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A contestant on The Voice and now one of Australia’s most exciting throwback electro-pop acts, Florian aka Mikaela Dean is just starting off and she’s already making some serious ground.
Happy Mag sat down with the Sydney local to get a better idea of what we can expect from the next stage of her music.
With her single Star Crossed Lover, the dazzling Florian has artfully mastered mixing multiple sonic landscapes into one technicolour palette.
With a nod to the 90s and threads of 80s aesthetic and 70s disco, it would be a mistake to say that she doesn’t know her influences, as Dean herself professed:
“Aesthetically, the 70s, 80s and 90s are just so inspiring. The art, fashion and pop culture in general was so groundbreaking and I’ve always been interested in it… it’s just fucking awesome.”
“There are so many icons who were literally taste makers and they all took risks that made it acceptable for us to wear and do ridiculous things and get away with it. In terms of the music, my Mum wasn’t a singer, but a huge advocate for having a boogie, and so I was constantly surrounded by the best music growing up.
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But she’s not an artist who is making it up as she goes along. With time spent studying at Berklee College in New York and a number of years as a full-time musician in the industry, Florian is an act with tons of experience.
“I was always involved with the arts in school, and then went and studied at Berklee in the USA when I was in Year 12. After moving to Sydney I started singing professionally and have worked as a full-time musician for the past few years… I’ve done a lot of different stuff in between like backing vocals for some pretty big artists and The Voice, but I always knew it would eventually end in me doing my own thing.”
And The Voice is an interesting place to pause and reflect. With some interesting dialogue around the legitimacy of reality music shows, this time in the spotlight could have gone a very different way.
Intrigued as to how this has affected her music thus far, it seemed only natural to probe deeper.
“The Voice had a huge impact on me! I think there is a stigma attached to the show (I know because I was totally against it at one point) and it’s definitely a subject people tip-toe around. There’s obviously pros and cons to doing it but for me I had nothing but a positive experience. A lot of amazing artists have actually come off The Voice.”
“For me, The Voice was the best thing I ever did because it forced me to ask myself what I actually wanted and lit a fire for me to start writing again. It also gave me the ability to laugh at myself, because I fucked up a lot, live, on national TV when the viewer count was over a million and instead of beating myself up, just had a laugh and got over it. So yeah, it was a big milestone for me and I don’t regret it one bit.”
And her single Star Crossed Lover? We asked what’s it all about and how the track came together.
“The team for Star Crossed Lover was actually pretty small… and by pretty small, I mean there was basically just me and the producer, Ross Ferraro (The Goods/The Posse). I’d written the tune in my bedroom in one night and I knew that it needed to be produced by someone who understands and appreciates the era that it was inspired by and so I handed it onto my friend Ross and he smashed it.”
“I tracked the vocals at REC studios and then it was a pretty quick turnaround. I think we were both just on the exact same page for where we wanted the song to go, so it was a pretty smooth process.”
Can we expect more in the future? As is the case with these first releases, they often leave us wanting more, and we are happy to say that Star Crossed Lover is just the beginning.
“I have a few tracks ready to rock and roll, but I just want to keep writing because my sound is definitely still evolving. I have a list of dream collabs, but most of all I just want to play live more, I love being on stage and so I’ll do my best to focus on getting some shows happening later in the year.”
She’s one to watch, a star on the rise and bringing pretty much everything we love from the best eras in music into the same room. Stay tuned, Florian is on to big things.