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He has rocked out in over 25 countries, and writes chart topping hits in cities all around the world. He was named “One To Watch” in 2012 & 2013 by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and is frequently hosted as a featured songwriter at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Cafe.

He is a singer, songwriter and traveler who’s lyrics are shaped by the always-changing world around him. From living in Paris playing guitar on the banks of the Seine in between crepe breaks to two years of international touring through the Caribbean, Baltic, and all over Western Europe, Mike Mentz has gotten a good jump on globetrotting.

He’s a traveling rockstar who is always on the road – this is an interview with Mike Mentz about life as a traveling musician.

What do you love the most about traveling?

I LOVE the unknown. When you’re traveling, every day is even more of an adventure.

Wandering in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Wandering in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

What inspired you to start traveling?

I was lucky as a kid to travel to Ireland a few times, and the wonder of it all stuck with me.

I studied in Nice for a few weeks in high school, then Paris for 6 months in college. After that I couldn’t wait to graduate and travel everywhere I could.

I fell in love with learning through experiencing places and people.

Does traveling inspire your music?

More than anything else. Every one of my songs comes from meeting people, exploring cities, and learning about myself and about the world along the way.

The more I travel, the more sights, sounds, smells, and stories I add to my palette to put into a song.

What is “Travelpop”?

Travelpop is my genre, a one-word explanation of what I do.

It’s songs that come from making a friend 2,000 miles from home or being stranded in an airport for 8 hours or seeing what the sun looks like when it sets over a new ocean or knowing what the air smells like at 12,000 feet.

Songwriting in Santorini, Greece.

Songwriting in Santorini, Greece.

From travel, I make music. Travelpop music.

What’s life like as a traveling musician?

Liberating. Beautiful. Hopeful. Terrifying.

Vibrant. Humbling. Warm. Colorful. And lots more adjectives.

You’re currently rocking gigs all over the world. What have been some of your favorite destinations so far?

Destinations are a lot like beers and James Bond movies; I’ve rarely experienced one I don’t like.

You can check out everywhere I’ve been here, but a few amazing standouts for me include Tallinn (Estonia), Tenerife (Canary Islands), Paris, Aruba, Granada (Spain), Santorini (Greece), and being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (crossed it 3 times by boat).

Do you have the opportunity to actually experience a destination while on tour?

GREAT question, one that I think about a lot. For the past few years, the amount of time I get in each destination has varied wildly…last May I was in Austin, Texas for 13 hours, November 2013 I was in Istanbul for 48 hours, and in October I was in Paris for 8 days.

It’s always nice when I have an extended stay somewhere and can spend all day sitting in a cafe, but I’ve gotten pretty good at making a little time go a long way.

Poetry in Paris.

Poetry in Paris.

It’s amazing how many memories you can make and people you can meet in a short amount of time.

One thing which you don’t like about traveling on tour?

Hands down, the worst part is being away from family and friends for long periods of time.

Add intermittent internet accessibility to the mix, and some days can be a struggle.

Essential music for a road trip playlist?

Michael Jackson, Fountains Of Wayne, Jason Mraz, Virginia Coalition, Oasis, Disney soundtracks, the entire Johnny Mercer songbook, Bob Schneider, Say Anything.

What are some of your favorite songs which will inspire international travel?

Love this question…these are some of my favorites that make me want to travel every time I hear them:

Vince Vaccaro – Costa Rica

Fountains of Wayne – New Routine (I cover this tune from time to time)

My good buddy Tim Stop wrote one called London

Ella Fitzgerald (Cole Porter) – I Love Paris

Jason Mraz – A World With You

Mike Mentz – Cigarette (had to throw in one of mine! Every time I play it I’m at the airport in my mind…)

Biggest cultural shock you have experienced while traveling?

Every time I see American foods I grew up with like Uncle Ben’s rice, Campbell’s soup, Jif peanut butter, and Oreo cookies in the foreign foods aisle of grocery stores around the world it blows my mind.

Three things you can’t travel without?

A guitar, my iPhone (great for recording melodies, writing down lyrics, taking pictures, tuning my guitar, a million other things), and headphones.

Strumming through Istanbul.

Strumming through Istanbul.

Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list?

In no particular order: Buenos Aires, Seoul, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Prague, Croatia, Dubai. At the very top is Thailand, which I’m tackling summer 2015 during a very exciting project I can’t talk about yet…

Why should people travel?

Because perspective is freedom.

Capturing the Acropolis in Athens.

Capturing the Acropolis in Athens.

Where can people find your music/find you on tour?

For music head to my site, and for the price of an e-mail you can get a pretty nice mix of 6 tracks, a few of which you can’t get anywhere else!

Also you can get my latest album Nashville Nights pretty much anywhere music is sold, like here on iTunes.

Mike Mentz is a singer/songwriter/traveler. Take Jason Mraz, Fountains of Wayne, and Jameson 12 Year, put them all in a plane and fly them around the world a few times.

Named “One To Watch” in 2012 & 2013 by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, Mentz is frequently hosted as a featured songwriter at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and his single “Cigarette” rode the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Top 40 Chart in 2014 for 4 months.

He has performed in over 25 countries, and his last 15 recorded songs were written in 12 cities including Chicago, Paris, Cozumel, Helsinki, Dublin, Barcelona, Tallinn, Nashville, and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

With a lot more to see Mike is focused on connecting with fans all over the world and taking his tunes to cities both foreign and familiar. He is currently preparing for a major project in Southeast Asia, schedule for summer of 2015.

Connect with Mike via or on Faceook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram.


  1. I’ve connected with Mike before through Twitter. Great musician! I love how travel inspires his music and I love that he’s putting his talents to use by sharing his global experiences with others. Keep up the great work, Mike!

    • So glad to hear you’ve both connected – he really is a fantastic musician – looking forward to seeing him play in more amazing spots around the world!

  2. Great interview! There’re so many incredible travelers out there, with amazing background – just like Mike! I wish there were more articles about inspiring people like him.

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview Kami! If you ever get bored, we have a whole section in our drop down menu under “Travel Blog” of interviews with inspiring travelers. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Such a fascinating interview to see how Mike combines his passion for travel and music like this!

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview! He’s definitely an inspiring guys!

  4. Wow, what an exciting and vivacious life Mike is living. Fantastic interview :) Nice to meet you, Mike! Keep on rockin’!

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview Alli! It’s definitely awesome to hear about someone living and combining multiple passions! Very rare in our world today!

  5. Awesome interview and great to learn more about Mike! I’m a huge music fan, too – great that he combines both loves of travel and music together! :)

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview Lauren! Hopefully you can catch one of his shows if your paths cross!

  6. Great to combine two passions into one this way! Music totally makes traveling extra special and can bring that certain memory back to life…

    • Definitely! I think there is huge power behind music, and it’s great to see Mike combining his with travel :) I think we could see the emergence of a brand new genre here – love the concept of travel pop!

  7. Very impressive it thanks for sharing this post i read your articles and also try to keep touch with you.

    • You’re welcome Kate, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview :)

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