“Cheap Love” by Mikae

Q: I loved the powerful vocals! What was your songwriting process for “Cheap Love”?

MIKAE: Thank you! I actually wrote the song in early 2021 and only got around to recording it a few months ago. This track was unique for me in that the title came to me before anything else. I liked the way the phrase “Cheap Love” sounded, so I built lyrics around my interpretation of that concept.

Q:  What is the story behind this song? What inspired it?

MIKAE: In the past, I had a few people try to buy my time with their “Cheap Love,” and they ended up owing me some intangible dues. I became a means of rehabilitation for people over time. But the idea behind rehab is “to leave when you’re healed,” so I found myself high and dry as people graduated from my program. “Cheap Love” came to be when I realized I was done accepting that form of currency.

Q: What would you say is your favorite and least favorite memory about making this song?

MIKAE: I think they’re actually the same moment: when the song was done. I was ecstatic that the lyrics came to me so quickly, but I couldn’t help but be a little heartbroken for my past self when I realized what I had to endure just to tell the story. At the end of the day, I hope it resonates with listeners who have lived similar experiences.

Q: I see you’re an instrumentalist, which instruments do you play? And how did you get into playing instruments?

MIKAE: I think I play ten or eleven? At least last time I counted. Piano was my first—I’ve been playing since I could physically crawl to the keys. In fact, my mom said that the first time she ever felt me kick when she was pregnant was at a concert. I really don’t know life without music, and I hope I’ll never have to.

Q: How do you think you being a producer has influenced your music?

MIKAE: Well it’s efficient, I can tell you that! I’m really thankful for my formal musical training; I can lay down harmonies and chord progressions quicker than my self-taught counterparts. But I always love getting in the studio with them—they’re not restricted to conventional music theory and what a song “should” sound like. I guess we balance each other out!

Q: What advice would you give to someone who loves making music but is unsure/nervous about putting their music out there?

MIKAE: Pull the trigger and do it! There’s no easy way around vulnerability. I’ve had a handful of people poke fun at me and express their dislike of my music. People ran their mouth back when I had 100 streams and people ran their mouth at 100,000. But I don’t put music out for them—I do it for myself and for those who need to hear my message. And you should too.

Interviewed by Zoey King

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