This year, we’re turning 35 and want to celebrate with all of our best friends in the 305. From the Center for Fine Arts (CFA) to Miami Art Museum (MAM) to Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), our institution has been the catalyst for arts in the Magic City for over three decades. Join us Thursday, February 7 from 5-9pm as we celebrate 35 years of art and culture with a special birthday bash on our terrace featuring a live performance by Millionyoung, figure drawing, a DJ set by Ray Milian, and more. RSVP for PAMM Free Community Night: Our Birthday, Your Party here.
Mike Diaz, better known as Millionyoung, is bringing his sundrenched dance party to the terrace in just a few days. Dubbed by New Times as Miami’s best pop act, Millionyoung has been gracing stages across the country for the past 10 years and is a staple in the local music scene. Be sure to check out his latest album “Rare Form” and stay tuned for his newest single “Work” out on February 6.
We caught up with Diaz ahead of Thursday’s show and chatted about his influences, how he stays motivated as an artist, and more.
PAMM: How does your background, upbringing, and current location influence your music?
Diaz: I was born in Miami to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, and grew up in Coral Springs. I’m fond of the laidback and sleepy vibe you get in the suburbs, but growing up, my family was always listening to pop and Latin music like Michael Jackson, Prince, Selena, and Jerry Rivera.
What stimulates you to develop new ideas for your work? On both a small and larger scale.
I’m constantly trying to learn new techniques, and I try to change my song writing process as much as I can between releases. I started off just recording in my bedroom, then spent more time in proper studio spaces. Over the last year or so, I’ve actually been writing a lot on the go by stringing together voice notes of melodies with beats and synths from cool battery powered keyboards I’ve collected.
How do you stay motivated to continue producing and what pushes you further?
I try to see live music as often as possible. There’s something about live music that just makes me want to immediately go home and write after the show. It’s a different energy that’s very contagious.
What do you hope fans take away from your music?
I’ve always aimed to make music that takes the listener somewhere ethereal but familiar. Like waking up from a dream you can’t fully remember, but you’re left with very real emotions of what happened.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been really into this band Parcels. I’ve got a real soft spot for 70s/80s yacht rock like Michael Mcdonald, Christopher Cross, and Boz Scaggs.
We are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year. What have been some of your favorite PAMM arts and culture memories?
I’ve gone a bunch of times for the happy hour, and caught some cool events like when Poorgrrrl performed. It’s a beautiful space to hang out with friends while taking in the view.
What are you looking forward to most about performing at PAMM?
Most shows we play are indoors, so it’s exciting getting to perform outdoors near the ocean. Setting plays a big part in how the music is received, and I couldn’t think of a better location to compliment the Millionyoung sound.
What can fans expect from Millionyoung in the near future?
I’ve been really busy working on a lot of new music. There’s a new album ready for release near the end of 2019, and until then I’ll be putting out a few stand-alone singles starting with one called “Work,” coming out this week.
As the pseudonym for Miami, Florida native Mike Diaz, Millionyoung blends bright analog synths with layered guitars and vocals to create lush tropical soundscapes. Since his first release in 2009, Diaz has toured internationally in support of several critically acclaimed albums. Live, he presents his compositions as a multi-instrumental duo, alongside collaborator and friend Sebastian Hidalgo. Recently, the pair have even earned the privilege of opening for renowned acts such as: Thievery Corporation, HotChip, The Flaming Lips, Real Estate, and The Radio Dept.
Millionyoung’s fourth studio LP, Rare Form, is available everywhere now via Mishu Records.