Check out our interview with Los Angeles-based artist and songwriter MJ Ultra who just released his single and official video “Goddess.”
No stranger to creating music to inspire, MJ Ultra has seen placements in film and television projects like America’s Got Talent and Dancing With The Stars. His 2017 collaboration “Black & White” with Barcelona-based DJ Duo, Boxinlion, amassed over 50 million streams worldwide and put him on the map as an artist to watch. He’s performed across the country on multiple tours including a stop for SoFar Sounds Paris as well as locally at The Hotel Cafe and other Los Angeles institutions. “Goddess” marks the first single off his upcoming body of work.
Follow MJ @mjultra
MJ Ultra - Goddess (Official Music Video)
Hi MJ, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a singer-songwriter and actor from Pittsburgh. I’ve been writing, recording, and touring since 2011. I have the best job in the world!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Very blessed human.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I moved to LA to focus on an acting career until my best friend put a microphone in front of my face and encouraged me to record. After my first film placement, a song I did for Justin Timberlake’s “Friends With Benefits”, I figured I should stick with it.
How has this changed your life?
Besides taking me all over the world, music has provided me the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful people. I have life long friends in UK, South Korea, France and nearly everywhere I’ve performed. I don’t think I could say the same thing if I did anything else as a job.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Smooth, thoughtful, honest.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I grew up listening to the stream-of-consciousness rock bands from the 90s, and I was inspired by the melodies and grooves from the pioneers of neo-soul, rap, and funk. I choose to make music because it allows me to reach other people and let them know that they’re not alone in their feelings and experiences. I’m an empath and music allowed me to heal people without having to meet them in person.
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar and a bit of keys.
Do you ever get nervous?
I’m nervous most of the time haha. Except on stage.
Tell us about your new single “Goddess?”
I wanted to write a straightforward, old fashioned love song. No frills, just simply “I love you, now please love me back.”
What’s the story behind the song?
I was listening to Sam Cooke and Smokey and thought to myself, these guys are coming straight from the heart. No nuanced lyric or deep poetry, and I wanted to try that.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The people I meet and the stories they tell. I love hearing about an individual’s experience, especially an individual from another country and cultural background.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Entrepreneur? That’s a tough one. The Theory of Everything by Hawking.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Don’t go through life wondering “what if?” Go get it, and if you can’t find it, keep looking.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Practice everyday. You don’t realize how easily these gifts can get rusty if you don’t use them.
How would your best friend describe you?
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Hide The Tequila, A Thirsty Man’s Journey. I think it’s pretty self explanatory. Got any tequila?
What’s next for MJ Ultra in the last months of 2022?
I’m getting ready to release the single as you know! I’m also gearing up to head back to Seoul for some shows. I’m super excited for that.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love cucumbers. I’m not sure what kind of nutritional value they have but they seem like they’re pretty healthy.
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
People say I tend to look like a Cuban drug dealer when it comes to my fashion sense. I tend to agree with that sentiment.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Surrounded by my family and friends, swimming in good health and love.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit down with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and pick his brain about what it means to be an artist.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I think I would go to Thailand or Vietnam with my dad or sisters. I think that would be a badass trip.
Best advice ever given?
Stick with it. Perseverance is key to success.
Do you support any charity?
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I feel like I’ll still be making music, writing for some big names, and really hitting new heights with my acting.
Favorite song? Why?
It’s a tie.
Adore by Prince. I think it’s the best love song ever written.
If You See Her Say Hello, by Dylan but the Jeff Buckley version. Never a more heart wrenching illustration of humility than this tune.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s a necessary evil.
Where we can follow you?
Instagram is my go to! @mjultra