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Mike Mentz, Xperientialistâ„¢

 

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"Been there, Rocked that!" - Mike Mentz

 

Born in: Northbrook, IL, USA (just outside Chicago)

Favorite X Spot™: Paris, France

Inspired by: Traveling, Love, pints of Guinness, palm tree shade, Irish whiskey, and all things unknown...

 

Singer? Songwriter? Traveler?

Growing up outside Chicago, my early introduction to music was fueled by an eclectic mix of car-radio Oldies and Pop and my mother's affinity for Irish tunes.

Road trips through the U.S. and plane trips to Ireland to visit cousins led the travel bug to bite me, and it's hung on ever since.

My love of music + travel really came alive when I studied abroad for a semester in Paris. I packed some clothes and an old Gibson guitar and off I went. I spent a lot of time beside the Seine, cutting my teeth on songwriting and experiencing the city of Paris. 

Today, my songwriting continues to be heavily influenced by my curiosity for the world and its myriad of places, people, and cultures. Context is fascinating to me. I attempt to paint a picture with my lyrics so the listener could close their eyes and travel with me. I think writing about the places I visit and experienes I have lend an honest, authentic air to my tunes.

 

What type of music do you play?

My genre is Travelpop.

A good introduction to my music is a song I wrote called Cigarette about a flight delay I experienced at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. I had multiple hours to kill, so I found a seat at the Chicago Cubs Bar. A charming lady sat down next to me. We hit it off quickly and dove into that feeling, talking for hours and knowing full well we most likely wouldn’t see each other again. That situation struck me as particularly beautiful, because it helps illustrate how it doesn’t matter whether we know somebody for 20 minutes or 20 years; we can really connect with each other under almost any circumstances if we’re open to it. I had to write a song about it.

 

Where's home?

I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee. Whenever I'm home, I love being surrounded by a whole community of talented musicians and writers who inspire me to always strive to be better. Nashville is pretty much Mecca for songwriters around the world. Of course, Country music has been a big part of Nashville for a long time, but these days songwriters of all genres are flourishing and celebrated in this city. Many here will tell you that there’s considerable pressure to write commercially-viable “hits.” However, there’s a stronger respect for tight, carefully-composed songs with meaningful vivid lyrics, regardless of whether they’re all aimed for radio play…exactly what I like to write.

I found the people to be very warm and inclusive, and coming from Chicago, the fact that it might not snow all winter was a selling point.

If you ever get to Nashville, you’ll have to check out Percy Warner Park. I like trail running a lot, and the trails at Percy Warner are beautifully peaceful and really fun. Plus the hills will kick your butt.

 

Inspiration?

I'm inspired by: performing, looking the crowd in the eyes and telling them a story; knowing how many legends stood where I get to stand every time I'm invited to play at the famed Bluebird Cafe in Nashville; sunsets over the ocean on a beach I arrived at two hours ealier; raising a glass with friends, old and new, in cities foreign and familiar.

 

What's next?

From life in Paris playing guitar on the banks of the Seine in between crepe breaks to three years of international touring through the Caribbean, Baltic, and all over Western Europe, I've made sure to regularly feed my wanderlust. My last 15 songs were written in 12 cities including Chicago, Paris, Cozumel, Helsinki, Dublin, Barcelona, Tallinn, Nashville, and in the middle of nowhere while cruising across the Atlantic Ocean.

With a lot more to explore, I'm focused on connecting with people all over the world and taking my tunes with me. I've got a few tunes I’m working on now that I’m really excited about, and I know that as the beautiful cities and interesting people dance around in front of me, I’ll be inspired to reach for my guitar. Stay tuned. I'm currently preparing for a new album and big travel project in 2015...

Live and love,

Mike Mentz

Singer, Songwriter, Traveler...Xperientialist

 

History in the making: 

  • In 2013, the single "Cigarette" rode the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Top 40 chart for four months
  • Regularly featured singer, songwriter at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville
  • Internationally recognized singer, songwriter having performed in over 25 countries

  

Mike Mentz...Where in the world is he?

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