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Stage Right Secrets caught up with Mike Mago to discuss his latest singles, what he’s been up to in quarantine, and what’s next. Read our exclusive Q&A, below.

Congrats on “Recognise!” It really has a few different genres infused, how did you go about creating it?

Thanks! I created it during a session with Tim Powell. He also sang the vocals. It was really cool as it was our first session together and we really clicked.  

You recently made your Astralwerks debut, how did signing with them come about?

I sent my demos over and the head of A&R at Astralwerks responded – I was happy they signed 4 of the 5 tracks I sent. 

You collaborated with Kelli-Leigh on “On Repeat,” how did you connect with her?

I got a rough demo from her via my publisher. I bounced the acapella from it via and started working on the track even before Kelli-Leigh knew. When she sent the high quality acapella over I was able to send her the final version really quick. 

What makes a good collaborator for you?

I think it’s really about authenticity. I had loads of sessions with guys trying to ‘make a hit.’ I really feel bad during those sessions and most of the time don’t want to finish the hours set for the session haha. I just want to work with people who want to make good music no matter if it will turn out to be a hit or not.  

Your remix of Halsey’s “You Should Be Sad” is a jam, is there a specific process for you when it comes to creating remixes?

Thanks! Normally I loop the acapella and just start building melodic/rhythmic ideas around it. Since I wanted to leave the full vocal in I knew pretty quick that I wanted to produce a lead that can build tension during the whole track so I could keep the hook going underneath her verses.

How did House Plants Live come about?

Well it started when we wanted to change the cover theme of the label I run Bmkltsch Rcrds. We used to have rocks and decided to go with plants… haha. Once we had the idea of using plants as a theme for the label and for my profile, the words House Plants obviously came pretty quick. Then we decided to name the whole line (EP, mixes, YouTube show, playlist, etc.) House Plants. 

Most of the country is in quarantine, we saw you’ve been redoing your home, what else have you been up to?

Mostly spending time at my home and studio. But also being really occupied with the whole situation. Black Lives Matter, COVID, no gigs. It all fills my head and heart. 

Do you find it easier or harder to be creative at this time?

It’s weird. It’s both. It’s an inspirational time, but also a pretty intense one. 

Are you working on new music?

Defo, I’ve worked on a track with singer Jodie Abacus which shall see the light of day pretty soon as well!

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.