“When Landon and I were in high school, we would play shows at coffee shops and bookstores together,” says Mike. "One time we recorded tracks in the studio at my high school. Another time, we recorded some tracks in his bedroom. Then as we grew up, there was a time when we were both going to Nashville, whether to work with other writers, producers, or whatever. One day, Landon was like ‘yo, what if we just make music together at my house like back in the day.’ The pandemic created the ultimate opportunity and here we are.”
"The new EP has a retro vibe that embraces arcade and summer carnival nostalgia, featuring a schizophrenic range of emotional singer-songwriter moments, straight pop-love-bops, and heart-felt worship tunes,” says Mike of the new collection, which includes a mix of originals and covers of hits by Charlie Hall and Hillsong Young & Free. But the song that has grabbed the most traction with listeners on all platforms is “Next2U” - a song Mike wrote for his wife of 11 years.
There are other moments of sentimentality on the EP as well, including “Now and Forever,” which pays tribute to the memory of Mike’s father, and the Hillsong Y&F remake, “First Love.” Says Mike, "There were two times when writing and tracking this project that I was in tears while cutting vocals. And those two got me."
Whether a moving ballad or a hook-filled pop gem, Mike’s fanbase is accustomed to music that moves them, and he continually strives to deliver. Explains Mike, “Think about every good song you ever listened to. What was it that made you want to spin it on repeat? I bet it was the way the song made you feel; whether the instrumentation, lyric delivery, or a vocal moment - that song made you feel something special. At the end of the day, we made music that has tremendous feeling, at least to us."
When he isn’t on the road or writing music, Mike can be found coaching at his boxing and MMA gym in Fort Wayne, Indiana (www.leebrothersmma.com). Since his debut EP in 2014, Mike has been noted for his humorous, yet deeply personal stage presence that spills over into his social media. From coast-to-coast you can catch Mike on tour with his band. Mike has shared the stage with Andy Mineo, NF, Switchfoot, David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Leeland and more.
“Another Step" is available now at iTunes, Amazon and all major digital retailers.
“Do me a favor, start at the top of the project,” says Mike. "Press play, and let that junk run from intro to outro.”
For more information, visit www.mikeleemusic.com.
Watch the "Next2U" music video: https://youtu.be/L2aed4EiIhc
Watch the "Now and Forever" music video: https://youtu.be/mK1HCX6AVLc