Mike Maytin is a native of Florida. He grew up on the beaches of south Fl surfing, skateboarding, fishing, and snorkeling.
His love for music and the arts began at a very young age, as he was making sellable art work as early as the third grade.(pottery)
Mike was also exposed to early forms of music through the listening of his mother who often listened to the oldies radio and Mike eagerly listened along.
In his early years he was influenced by the cassette music collection of his older sister of five years, Melanie. She had a wide variety of tapes like
The Police, Ub40, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Men At Work, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and Steve Miller, to name a few. At this time Mike began his early days of following reggae music, especially the roots of music. Also having a close childhood friend, who was born in Jamaica, and whose family lived in Florida as well as an advocate in the history of reggae music. Together they would explore this genre to the deepest depths, further than their wildest dreams, making the culture, lifestyle, and music a perminate fixture in their lives. Then while away at high school in New Hampshire, Mike began meeting people there were fans of a band called The Grateful Dead. While making professional grade pottery with this select group of students, he took an interest in their music collections. A very, very loyal and devoted bunch. He started to really notice the love of not just the music of this band but every aspect that went along with it. The music, lyrics, song meanings, band members(particularly Jerry Garcia) and so on. Some of them had up to 500 tapes of recorded live shows. He had never seen anything like this before. He had never seen people that went to multiple concerts of the same band and also that the band never repeated the same songs. Every show was truly different. Although Mike had learned about this music scene quickly at school it wasn't until he returned to south Florida in 1993 and began to start seeing The Grateful Dead in concert. It took one show and Mike was making his plans to go on a full tour. And did so. This would change his life as he knew it, forever. Through this band Mike came to know many different artists and the history of their music. He also learned many details of American folklore. Mike met people, saw many shows, and experienced things many people will never get to know. During this time, he found a new love for the arts in glassblowing. Almost as fast as he was becoming consumed by the band, he was consumed by this art. In 1996, shortly after the death of Jerry Garcia, Mike packed up his things and moved over 3500 miles away from home to learn this ancient trade of glassblowing. He spent 2 years in Oregon learning from the best glassblowers of this kind, anywhere in the country. Once making and selling his art work consistently, he brought his talent and back to Florida and began a lucrative business. Mike has been making handmade fine art pieces in south Florida for the past decade and still makes custom art work today. Also, Having the benefit of his own controlled work schedule, he was able to spend a great deal of time mastering the waves and waters of Florida. Sometimes driving hundreds of miles just to be able to ride a wave. After paying great attention to his preceders, he has followed the weather patterns of the south coast for over 20 years making himself a seasoned veteran in the water.
Mike has been heard saying that "without surfing and music I could not function."
Then, it happened.
Mike bought his first acoustic guitar in 2004. He quickly became overwhelmed with enthusiasm about playing. He would sit in front of his computer for hours studying music and song lyrics. Eventually this led to Mike printing hundreds of songs and making them into homemade song books. He would play and play with his number one fan, his dog, listening at his feet. This would eventually become the focal point of his song writing. Mikeï¿½s life long friend, Kharma, his pitbull. She suffered from cancer in 2007 and passed one year later. This was very traumatic on Mike as this would be the last dog from his family to pass. Having had a long line of ï¿½familyï¿½ dogs, as he called them, had come to a sad end. This did not stop him, though. It slowed him down a lot at first and a little forever. Then it became fuel for the musical writing force that was about to unfold. Mike kept practicing the songs he had been studying, but was also writing and composing songs early on in his career. Many of his songs are written about sadness and loss and others about lifeï¿½s experiences. But ask him, and he will tell you, ï¿½a sad song is usually a good songï¿½.
He practiced these songs for some months until one day it came to him. He was able to sing and play, at the same time. From there he learned another. Then another. He was quickly able to entertain groups of people. Sometimes at his house and sometimes he would wait until 5am, when a bar he frequented closed, and play for the employees as they cleaned and closed. Many of them he did not know all that well so this helped him practice playing in front of people early on who would be criticing him. To his delight most the feed back was positive.
This really boosted his confidence and took him to the next level of learning well over 100 songs by heart. Since then he has gone on to write and compose many of his own original stories. Now only a couple years later Mike has played many venues in south Florida including Boardriders Cantina, The Boca Muse, Hard Rock Casino and various charity events in the area. Mike currently plays many of the local bars in the area and has made a small cult following for himself made up of music lovers, surfers, deadheads, activists, photographers, musicians and artists alike.
Mike's ability to play soothing yet powerful music, while at the same time being able to tell stories in song is a treat in itself to watch. As he was taught, every show is different and no show is the same. Sometimes going months without repeating the same song. Mike holds these songs close to his heart. And his soul conveys them with a conviction, that when witnessed, make one feel like he has actually had these experiences he is talking about.
And some he has.