Michael Star is here to become one of the greatest artists to ever do it, creating nothing short of good vibrations for his growing fanbase. And with Michael serving as son to legendary reggae artist Mikey Space, it’s very clear talent runs in the family.
With an unwavering love and passion for music ingrained in him since he can remember, Michael carves his own lane with his unique, undeniable vocals and dance moves. In fact, Star describes himself as “an entertainer, someone who loves performing.” He states, “I’ve been doing it since a young age, so I’d love for people to know me as that guy that kills the stage.”
Born in New York but moving to Atlanta at age 6, Star makes it known the impact Atlanta had in raising him. Going back and forth between Kingston, Jamaica and ATL meant being exposed to different things and culture, which is exactly why Michael finds his footing amidst the reggae/dancehall scene.
Fast forward to 2022, Michael Star taps the one and only Bounty Killer for his newest release titled “7 o’clock.” The single was directly inspired by emotional heartbreak, and the importance of love and forgiveness in relationships.
AllHipHop spoke with Michael Star virtually to discuss his sound, his background in music, what it meant to collab with Bounty Killer, live performances, and more!
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Michael Star: My sound depends on the specific song but I’ll say energetic. I have a lot of energetic sounds, party songs, feel-good music. So a lot of feel-good music, party music.
AllHipHop: Are you heavily influenced by the Atlanta rap scene?
Michael Star: Yeah, since a long long time ago. We used to do dance moves and just freestyle. At the underground, when it was popular back in those days. Big influence from the rap scene, the dance scene, the fashion. Atlanta had it all.
AllHipHop: What was the turning point, when you realized you could do music for a living?
Michael Star: Around 12 years old, I took it serious. Prior to that, around 8 years old, I’ve done musicals and plays for a company called Superstar Kids. we’ve done plays and musicals so around 12, I took it upon myself to take it serious. Not too long ago, maybe 2 or 3 years ago, I wanted to just do my ethnicity music. Just the culture of dancehall and reggae, I just took that full storm.
AllHipHop: Was it in your blood to be this reggae star?
Michael Star: It’s in my blood, yeah. I have 2 sisters that do art stuff as well. One that dances and one that does art, the older one dances kind of…. She’s shy. I’d say it’s in our blood.
AllHipHop: Is Michael Star your real name?
Michael Star: No, my real name is Michael Johnson. I just let people call me Mikey in school since it was easier to pronounce. Tamiko Star is her name, she’s the one who started the company for us to do the musical and plays. Her artist name is Tamiko Star, she influenced me so much and taught me stage presence. I asked her when I was smaller: “am I able to use the Star last name?” She said yeah.
AllHipHop: 7 o’clock out now with Bounty Killer, how are you feeling?
Michael Star: I’m feeling real good, I’m very grateful. He’s a huge influence of mine. I study his stage performance, I listen to almost all his music. I’m very thankful to have him featured on my song, and be able to listen to me sing. Even if he wasn’t able to do the feature, as long as he’s able to hear the thought process of the song I wanted him in, that was a big accomplishment. I’m very grateful he got on it.
AllHipHop: How did it happen?
Michael Star: The owner of the label, King Recordings Entertainment, he goes by King. I call him Uncle George. Basically, Bounty Killer’s manager and George are great friends. So is Bounty Killer and George, so it was more a family thing. George managed it for me. Let them hear the song, it took some months. Probably within 2 to 3 months, we got it back. It didn’t take long. You know, music time, so it was pretty good.
AllHipHop: What was your reaction when you heard it back?
Michael Star: Honestly, I was in tears. The first time I heard it, I was on the airplane so I couldn’t really fully hear it properly. Once I got back home, I heard it and started to cry. Just nice tears, from doing this so long. Wow I got a feature? It was cool.
AllHipHop: You guys haven’t shot the music video yet, have you?
Michael Star: No, not yet. We’re waiting on his open schedule, but we’re planning on going down to Jamaica around October or anytime in this 4th quarter. We’re really hoping for that.
AllHipHop: What is it that you want fans to get from your story?
Michael Star: To know that I’m someone who loves his craft. Know that I’m a consistent artist, I’m very patient. I’ve been doing it for so long, so I want people to know that Michael Star is here to stay. For people to listen to my music, if you can. If you’re not able to, see if you can go on my Instagram and watch a 30 second performance.
You know how people are all over the place? One minute they’re watching a video, one minute they’re… If they’re able to see me perform or hear some of the music, that’s an accomplishment.
AllHipHop: What goes into your live performances?
Michael Star: An out of body experience. I study the greats when it comes to stage performance like Michael Jackson, James Brown, The Temptations, etc. I want people to see okay, this artist has been doing his homework. He’s very respectful, and he’s letting it fly on stage. [laughs]
AllHipHop: 3 things that you need in the studio at all times?
Michael Star: I need water. I need time to reflect on the song, some quiet time before the beat comes. Okay, we’re about to record. What am I trying to deliver? The third thing, maybe some vibes. Any type of vibes would be cool. Me and the producer just chillin’, laughing. Anything to give me a story, maybe talk to my friends before and see what they got going on. Just vibes.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Michael Star: We’re working on a full body project right now, but I can’t give a specific date. Now it’s “7 o’clock” and my recent single “Tun Up,” which was released in the beginning of this year. It’s those 2 we’re promoting right now, then the big project.
AllHipHop: What inspired “Tun Up”?
Michael Star: Just the party scene. Sometimes I’ll go to the Caribbean party scenes in Atlanta and I’ll just watch everybody, what they’re receiving with the music. How they’re vibing to it or dancing, or even when the DJs play. I’ll watch them, sometimes I don’t just dance. I’m sitting in the corner vibing my head, seeing what he’ll play on repeat. Sometimes they’ll play 5 songs back to back. In the beginning, the middle, maybe at the end if it’s a fire song. I just study that.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Michael Star: A big goal is to open up for an artist. A big artist, that’d be cool. Just more supporters, more fans.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want them to know?
Michael Star: They can follow me on Instagram @MichealStar. They can Google Micheal Star featuring Bounty Killer “7 O’Clock,” it’s on all platforms!. Thank you so much for having me.