Michael Campbell aka ‘Mikey’ hails from the beautiful central parish of Clarendon in Jamaica. Like the great historical figures and music icons who came from humble beginnings and unknown communities, Michael also came from the small obscure community of Mocho. But like a bright star, he has risen and shined from the shadows of his community.
Michael started singing at the age of six (6). He would entertain his community with his singing by performing in the streets and at various community events. Michael recall people would pay him for his performances, and put money in his pockets as he sang on the streets of his community. His mother was very protective of his talent at that age and she would admonish others not to “take my little boy for poppy-show”. Michael says that the main influence in the development of his passion for music was his older brother, Donovan Thompson aka ‘Don-T’. Donovan introduced him to the acoustic guitar and even taught him how to play. Currently, Donovan resides in Miami and is one of the members of a band name Visions that plays on a regular basis in the South Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.
Michael eventually moved from his close knit community to the city of Kingston. A studio producer by the name of ‘Blacka’ heard his voice on a cassette recording and invited him to his studio to complete studio work. Lloyd Evans was the executive producer of that studio, albeit Michael was working with ‘Blacka’. For Michael, this was his first time experiencing studio work, and he worked tirelessly to produce his first album which came out in 1985.
His stage name at that time was ‘Mickey-C’. His two (2) singles entitled ‘Accepted Time’ and ‘Troubled Time’ were played often on the renowned BarryG radio show. ‘Blacka’ Marwell is the brother of the famous DJ, Nicodemus. Sadly, both are now deceased. He continued working with ‘Blacka’, and all was well until there came a ‘drought’ in music promotions and music events. Nothing was happening. At that time, Castro Brown entered the Jamaican music scene from England, and Michael was selected from a group of singers who were auditioning to sing on Castro’s album. With this exposure, Michael was able to share studio with the likes of Dennis Brown, Maxi Priest and Barrington Levy. During this time, he was also able to ‘rub shoulders’ with the great producers of all times, Sly and Robi.
Michael decided to migrate to the USA in 1990 and he left the Jamaican music scene. However, music was his life and everywhere he went music was in his heart and soul; so Michael continued to pursue his music career. While residing in the city of New York, he was motivated by his passion for music and he was determined to never give up, but to continue to strive for the seemingly unattainable. His life is guided by the mantra ‘never give up on your dreams’.
He left New York in 2002 and moved to Georgia, where he currently resides. He met Studio Max Records and together they have created a remarkable album entitled: ‘NO ILLUSION’ which is his most recent work. His new stage name ‘Xodus’ which simply means ‘journey’, was penned on this new album. He explained that ‘Xodus’ encapsulate his travels through life, and is a fitting description of the ‘journey’ of his experiences in his lifetime.
He thoroughly enjoyed working on this album as he says the producer Hugh Campbell “pushed me beyond my limits in my voice range”, and he was delighted to know that he had a range in music that he had never known before. He is excited about this project and believes that this is his best work yet. His favorite songs that he considers to be lyrically profound are ‘Talking Talking’ and ‘Father You Alone’. Michael wrote the latter song and it is one of his favorites because the lyrics are very personal and close to his heart. He explained that the message of the album was speaking to politicians, leaders and also speaks to the foundation of a solid positive society. This solid society is formed when ‘everyone takes responsibility for their actions’. He believes that this is an album that speaks not only to his beloved country of Jamaica, but to the world at large.
Michael enjoys making music, love to watch sports and loves swimming. He obtains his greatest satisfaction while working in a studio making music. He loves to be in the studio and will be in the studio for hours-if you allow him!
His greatest inspiration is his family but most of all, his son who happens to be his ‘biggest fan’.
Michael currently works as a Bus Operator at Marta Transportation in the Atlanta area. His passengers know him as the ‘Singing Bus Driver…Gone Viral’, because of his singing abilities.
As Michael says “God is in everything that I do musically and otherwise” and he would have it no other way.