Born in a ghetto north of Paris Dr Mikey represents French culture, especially in the suburbs. His mother is from Guadeloupe and his father is from Guyana. At 14, a serious accident made him unable to walk. Fighting to rehabilitate his two broken hips, he moved from Paris to the jungle of St. Laurent du Maroni, with his father. There he found his love for music. Dr Mikey then decided to become a rapper and singer, who would erase the borders of genre and language, challenging the continental barriers with his music. At 18 he formed the reggae group Damaniak in Guyana before returning to France in 1997 and launching Instint 2 Scarla in which he was the rapper and lead singer.
It wasn’t long after, that Dr Mikey understood a solo career better reflected his personal and artistic aspirations. In 2000, he met his manager Sonia Kinany who took him to the United States. Without speaking or understanding a word of English Dr Mikey joined forces with a young promoter which led to many performing opportunities around Los Angeles.
A meeting with the rapper from Louisiana, La Balle, in 2001, led to them forming True 2 Life Players. Dr Mikey also got to work at the Cow Palace in San Francisco alongside artists like Juvenile, Trick Daddy, E-40 and Blu Cantrell.
Between 2002 and 2004, he toured California with Bone Thugs & Harmony, The Mothugs Family, and Won-G. In 2007 he traveled between Europe, the United States, the West Indies and Guyana, and also got to perform with Capleton, Sean Paul, M. Vegas, Buju Banton, and Spragga Benz.
From 2008 to 2018, Dr Mikey’s journey has been filled with appearances on various projects, live performances, the creation of the Musical Gift Records Label & the MGR Mouvement, radio hosting, and the release of singles and a mixtape. After a long and distinguished career, 2020 finally sees Dr Mikey release his long-awaited album “I’m Karibbean”, featuring 14 tracks and one hour of music including both English and French language songs.
Right from the smooth opening track “Beautiful”, it becomes clear that Dr Mikey continues to hone his talents with an adept display of mellifluous singing and rapping, as he croons his way across a soundscape drenched soulful horns. “My Little Island” remains reflective and soulful, while the reggae rhythms start to emerge with a stronger essence.
The deeply resonant, “I Keep Wondering” moves between the melodic croon and the abrasive bite of Dr Mikey’s flow. He is one of a very select few that is equally accomplished at both. The singer’s smooth-flowing delivery rides the riddim precisely on the big sunny, romantic tune of Paradise Island.
Dr Mikey is in splendid form on the upbeat French language track “Ce Week-End”, before turning up the heat on the hip-swaying rhythm of “Ne Pars Pas”, where his soaring vocals take center stage, alongside the catchy ear-warming melody.
“Money Pull Up” featuring Skunky Trigga and Juice Xplosion Paris is a total dance-floor banger, with an urgent delivery and a dynamic production. The track shows that the collaborating collective are a wicked combination indeed. The music on this album is tight and the selection fits just right. Dr Mikey epitomizes what it means to be a reggae and dancehall flavored songwriter, with accessible, yet multi-layered rhythms, lyrics and messages.
“Shake Your Pum Pum” will keep body firmly planted on the dance floor, as will the intensely percussive title track, “I’m Karibbean” featuring Ghetto Intello. Dr Mikey’s voice is crisp and expressive with the drum and bass section again playing a prominent part in the bubbling riddim.
At this section of the album there is no respite, as the beats come hard and fast. “Tonight It’s Going Down” presents yet another spark that sets the record ablaze with its rapid-fire beat and vocals, forcing even the most reserved to move their dancing feet. “Fuego” keeps the record ignited with its effervescent flow and infectious beat. There’s passion in the vocals that is well-suited for the pace of the riddim.
“Expatrie” featuring KS Pon Di Mike and Pokalypse is another highly melodic, French language track which brings a moment of truce from the incandescent dancefloor rhythms. “Obsession” is dominated by an infectious rhythmic swing and earworm vocals from Dr Mikey. The album closes on a passionate and romantic note, with Dr Mikey teaming up with Gail Lleyton on “Zouk Love”.
With “I’m Karibbean”, Dr Mikey has produced a quality record. His skill and talent speaks for itself, as he firmly establishes himself as one of the premier underground artists in his field. It is most certainly an album that you can press play and enjoy from beginning to end. Moreover, you will find yourself replaying it a few times in row. Beautiful music, beautiful lyrics, beautifully delivered.