Interview: Bounty Killer and Michael Star Talks “7 o’clock” Collab

Michael Star Bounty Killer
Michael Star and Bounty Killer

The son of iconic reggae artist Mikey Spice has entered the foray of reggae and dancehall music with the release of his latest track, “7 o’clock,” featuring dancehall heavyweight Bounty Killer.

Born Michael Theo Johnson, the artist who goes by the name Michael Star is quickly making a name for himself in the dancehall and reggae music industry as well as in his home state of Atlanta, where he won the ‘Hot New Artiste’ award at Atlanta’s Clean Music Movement Awards in 2014.

Now, the rising reggae artist known for his sultry smooth vocals and dance skills continues to shine with another new release. He recently released “Tun Up” in April this year and is now releasing his second single.

Star describes the song as a melodic, calypso rhythm kismet with his rich, smooth vocals intertwined with Bounty Killer’s synonymously deep and aggressive flow. He’s vying for the top spot of the summer’s ‘big tune.’

According to Star, his verses were self-written, while Bounty Killer’s verses were co-written by Killer and songwriter Matthew Thompson.

“7 o’clock” was produced by Ricky Myrie and Dr. Basil “King” Beale of King Recordings Entertainment. The infectious track is reggae/dancehall perfection, filled with true music, emotion, and feeling to the soul. [the song] is the perfect broken-heart-healing-record that gives permission to grieve love lost, start over, and love again,” he said.

He also spoke about the inspiration behind the song, noting that it was based on real experiences he has observed personally.

“The inspiration for “7 o’clock” came about from me seeing others go through an emotional breakup and how it affected them,” says Michael Star.

“Life is so unpredictable and oftentimes, we forget that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to start over, and it’s okay to fall in love. This song is a reminder that no relationship is perfect, nor are we as human beings, the exception.”

Meanwhile, Star spoke with Urban Islandz in an exclusive interview where he discussed his career as an artist and getting into the music industry like his great father, Mikey Spice.

Michael Star
Michael Star

“My father is definitely a heavyweight in the dancehall genre. As a child, seeing my father perform and create timeless reggae music was great to see growing up,” he said as he expressed gratitude to his father for his opportunities.

He added that his inspiration for music and dance comes from studying many other great artists.

“Music has been my passion ever since I was a child, and I’m grateful to still have that love for it. I grew up inspired by legendary artists like Bounty Killer, the late great Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, and Chris Brown. Ever since I can remember, the gift of music and dance has been my creative outlet, and has always been my favourite artistic form of expression,” he said.

With songs under his belt like “Gotta Go,” “Party All Night,” and “XoXo,” the Atlant-based artist says despite his father’s overarching legacy, he wants to build his own and to work in other genres aside from reggae.

“I am a multidimensional artist, a music mogul. I envision myself working hard and making my own imprint in reggae music as a whole and creating my own legendary lane in all genres of music. I also hope to keep influencing people with the soul feeling that music gives and inspire people through my positive messages and my faith. I envision my legacy including all of my talents–music, dance, acting, and entrepreneurship as well,” he said.

In the meantime, Michael Star adds that he isn’t phased by comparisons of his music to that of his father. He added that they both have two unique sounds, but he is more of an eclectic melting pot of Dancehall Reggae, Pop, and R&B.

Star has previously been the opening act for artists like Wayne Wonder and Beres Hammond. He says working with another dancehall great, Bounty Killer, is a dream come true.

“I am so honoured that Bounty Killer agreed to appear on the track,” he said about his favorite dancehall artist. “I grew up listening to Bounty Killer, he is a living legend. This is a true dream come true for me.”

“I was excited because I’ve watched Bounty Killer’s performances to learn more about dancehall and how it all originated. It’s not often that a Dancehall Legend takes time out of his busy schedule to listen to an upcoming artist’s music, and actually likes it! So right now, I’m on cloud nine, and I am still absorbing the moment.”

Bounty Killer also shared that collaborating on the song was a no-brainer the moment he heard the track.

“The day that Bankey sent me the song, I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of it. 7 o’clock has a message that I can relate to because of some of my own life experiences,” the artist told Urban Islandz.

The track is currently available on all digital platforms, and the video will be released in the coming months.