After you've finished reading this blog post about singer-songwriter-traveler, Mike Mentz, you'll have expanded your music vocabulary to include a new word: #travelpop. Not only does it make a great hashtag, but it's the self-coined term Mike uses to describe his style of music that encompasses his two great passions: travel and music. Having performed in over 30 countries, his sound and lyrics are shaped by the always changing world around him. "Perspective is priceless," Mike comments. "Travel opens your eyes. When you watch the sun rise from somewhere new, your world gets a little bit bigger. I love that." Mike's forthcoming, IMA-nominated, studio album, Souvenir, features songs that he has written while in transit – from the streets, cafés, and airport bars of Paris, San Juan, Dublin, Barcelona, London, Tallinn, Istanbul, Chicago, and Nashville, to a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Last week, Mike released the teaser for his new #travelpop video series – and it's just the beginning of more big things to follow. After completing the recording of Souvenir in Nashville, Mike decided it would be fitting to present the songs "in transit," since that's how they were created in the first place. Along with a film crew, director Tom Ptasinski, a newly purchased drone and GoPro, some local help for navigation and translation, and of course, his guitar, Mike traveled halfway around the world to the mountains, cities, and beaches of Thailand to record live, acoustic versions of the songs from Souvenir, each accompanied by its own music video and separate documentary episode. "I wanted to get them dirty," Mike explains. "I couldn't be more excited about the studio sound we got in Nashville, but I wrote these songs out on the road...I wanted to record them out there, too." Mike will be gradually releasing 10 music videos and 10 documentary episodes of his #travelpop video series over the coming months. A companion album, simply titled Live In Thailand, is also slotted for release next year.
MIKE MENTZ - #travelpop Video Series Teaser
I caught up with Mike to ask how he chose Thailand as the location for his #travelpop video series. "Great question! This could have happened anywhere," Mike remarks, "but I chose Thailand for a few reasons. First, I wanted the location to be somewhere I had never traveled before. I wanted to be out of my element, the good kind of uncomfortable you feel when you're exploring somewhere for the first time. Thailand was super high on my list of places to go already. Pair that with a great variety of epic settings and the pretty stellar dollar to baht exchange rate, and it was a no-brainer."
I believe we're all in for a real treat as we accompany Mike on his visual, musical adventures across the stunning Thai landscape and scenery, and are gradually introduced to the musical gems of Souvenir. I first heard Mike's music at a Sofar Sounds Chicago performance last year. Wow - can this guy ever captivate a room with his spot-on, live performance, stage presence and delivery! Mike's songs are a perfect blend of top-notch songwriting and production with well-written, personal, and clever lyrics that tell the stories that came to life from his globetrotting experiences and adventures. So, be sure to keep your eye on this talented, up-and-coming musician, so that you too can discover the music of Mike Mentz and Souvenir, with Mike himself as your #travelpop guide. You'll also want to look out for upcoming TV show premieres, as Mike will soon be appearing on the brand new, national television songwriting competition, "The Song."
For more information about Mike Mentz, visit his website, subscribe to his YouTube channel, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.