Australian music artist & performer Mikey Votano releases his first UK single ‘Shut Up & Dance’ – a uniquely clever cover of Walk The Moon’s hit, in a vintage style of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly & blues. The video for the track shows workers stranded on COVID-19 free cruise ships, who were turned away from many countries, dancing along to the track. These include 63 people from 13 countries & 6 continents and consist of dancers, acrobats, musicians. Interesting! We decided to find out more with a Take 5…
When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you ?
I was in Sydney, playing this tiny jazz club with an even tinier stage, sandwiched between too many musicians, the house was packed with dancing, sweating bodies having the best time. I knew then I wanted to be an artist, to have the chance to create something exciting, beautiful, something that evoked emotional response. Hopefully I’ve managed at least a little of that. I was always in trouble at school, mental health was a taboo subject & I was the disruptive ADHD kid. I had a run of music teachers who saw me & what I had to offer, not just symptoms of a chemical imbalance I was born with. They instilled a passion for music which completely changed my life. But, if you’re talking about artists, I love me some old school vintage swing, soul & rock ’n’ roll. Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, everything Motown, anything that grooves hard & feels great.
Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?
Quincy Jones. The man is a genius. He played with Elvis, arranged for Frank Sinatra, produced for Diana Ross. That’d be something pretty special.
Tell us about your single –’Shut Up & Dance ‘- why record that song ? Tell us about the video too!
It’s a premake of Walk The Moon’s hit, ’Shut Up and Dance’, if… it had been recorded in the 50s with a sexy saxophone solo. The tune never fails to get me on the dance floor & I wanted to recreate it for lovers of rock n roll, especially those who love to swing dance. Filming for it’s music video was cancelled earlier this year as the world began to change. If it wasn’t for a whole group of fans, 63 of them spanning 6 continents, the video wouldn’t be ready today. These champions filmed themselves dancing, singing & celebrating times that were &, once safe, will be again. I couldn’t be more humbled by their efforts. It’s a track I’m super happy with & a video I know will make you smile.
Tell us three things you love about the city/town you live in, and why (SYDNEY)……
Sydney, Australia is home, it’s where I grew up but I don’t really live there. I spend half the year based out of Sydney & half out of London, UK, yet tours on land & sea mean I spend less & less time in either location. I love that being an artist allows me to explore the world, meet new people & see new places but I will always love Sydney for the following reasons.
It’s where my family are. I’m half Italian which means I have a lot of them & there’s never a dull moment being home. I miss them all immensely while away.
It’s a multicultural city. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re into it’s an accepting beautiful place. Which also means you can find a pretty decent feed no matter what you’re after. Dumplings, Pizza, Burgers, Curries, Tapas – Sydney does it all pretty good.
Sydney Harbour. If it’s not the most beautiful harbour in the world it’s pretty damn close.
What are you most looking forward to this year? Getting back out there. I miss performing so much. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do, my job is who I am & not being able to do that has been more difficult than I anticipated. I’m thankful for my health & the health of those I love & once we know those most at risk will be safe I look forward to getting out there & taking the stage once more.