From humble beginnings to bright horizons

Twin Cities-based artist Mike DeCole is making moves


Mike DeCole (Steve Floyd/MSR News)

Humble beginnings may be just a phrase or great marketing ploy for some, but for Mike DeCole it could be the title to his autobiography. DeCole is an up-and-coming R&B artist based in the Twin Cities who has had a successful 2016 and is looking to take it to the next level in 2017.

Over the year, DeCole released his first album entitled So It Was Written, released the hit single “It Must Be Love,” became better acquainted with industry insiders, opened for Ginuwine and Tank, and has been ranked number-one twice by online artist platform ReverbNation in two different markets.

DeCole is a native of the Southside of Chicago, where he and his brother were raised by their mother. “I’m so grateful she brought us here,” said DeCole, as he spoke with great admiration about his mother.

DeCole (right) with KMOJ’s Walter “Q Bear” Banks at a Sister Spokesman event November 2016. (Courtesy of Facebook/MikeDeColeFanPage)

The idea to move to Minnesota came from his paternal aunt who was living in the Twin Cities and stayed in touch with DeCole’s mother. While she had already made up her mind to start saving and getting things ready to make the move, two distinct instances made her drop everything and bring them up sooner than expected.

“Right before we came here [when] I was 15 getting ready to turn 16, I was walking my girlfriend home to the bus stop and a bunch of guys just surrounded me,” recalled DeCole of that fateful day in Chicago.

“My mom brought me [a Georgetown] coat. [The] thing is [the jacket] had a G on there. My mom didn’t know about nothing; I didn’t too much know anything because I just didn’t carry myself that way.” DeCole said he instructed his girlfriend to keep on walking, and the group proceeded to jump the then-teenage DeCole before pulling a gun on him due to the jacket being seen as gang-related paraphernalia.

Luckily, DeCole was able to escape.  But shortly after the incident, his younger brother was randomly abducted, snatched, and stuffed in the trunk of a car. “We ended up getting him back,” said DeCole. “At that point my mom wasn’t [just] thinking about [moving to Minnesota] no more.” They made their move without haste.

Following the move, the family decided to stay in a shelter instead of with the aunt in order to get quicker assistance. “Her bringing us here, I really feel like it saved our lives. My mom, like a lot of mothers, sacrificed a lot to make a better life for her kids and I’m forever grateful; I have the best mother.”

DeCole’s sentiments about his mother’s sacrifices while he was growing up, and his various outlooks on life, are all displayed on his debut album So It Was Written. The soulful artist said the project took him three years to complete for multiple reasons including depression, lack of funding, and an injury that temporarily prevented him from honing his craft.

Promo art for “This Must Be Love” single Photo courtesy of Mike DeCole

“It was pretty much one year of no singing [and] three months of no talking.” The singer had just released his first single “Lost Without You” and it was picking up steam, causing him to do more performances and get in the studio and record more.

“That’s the crazy thing about [my injury]. Mine wasn’t as [bad] of an injury as a lot of people’s are — mine was crazy because a lot of times there [are] nods on their throat [but] I had a minor rupture.

“I had to learn how to talk all over again because just talking was ruining my voice because of the raspiness [in my voice], and somehow I was talking at a lower resonant, a lower tone.”

After the needed vocal therapy and family support, DeCole bounced back even stronger with a successful year as it pertains to building and growing.

Now in 2017, the artist will continue to strive as he pursues an interstate touring opportunity, possible acting, and growth as a songwriter. To keep up with DeCole be sure to follow him on @MikeDeCole Facebook and @1mikedecole on Instagram.


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