Mike Beatz reaches for second platinum record
Whether it be nature or nurture, musicians often bear musicians.
It happenned once again in the case of Kool 97 FM veteran radio personality and Startime party promoter Michael Barnett, and his son of the same name. The younger Michael Barnett better known as Mike Beatz, found success with a platinum record in 2010 with the hit single Riverside (Let's Go), released on Data Records, as a member of the Miami group Wizard Sleeve. The single entered the charts at number one in the United Kingdom and Ireland and is noted as one of BBC Radio 1's top 40 singles of 2010.
The single's success led to magazine and newspaper write-ups, and bookings for shows and tours. One of the more notable experiences was the Rock The Bells Festival, where they performed with artistes like The WuTang Clan, Nas, and Common.
"That same festival, I got a chance to meet upcoming artistes like Jay Electronica, Wale and B.O.B., that no one knew at the time but who are household names today," he said. Barnett said at the peak of success in the group, they were working with top names, including David Guetta, Tiesto, and Diplo.
Unfortunately, he found himself distracted by the glitz and glamour of stardom, but he has started the journey to the next platinum hit.
Barnett's efforts to expand his musical reputation after migrating to the United States have led him to meet and work with many artistes, including Lil Wayne, and Kanye West. Barnett said he did an album with Calvin Harris but blamed label politics for most of those records never being released. He spent two years producing and crafting a new sound, and in 2013, found it in both producing and rapping on his solo album Third World American Dream. Now he is preparing the album Third World Don.
"The first single, Ride Or Die featuring Lucian White, is already out. We've gotten over 115,000 plays on SoundCloud in a month. We're picking up spins on radio and moving up the charts on college radio as well," he said.
Though much of his music leans heavily towards urban American genres, Barnett said reggae and dancehall are his favourites.
"I use hip hop to translate my message to a wider audience who might not understand due to language and cultural barriers," he said. "I think the world is expanding and we are all integrating even though we are from different races, nationalities and cultures."