Los Angeles-based Mike Taveira made a splash earlier this year with his pansexual pop anthem, “Curious,” which grabbed the attention of tastemakers like Billboard Pride, Gay Times, and PRIDE. Growing up without any openly pansexual figures to look up to, Taveira knew that his personal journey needed to be expressed through his own music. In each of the three singles he has released so far, “Heart,” “Curious,” and, now, “Karma,” Taveira showcases his infectious R&B-pop sensibilities while tackling the complexities and vulnerability of sexual identity. With an underlying message that preaches to be true to yourself, whoever you love, whatever you identity as, and whatever life throws your way, Taveira is set to become a force in the evolution of queer pop music.
“Karma” is the breakup anthem for anyone who feels like their ex has yet received the karma they deserve. It’s for those of us who have been left broken and questioning the entire relationship, only for our ex-partner to seemingly move along in the world with no trouble. “I do believe in karma and I do believe she is coming. She just likes to wait for the perfect timing and I was impatient, which led to the song,” Taveira writes. The pairing video, which was created in collaboration with Canada’s Drag Race star Lemon, showcases how it feels when karma just won’t give you a break: “We wanted to have a simple but effective video to showcase how it feels to constantly receive karma on your end and the result came to dodgeballs being decked at my face.”
Who is Mike Taveira and how do you identify?
I’m a singer, songwriter, and actor. Growing up without any openly pansexual figures to look up to, I knew that my personal journey needed to be expressed through my own music. I want my story to connect with others who have also felt confused about where they fit in. I infuse my own experiences into my songwriting, with all of the unabashed emotions that come with it, from shame and doubt to bliss, and acceptance. The underlying message in all of my work is to be true to yourself and to love whomever regardless of gender.
How do you describe your music?
I’m a pop-leaning artist who pairs sensual lyrics with contemporary R&B and future pop elements, while staying true to my queer roots and narrative. Unafraid to push boundaries, I’m always capturing something new through my music and visuals.
Is Karma a breakup anthem?
“Karma” is the breakup anthem for anyone who feels like their ex has yet to receive the karma they deserve. It’s for those of us who have been left broken and questioning the entire relationship, only for our ex-partner to seemingly move along in the world with no trouble.
Do you aspire to become the most popular pansexual artist in the music industry?
I aspire to become mainstream so people can have someone to look to if they are also fluid and so they can someone to feel connected to who is singing about the way they feel.
What is the message behind your single?
That it may suck to feel like the person that left and hurt you is doing completely fine, but to know that it will be okay for you too. Just to be patient and to not dwell on it.
Who are the queer artists that have influenced you? Did you have any figures to look up to?
Janelle Monae is someone who has made a big impact in my life. I didn’t have anyone growing up to look up to because men don’t typically talk openly about or express their fluidity, which is one of the main reasons I want to change that with my music.
Why did you decide to open up and explore pansexualism through your music?
It was unheard of to hear guys talk about fluidity and I didn’t want to hide who I was just to get farther in the industry. I’m open about it cause younger me didn’t have anyone who would say the words out loud for me to connect with them.
When did you decide to get involved in the music industry?
I’ve been writing music for so long but three years ago I met my best friend Evangelia who helped me tap into this world.
Is there enough LGBTQ+ representation in the music industry nowadays?
No, there’s absolutely not enough. There’s a ton of amazing queer artist that are so underrated. It’s tough as hell but we all have to keep pushing through.
How did you decide to collaborate with Lemon?
I’ve been friends with Lemon for awhile and she’s been supporting me since we met and vice versa. She loved the “Karma” demo so I asked if we could go to a coffee shop and talk video ideas for the single and she was totally down!
How has the pandemic affected your career and your life?
So many ways. One positive is that it pushed me to make the leap and move to LA so I could fully pursue my music career.
How do you see the future of the music industry?
All types of people who are completely equal leveled so there is no one who feels left out or like it’s not possible for them to make art or be as successful because of who they are.
What are your future plans?
I’m in the studio a lot lately. I’d like to continue doing that and making more music that I absolutely love.