On the horizon of a new album release, the Impact basement thumped to the funky bass of Tyler Tesla, a member of local Lansing group MikeyyAustin and the Soulcial Club. This Lansing-based jazz-soul band was formed in 2017 has played events across the city to raise money for local Lansing charities.
MikeyyAustin was awesome to have live in our studio! Watch the video to see their performance, and read below for our interview.
Zaria Phillips (DJ Zar): Awesome. This is DJ Zar with The Vibe for WDBM The Impact, and I’m here with MikeyyAustin and The Soulcial Club. You guys introduce yourselves for everybody.
Tyler Tesla: My name is Tyler Tesla. I’m the bass player in The Soulcial Club.
Deon G: I’m G on drums.
MikeyyAustin: What’s good? I’m MikeyyAustin.
DJ Zar: Alright, the star, the star. Okay, so tell us about you guys, MikeyyAustin and The Soulcial Club – what your style is, how you evolved over the past couple songs – just for people who don’t know you.
Austin: Alright, so we are The Soulcial Club. That’s actually a new name. Before, we were caught The Happy Medium for about two or three years. But we’re a hip hop and soul group band, and we’re based here in Lansing, Michigan, but the roots are all hip hop. And then we add a lot of soul and a lot of feels to it. And then these guys are super talented too. So they’re able to just rock out and do whatever, so it sounds good.
DJ Zar: Are you guys all from Lansing?
Deon: I’m from Virginia.
DJ Zar: Virginia, Virginia.
Austin: But you’re actually from–
Deon: I was born in Lansing. I grew up in Virginia.
DJ Zar: So do you guys think where you’re from has any influence on your style or your music?
Austin: I think the Midwest roots definitely have a lot of influence in my music. I’m just kind of, like, pulling from [J] Dilla, Common, Kanye. They all have the super soulful and super hip-hop vibe. And then just kind of being able–Lansing is so small. There’s not like a lot of people doing sound like that. So you’re able to kind of experiment and be kind of like the first one, I guess, to do certain things and try it out. But definitely the Midwest influences our music.
DJ Zar: Why do you guys work so well together?
Austin: I think you guys can speak to–I have the easy job. They have all the chemistry and they just make my job not easy.
Deon: Well, me and Ty been playing together for some years, so that’s just our chemistry locked. I’ve known Mikey for a while. Really it’s not even about playing; it’s about just relationship. And you know how everybody is with each other.
Austin: I met D when we were doing a basketball camp for the kids. And for some reason he thought it was a good idea to guard me and I was giving him buckets. And then after that–
Deon: He still lost.
Austin: I was giving up buckets and after that he kind of befriended me. And we’ve been rocking ever since.
DJ Zar: So do you guys have an opinion of the Lansing hip hop scene, hip hop, r&b? Do you have any favorites, local favorites that you love to collaborate with, or anything like that?
Austin: Yeah, personally, for me, I’m a part of a really dope collective of super talented artists. And it’s really a brotherhood as well. So some of the guys like James Gardin, Joshua Smith, Ozay Moore, Sareem Poems. All of those guys are like brothers, and all of them are legendary in their own rights. So it’s really cool to be able to be fans of them, and then also be able to be friends with them and collaborate with them and work on stuff. So those are some of my favorites here locally.
DJ Zar: Yeah, for sure. How about you guys?
Tesla: I would say the same guys, but also Miles Young – can’t forget about Miles Young. And then there’s some really great producers in Lansing as well like Young Key, EssBee, Piano Boy, it’s quite a few of them.
Austin: Oreo. Yeah, he’s smooth too.
Deon: I’m gonna probably say everybody. I’m inspired by everybody, anything anybody does, especially in Lansing. It’s a small town, so people kind of overlook it. But there’s so much talent here, you know, we’re on the rise.
DJ Zar: Do you guys have any favorite venues here in Lansing? Like, wherever crowd is always poppin’, it’s always hype, energy’s great.
Austin: It’s weird because it’s based on the event. Like you get the crowd. I feel like just depending on the event, it could be one crowd and then the next event can be a totally different crowd, just depending on like, what the event is, and how you market it, how you promote it or whatever. But we’ve had some really dope events. The Robin Theatre has been really cool for us. It seems like every show that we’ve done there has packed out because it’s such an intimate vibe. So that’s always cool performing there. And then The Loft, the last show that we did there this past July, that was very lit, so it was really cool to see the crowd come together. And sometimes I feel like it can be kind of cliquish here in Lansing. So it’s cool to see everybody come together and just have a good time under the name of music, so that was pretty dope.
DJ Zar: Well, we really appreciate having y’all here and I’m gonna get to my last question. Do you guys have a dream venue that you love to perform at or a dream collab? Like maybe with an artist that’s your favorite who’s not local, not easy to get to?
Austin: I’ll let you go first.
Tesla: Well, I can’t just say like one artist or like one venue like that–
DJ Zar: Three artists.
Tesla: Three artists.
Austin: I feel like you’re gonna take all mine.
Tesla: I would love to work with [Ms.] Lauryn Hill. Rest in peace Nipsey Hussle. I would love to work with him. And third, I’d say Nas.
Austin: I wasn’t expecting none of those.
Austin: Alright, you go D.
Deon: I’ll probably say JAY-Z. Rick Ross. They make back lives, you feel me. And probably DaBaby, honestly.
Austin: I can see that for sure: G-Baby, DaBaby. I might have to say Anderson .Paak. I might have to say Felicia the Goat. Shoutout to Tyler, the Creator winning the Grammys last night. Both of them won Grammys actually.
DJ Zar: Yes, long overdue.
Austin: And my last one will probably be André 3-stacks. Those would probably be my top three to work with.
DJ Zar: I definitely hope y’all get to work with them in the future.
Austin: Hoping for it, too.
DJ Zar: I hope you’re successful. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Thanks, DJ Zar with the vibe, MikeyyAustin and The Soulcial Club.
Listen to MikeyyAustin’s new song, “Palm Trees & Fajitas,” now on Spotify.