Introducing Australian music artist & performer Mikey Votano who released his first UK single ‘Shut Up & Dance’ via Believe Digital. The track is a uniquely clever cover of Walk The Moon’s hit, in a vintage style of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly & blues.
‘Shut Up and Dance’ was recorded in December 2019 and wasn’t intended as the first release. Mikey says “As the world began to change I wanted to do a little something that could bring together my community, who like many have lost jobs, are struggling with the lack of human connection, are suffering from increased mental health concerns and, most devastatingly, who have lost loved ones. A small reminder of times that were & those that will be again once the time is right.”
The video for ‘Shut Up & Dance’ shows workers stranded on COVID-19 free cruise ships, who were turned away from many countries, dancing along to the track. These include 63 people from 13 countries & 6 continents and consist of dancers, acrobats, musicians and even a doctor & his family who is working directly with CV-19 patients in N. Ireland. Mikey says “dancing is an expression of complete & utter joy and if I can create a small moment that brings even the tiniest bit of happiness my job is done”.
A former primary school teacher, Mikey Votano does it all, sings, plays a mean sax & piano, creates authentic arrangements & works the hell out of a room. A serial over thinker, thanks to a mental health condition, though he believes when it comes to music though, the decision is simple – if it feels good, play it & enjoy the hell out of it.
Born in Sydney, to an Italian-Australian family, Mikey is the oldest of 4 with 3 sisters. His childhood was marred by an overly critical upbringing & difficult school life where he was bullied, often in trouble, labelled disruptive & lazy & eventually expelled. In his final months at his second high school Mikey was diagnosed & prescribed medication for ADHD, he also secured a place to study music at the University of NSQ.
Votano grew up the Chuck Berry way, albeit playing saxophone rather than guitar, cutting his teeth in various jazz bands. It was in the clubs, sandwiched on a tiny stage between 20 musicians giving their all for a packed house singing & dancing without care that his love for music & it’s ability to bring joy to all changed everything. He became a musical director for many artists of varying styles.
He tributes his styles of music Mikey loves, swing, soul & rock n’ roll, a collection of vintage sounds & grooves from the 50s & 60s. Last year Mikey, with his band The Originals, released their initial run of five singles. The tracks were recorded live, in a single room, using only pre1955 gear & cut straight to tape in a method recording rarely used since the 50s. A hit with the swing/rock ’n’ roll dancing scene videos began circling of their remakes accompanying dance lessons & gigs from Australia, Argentina, UK, Italy, Canada & the USA.
Mikey also writes original music and from 2015 to 2017 was lead vocalist of Silver Love Club. He toured Australia’s East Coast and performed consecutive years at Toronto’s, Canadian Music Week. Prior to this he worked as a vocalist for The Disney Company where he performed nightly on their flagship, the Disney Fantasy. During this time, he arranged & recorded the album ‘Smile’, a collection of standards & popular tunes reimagined for jazz big band. His track ‘Disney Medley’ is included in numerous Top 10 Disney covers lists & has been performed by bands in Europe, North & South America & Australia.
SHUT UP AND DANCE (OUT NOW) – VIDEO