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Mike Posner Tells Timeflies How Kanye West Motivated Him [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

The Collaboration Room embraces artists looking back at how they made it big and highlighting key moments in their careers. Every successful musician experiences both highs and lows over the course of his profession, and our Collaboration Room contributors are no exception. In this episode, Mike Posner sat down with Timeflies to discuss how he took a moment of criticism and used it to motivate himself to improve.

It’s always difficult to work really hard on something, only to receive negative feedback about it. In Mike’s case, a song he worked on with Big Sean was panned by Kanye West.

“I look back at this one moment that could have been a turning point, but it really wasn’t,” Mike explained to Cal Shapiro and Rob “Rez” Resnick of Timeflies. “Big Sean was playing music for Kanye and I was waiting in the lounge for him and he played one of my songs with Kanye, song called ‘Who Knows’ that we had done together. I produced and sang the hook. I’m like, ‘So did you like the song?’ [Kanye]‘s like ‘Not really.’ He wasn’t being disrespectful, just honest. He’s like, ‘Maybe it could be for Lupe [Fiasco]. It’s not for Sean.’”

Some artists might have taken the criticism to heart, but Mike took the feedback and used it to inspire himself to work harder. And as for his feelings toward Kanye? The singer explained he didn’t hold the rapper’s opinion against him.

“I rode the elevator down with him and I didn’t have to make the decision to be motivated in that moment,” Mike continued, adding, “I couldn’t wait to get out of the elevator and make more music. I loved the guy. I’m a fan of him. It didn’t make me not like him, it made me want to impress him, you know? And do better.”

Although Mike referred to the incident as something that “could have been a turning point,” it was clearly a defining moment in his career. As it turns out, years later his hard work paid off — big time! The singer recalled seeing Kanye again at the MTV EMAs, as well as the massive compliment the rapper paid him.

“Two years later I saw him at the EMAs in Madrid and he remembered … ‘Oh, Mike Posner. I really like some of your music,’” Mike said.  ”I go, ‘You don’t know how much that means to me.’”

Talk about taking constructive criticism and turning it into something really, really positive! Even when an artist isn’t directly working with someone, that person’s feedback still contributes to the collaboration process. As Mike described, not only did it affect his current project with Big Sean, it affected his work in the years to come!

Watch Mike Posner discuss this career-changing moment with Timeflies (and subsequent run-in with Kanye West) in the video above.

Plus: Watch Mike Posner + Timeflies Perform ‘Amy’ in The Collaboration Room

Mike Posner + Timeflies Recall Memorable Onstage Moments

NEXT: Colbie Caillat + Shane Harper in the Collaboration Room

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