Mikey Votano is one of those musicians you instantly want to know more about. The Aussie performer saw success with the release of his debut UK single Shut Up & Dance and, when lockdown hit, decided to get cruise ship workers and fans involved for the music video.

Speaking about the track, Votano explains: "As the world began to change I wanted to do a little something that could bring together my community, who like many have lost jobs, are struggling with the lack of human connection, are suffering from increased mental health concerns and, most devastatingly, who have lost loved ones. A small reminder of times that were and those that will be again once the time is right."

Check out the video below:

We got the opportunity to catch up with Votano, and asked him about his top 10 things to do in lockdown. Here's what he had to say...

1. Create a music video

What better way to kick off a lockdown than to create something you severely lack the skillset for? Searching through hours of footage from around the globe and become a video editing boss; how hard could it be? A few months hard I found out, but an incredibly awesome project that’s involved a lot of legends and I’m super proud of it all.

2. Learn to make sourdough

Seems to be the culinary trend of lockdown and who doesn’t love sourdough? (Coeliacs and people who are gluten intolerant). I fed my starter, perfected the process, even made a cranberry and fig version and it tasted INCREDIBLE! All up I’m pretty happy with my efforts which may or may not have been aided by my qualified chef sister. Thanks Julie.

3. Learn about me

I have ADHD, both a blessing and a curse. It’s something which I’ve only recently began taking medication for again. During lockdown I’ve read a lot to better understand what’s going on inside my head and have been taking time to implement different systems to help counteract some of the trickier symptoms of my condition. It’s a good time to get to know yourself better.

4. Cook every dish from the movie Chef

After watching Chef, the greatest feel-good movie ever, for the hundredth time, I decided life would NOT be complete without attempting every single dish from the film. Recipes were found, most ingredients secured and dishes were made. Cubanos, Mojo Pork, Yucca Fries, Tostones, Pasta Aglio, Chocolate Lava Cake… They all tasted AMAZING!

5. Practice, practice, practice!

The joy of being a musician. No matter how much you’ve practiced it’s never enough. For me that’s hours spent at the piano, with my saxophone and on my voice. I love playing, I love performing but I hate practicing so very, very much.

6. Arts and crafts, with Mum!

When you’re in lockdown for months on end, why do it alone when you can do it with your Mum? Yay. My Mum does all the usually Mum activities like scrapbooking, but she also makes wicked leadlight windows (similar to stained glass windows). I helped her with a design she had but really she did all the hard work and it came up looking pretty damn good.

7. Exercise

Nah. Only joking.

8. Learn new skills

I’ve always wanted to learn more about recording so I spent too much money on too much recording gear. I have however learnt a lot and as a result spent more time writing a demoing new music which is pretty exciting.

9. Discover new music

It’s easy to feel like your music playlist consists of the same few songs on repeat. During lockdown I’ve gone out of my way to search for new artists and new music, immersing myself in different genres and seeing what inspiration comes from each. If you’re a fan of vintage sounds and modern artists give some of my lockdown discoveries a listen The James Hunter Six, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Nick Waterhouse and The Dreamboats.

10. Become a Disney tragic all over again

I spent a couple of years working as a musician for Disney Cruise Lines, you’d think the time onboard would have me steer clear of anything Disney related, but, then I got Disney+. What better time to relive your childhood cartoons? I caught up on all the Star Wars films, watched Hamilton for the first time, what’s not to love?

Mikey Votano's single Shut Up & Dance is available now!


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