Authentic, talented and humble.
The islands and the music and artists who take you there. Some musicians sing about good times, some about margaritas and cocktails, others about sailing and becoming one with the ocean. Mishka takes you to the islands but rarely mentions them directly in his lyrics. Mishka takes you to the island frame of mind through his heartfelt emotional delivery. Mishka takes you to the islands by singing about themes that go lock step with what it means to take life slower and live richer, deeper and more meaningful.
The number of people who still do not know who this 37 year old musician is still shocks me. He has now put out five critically acclaimed records since 1999. His latest, Talk About, produced with Matthew McConaughey’s j.k. livin label is already a classic.
Mishka and his sister Heather Nova (also a recording artist) grew up as boat kids in the Caribbean. They never lived in a house and never went to a traditional school. It as these years that were responsible for Mishka’s embracing reggea.
Mishka didn’t get into music full time right away. He is an accomplished wind surfer, representing Bermuda in the world’s back in 1991 and 1992. Thereafter, he turned to his music full time. It took him another seven years to get his first album cut.
I first learned about Mishka via Kenny Chesney’s radio station, No Shoes Radio. Once I heard him I knew I had to buy his music. This past spring I had the good fortune to meet Mishka and watch him play in a small venue the night before Kenny Chesney’s tour began in Tampa, Florida. I stood five feet in front of Mishka and just listened. He didn’t seem to have a set list and kept looking down at me to see what I wanted to hear. He played four songs in a row that I requested. What a fun night that was.
Mishka is very soft spoken and humble. He works hard at his craft playing on stage with Kenny Chesney one night to a sold out football stadium and to fifty people the next night under a small tent. When he is in the Caribbean he prefers Nevis but currently he makes Hawaii his home. With the tour schedule for 2011 complete you can still find him playing small theaters and venues throughout the Hawaiian islands.
What I like the most about Mishka is he strikes me as the real deal. He is from the islands, he is from the water, both have been his entire life. He hasn’t lived that life because of wealth or privilege, instead because that was a choice his parents made and he has continued. When I listen to the words in his lyrics I am struck by the depth. To me he is a modern day poet. When I want to sail away in my mind, Mishka is the first artist I reach for over all others.