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Mike Posner: 'I’ve only had success when I’m not trying to'

The singer disappeared after Cooler Than Me but six years on, he returns with the global hit I Took a Pill in Ibiza – and a new perspective on fame

After Mike Posner had an inescapable smash in 2010 with his debut single , the 28-year-old Michigan native endured a period of soul-searching, cancelling a follow-up album and dealing with depression. “There was a time when being loaded and loved and popular really mattered a lot to me,” he tells the Guardian on a Friday afternoon from his home in Los Angeles. “I’d say that when I was less popular, I learned to be happy without those things. So now that I guess those things are happening again, it just feels less heavy.”

Posner is of course referring to his current position at the top of the global charts once again. His song I Took a Pill in Ibiza, remixed by Norwegian duo SeeB, has been No 1 in four countries, including the UK, made the top 10 in the US – and annoyed the Ibizan authorities into the bargain. The island’s tourism chief, desperate to rid the island of its raucous reputation, invited Posner to go and explore the museums, beaches and restaurants instead – though in fact the song has a strong anti-drugs message. Hits, says Posner, “don’t happen every year for me, so it’s exciting. I’m pretty blessed.”

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