Minor.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
MIKE SARGE: The best way to describe my music is transparent and versatile. Transparent in the fact that I’m very open about how I feel and about the things I’ve experienced. I love the gift of connecting with my audience. My music is versatile in the fact that you don’t know what you’re going to get. I can rap on fast beats or slow beats. I can turn up on a banger or get in a vibe on a jazzy track. And on occasion, I can act crazy and have fun on a pop beat. I like to showcase my personality to my listeners.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
MIKE SARGE: What separates me from most artists is the fact that I’m not the “next” anything. When you listen to me, you don’t hear a carbon copy of any other artists. I don’t sound like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J-Cole or any other big time artists. I have my own unique sound and style that I continue to work on to give people music that they love. My goal is not to just make music that sells. My goal is to make music that is timeless and that changes the lives of many around the world. Most importantly, my work ethic separates me from others. Artists tend to take a back seat when they finish a song or a project. I refuse to settle for mediocre results and I continue to try new things so that I can excel every day.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
MIKE SARGE: I’m disappointed with the fact that the quality of music has gone down overall. The labels are basically competing so hard with each other for quick success to the point that it’s hurting artist development and it’s also affecting the type of talent that is being signed. Also, it’s sad on the artist side as well because now the focus isn’t even the music. Being a celebrity and having fame should be seen as something that happens after you work hard. It shouldn’t be seen as the motivation for your music. Doing music should be a calling and a passion. You should have the drive to do it even if someone isn’t paying you a dime!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
MIKE SARGE: I recently released a project in May called the Broken Heartz Club featuring artists like Dre Murray, Mouthpi3ce, and Flo. It’s currently available on iTunes. I am currently working on a project called Lucid Thoughts that is set to release this August 23rd. This will be my 6th project release in barely 3 years. Depending on how things go, I may also be working on a collaboration project as well.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MIKE SARGE: In 10 years, I can definitely see myself doing big things within the music realm. I see myself doing more things within the community to help those I know who are experiencing tough times. Going out to schools, churches, universities, etc. to speak is definitely something I’d enjoy. Without a doubt, doing music would be my ministry and hopefully I can get that done with the right support and doors opening my way. I refuse to let myself believe that I’m done getting better. I strive to be better than I was yesterday. My goal is to be the best. The best artist I can be. The best servant and role model I can be as well. In relation to music, whether that’s being signed and taking the world by storm or me starting something on my own, I definitely plan on leaving a footprint on this generation. Regardless of what I’m doing with music, I want to do it at my best, with the best and for the best. I truly believe that with my work ethic and God’s guidance that I can do big things.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
MIKE SARGE: The best way to keep up with what I’m doing is to go to MikeSarge.com and join the mailing list. I tend to send out emails about new updates, music and shows that are coming up.
Also, you can find me on Facebook. Just search for, “Mike Sarge” and like my page for the latest updates. On Instagram, search for “SargeSalutes”. On Twitter, my username is: Mike_Sarge
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