How Mike Love Gets His Thinking Hat On


Creativity. Does that ever scare you? Knowing that in whatever you do you need to think out of the box and prove what you are made of. It doesn’t come easily, creativity. It doesn’t come out of the blue when you’re sitting waiting for it. It comes at the oddest time of the day, be it when you’re nurturing nature’s call, when you’re out getting groceries or whenever! You do get the point, right? Bottom line is, when it comes – it comes. But sometimes, you’re pressed for time & you cannot wait around for creative ideas to strike.

I am, as you have read, an artist, a songwriter & a musician. Being creative is the only choice I have when wanting to productively write songs. There are many ways how I find the jive to do it, and one of them is by thinking what I want the song to be. Like many things in life, foundation is the vital part of anything. I use this fundamental while writing my songs, because without me myself knowing what song I want to write about, I wouldn’t get the ideas flowing. When I get the ‘what’ of it, then other things will usually but now always, flow like water.

By getting the ‘what’ of the song I’m going to write about, I usually lock myself up in a cool place, calm myself down & try to be by myself without any distraction to gather my thoughts together. I’ll take out my legal yellow pad which I always carry with me, a pen & write down head topics before I separate them down into sub topics. Trust me, ideas flow in so easily that I’ll eventually end up coming up with 2-3 songs, IN ONE GO! This right here is an old fashion way I still carry around because I have some trust issues with my phone, and I would prefer not to use it as a medium to key in my notes or lyrics onto. What if it goes ballistic & I lose everything in there? Whoa – scary! But it did happen to me once which resulted in a panic attack that I’ve recovered from since (check my source here).

As it turns out, I thought that was the only way for me to get creative. But over the years of me being from a nothing to a famous artist, I have learned more techniques on creativity. After the ‘what’ of the song, I move on to the ‘who’ of the song. I sit & think of my audiences. I remember the looks on their faces. Their rough age groups. Their responses to each song I’ve serenaded to them before. And it becomes easier. The technique I use is re-watching old footages from my concerts done before. By doing this, not only do I get the feel of what is being sung & what I am about to write, but I also get to see how far I have come by living my passion & my dreams. These old footages have given me a lot of ideas on what to write on, because I really can see what kinds of songs people out there want to listen to, based on their reactions seen from these footages.

The weirdest way I think I have come up with to being creative is by keeping toys on my writing desk. Yes. Toys. I have these figurines I play with every now & then when I’m lost for words to rhyme or words to finish the storyline to my songs. I pretend that these toys are the real lives of the people whom I’m writing about, because not all songs are based on my personal experiences. I can say that 60-70% of the time, this technique does work for me, like I said, in the weirdest way.

Being creative doesn’t have to come from mainstream techniques. Just like me & any other musicians out there, sometimes the scariest thing about creating music, not just so you create a song, but good music is the part where you’re forced to sit down & create a mind-blowing piece where everyone wouldn’t stop singing & even remember 20-30 years from now. But with different techniques shared by various artists out there including my 3 written here, that’s when our music industry becomes a versatile one like how it has become today.

The five most amazing cities I’ve played in

Many of my fans ask me how it is to always be on the road, touring around the world, and sharing my music with people from the five corners of the world. Today I’ve decided to share some of my favorite cities and places where I’ve played before. They are amazing!

Las Vegas, USA


Starting off at number 1, Las Vegas is without a doubt the best city I’ve played in. Hotels, Casinos, and so many pubs that I lost count. On our stay, my crew and I booked our rooms in the Lost Castle Hotel, and they served the best seafood I’ve ever tasted. Not only that but the day after our first stay, they offered us free use of their music room. I had to say;

I was surprised and glad that we didn’t have to drive to the nearest studio to rehearse. My crew and I spent the next 2 days sleeping in the softest bed, played in the wildest casinos, and drank the finest wines. On my performance in front of the Great Sphinx, the venue was packed with people screaming and cheering, shooting water guns and throwing water balloons at each other.

It was the wildest performance I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t help but rock on along with the audience. At the end of the show, I threw my guitar strap at the audience and watched it sink among the crowd. A week after that night, I saw the same strap in some girl’s twitter feed, and it just felt satisfying.

Family Park, Cebu, Philippines


Itwas a hot summer day, and I spent it in an open park in the Philippine Islands. I was just a minor celebrity back then, so people barely knew me, and I didn’t have to worry about camera flashes and fan swarms and the like. It was during the hot hours of the afternoon, 3 hours before my performance. But instead of rehearsing with my crew, I spent it with my cousins whom I invited to tag along. We spent the rest of the day lighting firecrackers and throwing face paints. When the night came, I had to perform in the middle of a foam party. I played mostly upbeat songs to match the liveliness of the crowd. Had to say, they loved me.

Mango Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines


This place was called the party Center of Cebu City, Philippines. It had a lot of restaurants, and bars and the city lights were just dazzling. It was in the middle of Christmas, and I was to perform on a stage in front of a 90 ft. Tall Christmas tree. It was a peaceful performance because the local government passed a liquor ban so the locals can celebrate a quiet Christmas. I had to play slow songs about love and heartbreak, and people raised their phones in the air as I played. And so started my fame in the Philippine Islands.

M-City, Nevada


The Wizards’ Eye, 213th Gerard Way, M-City, Nevada – This was a local pub in a city simply called “M.” The people here were very kind, and they offered me and my crew free drinks and massages the moment we arrived at the hotel. The set crews were also kind enough to tune our instruments for us before we played, and the people were always smiling as if life had it easy for them. During my performance, the pub was packed with a lot of people, yet the cheers were soft and controlled. I had to say; M was the most peaceful city I’ve ever been to.

Nos Feratu Compound, Durakoriya Machi, Tokyo


Hands down, Japan is my most favorite country. This was my most recent performance, and people came from all over the world just to see me. This was one of my most favorite performance because I shared a stage with KibaXAkiba, my favorite Japanese band. Before the show, they gave me a tour of the entire city. The night before, they showed my crew and me around Fukuoka and even treated us to barbecue. The lights were just dazzling, and the city gave me a unique vibe that I just can’t explain.

Have you ever been to any of this places? Please let me know in the comments below.

4 Tips On Becoming a great solo artist

As a worldwide musician and artist, young people usually come up to me and want to get some tips on breaking through the music and entertainment music. I always tell them these 4 things…

1. It’s all about sounding good plus uniqueness in style.

Look at all the other good solo artists out there. They all have their own style, and you can easily distinguish one from the other by how his music sounds. Take for example Eminem and Macklemore. They are both non-African-American rappers, and they both make music that makes it to the hits. However, if you listen to their songs, you’ll know that they both have something that makes them different from each other. What you need to do is to find that uniqueness in you that makes you different from everyone else. Find it, make it yours, polish it, and flaunt it.

2. Be yourself.

Pretending to be somebody you’re not, somebody better than you, especially if that someone gives you the attention you need, can be very addicted. But just know that people are going to be attracted in this part of you and not the real person. It may not be a big problem at first, but it’s going to get really stressful in the long run. If you want to be a good solo artist, you’ve got to make the people fall in love with the traits that you own.

3. Always strive to make yourself better.

Learning is a never-ending process. Even pros like drummer Mike Mangini never stop polishing their skills. Track and Field athletes, for instance, will never stop trying to improve their record even if it’s just a second. If you sing, keep singing and keep getting better at it. People will eventually get tired of listening to the same level over and over.

4. Know what THEY want.

For every artist, it’s the people they’re trying to reach out to that matters. You have to keep up with their latest trends and use them to your advantage. You can’t publish songs about a happy love when you’re reaching out to a brokenhearted audience. If the trendiest topic is about a girl leaving you for a better guy, then it’s probably fine for you to write a song about a girl cheating on your older brother (just an example). You have to make the people feel that they’re not alone and that you can relate to whatever they feel about the world.