Mansionz: An Artistic Escape for Blackbear and Mike Posner

Photo Credit: Tarina Doolittle

Singer-songwriter Mike Posner and singer, rapper, and producer Blackbear, came together in 2016 to create the music duo Mansionz. Known for their hip-hop infused electro-pop sound, Mansionz is based out of Los Angeles, California. Both artists are established performers in their own regard but they were looking for an artistic escape. They decided to form a new creative outlet together as a conceptual duo and that is how Mansionz was born.

Mike Posner is a Grammy-nominated singer. He’s known for popular songs like “Cooler Than Me,” “Please Don’t Go,” and “I Took A Pill in Ibiza.” Mike Posner grew up in Southfield, Michigan. He wrote music as a kid, but didn’t pursue it until college. On February 28, 2009, Posner released his mixtape A Matter of Time using iTunes. This provided him with a strong fan base to continue creating music. Later in October that year, he released One Foot Out the Door. Posner released his first full-length album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff on August 10, 2010. Towards the end of 2011, Posner dropped his third mixtape The Layover.

Thrust into stardom, Posner struggled with his celebrity status and depression. He stopped performing music to focus on writing and producing songs. This was the year that Blackbear and Mike Posner met while working on Justin Beiber’s song “Boyfriend.” During the same time, the two also covered “Stay Schemin” by Rick Ross.

At Night, Alone was the second full-length album Posner released. The album was met with critical success and “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” was an international hit once it was remixed. Posner mentioned in an interview that the album was his most proud out of the roughly 100 songs made in his catalog since his first album. After recording for two years, the artist released his third studio album, A Real Good Kid. The album deals with the themes of loving, losing, and accepting situations and people.

Matthew Musto is a producer, singer, rapper and label-head also known as Blackbear. He was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania and moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. This was after a troubling relationship with his drug-addicted father. In high school Musto was a member of the pop-punk band Polaroid. Musto left the band and high school to pursue more music opportunities. He released four EPs over the following years. In 2011, he took the name Blackbear and released the EP Foreplay the following year.

In February 2015, Blackbear released his full-length album Deadroses and the album’s lead single, “Idfc” gained millions of streams. In 2016, Blackbear released his second full-length album Help and the Drink Bleach EP, which featured Mike Ponser on the track “Obvious.” Blackbear also released Cashmere Noose in August of that year on Soundcloud. Life took a jarring turn when the artist was hospitalized for an extended period of time during 2016. Music written during this time became the content for his third studio album Digital Druglord in the spring of 2017. In the fall of 2017, Blackbear released his fourth studio album Cybersex.

Mansionz became an official collaborative effort when they signed to Island Records in 2016. Posner and Blackbear were known for their bright green hair and careless attitude. “STFU” and “White Girls” were highlight singles. These songs garnered the group many listeners. On March 24, 2017, the duo released their debut album, mansionz. The music expresses thoughts on depression, emotional rollercoasters, and non-conforming mindsets.

Tracks on mansionz have a similar sound to them. The album is in the musical genre of electronic meets pop music. Listeners will hear this on “Dennis Rodman” and “Wicked.” Songs like “Strip Club” and “White Linen” present a more acoustic version of the band. It’s clear that the album was produced to feel consistent. This is also the case with the lyrical content of songs. The duo discusses relationships, mental health, and drug abuse, in a way that’s impactful to them. Listeners will feel the intentions behind the straightforwardness of the lyrics.

Even though Mansionz is a new collaborative group, it was founded by two members that have a long creative history. Mansionz have managed to bring their individual fan bases together for music that is sure to strike a chord. There’s sure to be more music in the works from the collaborative duo in the future.

Written By: Carlton Rolle


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