Of all the fascinating musician stories this summer, one of the most breathtaking has been Mike Posner’s walk across America. On March 1st, Mike set out to go coast to coast on foot. He started in Asbury Park on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and began releasing all types of content, from videos to songs, along the journey. The initial announcement, which was accompanied by his song “Move On,” caught my attention.
Why is he doing this, you ask? Maybe it’s a way to connect to his father who recently passed away, whom Mike dubbed “the original walker.” Maybe it’s because it was on his bucket list. Maybe it’s spiritual. Whatever the reason, it’s quite a stunt.
I was first introduced to Mike Posner in the early days of Nue. He was a student at Duke University who gamed the system with the release of his mixtape, A Matter Of Time. He convinced a professor to release his mixtape as a lecture on iTunes U. At the time, it was the only way content could make it to iTunes for free. Students started downloading it, word spread, and by the time iTunes caught wind of it, he was a viral sensation on the college circuit.
With just an MPC, we started touring colleges, frats, and clubs on weekends. He promised his parents he would still graduate from school in four years.
When he graduated, we all set out to help Mike become the next great pop star. He signed a record deal with Barry Weiss & Sony Records. His first single, “Cooler Than Me,” was a pop chart smash. He did Warped Tour that summer followed by a Live Nation headlining tour with a cast of supporting artists around the release of his debut album.
It was an exciting time for all of us and always a blast, whether at colleges or Lollapalooza or the underplays like Stephen Talkhouse. There’s nothing like being early with an artist and helping them grow! As the shows blew up, the pressure was very intense, especially on Mike. Eventually he left Nue, but Mike and I have reconnected over the years. I’m so grateful for our relationship – he introduced me to artists like Big Sean and Chiddy Bang and was the one that first put me on to Summit Series which very early on in my career, changed my life & expanded my horizons.
Since that first meteoric rise, Mike has been on a mission to find himself. He’s gone through numerous managers and agents, written with and opened for Justin Beiber, and had another giant smash with “Pill in Ibiza.” Then he did scaled down folk music. At 31, Mike’s career has gone through more twists and turns than most people see in a lifetime.
Sadly, during the Colorado portion of Mike’s cross-country trek, he was bitten by a rattlesnake. In true 2019 fashion, it was documented online and very scary to watch. Mike was in bad shape. He had to be airlifted to a hospital, the venom corrupting his system by the minute. Not only did the trip appear to be over, Mike had to re-learn how to walk. But guess what? He did it.
After weeks of recovery, Mike returned to the very place he was stopped, almost dead in his tracks, and continued his journey. You can follow along on social media if you want. He’s got 1800 miles to go. Will he make it? I honestly don’t know. But I’m hooked and rooting for him. He truly feels like the underdog he always wanted to be.
Keep going, Mike!