On the Rise: Sebastian Mikael
A rough breakup spawned the song that changed his life. But that’s starting a fairytale at the end. Let’s back up a bit.
Sebastian Mikael, whose loose tenor briefly evokes Raphael Saadiq, grew up in Sweden with a Swedish father and an Ethiopian mother. In 2008, Mikael (p/k/a De-Lor) moved to Los Angeles to pursue music. He cut his teeth at the Musicians Institute and later moved on to Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
A rocky long-distance relationship inspired the 24-year-old Mikael to write a song in his dorm room at Berkleey. He titled it “Beautiful Life” and beautiful things started happening.
“It’s my most personal song,” says Mikael. “I wrote it when I had just gotten out of a rough relationship. I was like, ‘Man, I wasted all this time.’ She lived in LA and I lived in Boston. It’s about that relationship. It’s about what I felt. And it’s also about looking at her perspective, knowing that nobody’s perfect, and it takes two to make something work.” Mikaeal was a still a student at Berklee when Slip-N-Slide Records head honcho Ted Lucas signed him.
Fast forward to 2011: Mikael drops his debut mixtape, J’Adore. A few months later, Sylvia Rhone hears “Beautiful Life” and…you know the rest. Mikael is now signed to Rhone’s Vested in Culture imprint (under the Epic umbrella) in conjunction with Slip-N-Side. Rhone has been championing new talents lately. You might recall that she also signed Harlem’s own Deon Young earlier in the year.
Back to Sebastian Mikael. He’s hard at work on new material, with big league songwriters like Jim Jonsin and Rico Love. If all goes according to plan he’ll release an album in 2013. For now, check out his music to see what the buzz is all about.