From living in a car with his mother and siblings to becoming a single parent himself, Las Vegas-based hip-hop artist Mike Xavier has had his shares of ups and downs. Through it all, he’s remained positive and hopeful—traits passed down to him from his mother. He credits her for being his guiding light, molding himself after her as a parent.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we asked the artist to share the inspiration behind his song “Mama” from his Resilience EP.
My mother, Sonia, has always been a big inspiration in my life. She’s brave, strong and has a big heart. Over the years I’ve watched my mother raise four children as a single parent and learned countless valuable lessons.
One of the most impactful lessons she taught me was to love unconditionally and always be there for the people I care about most. No matter the situation or what she was going through at the time, she never once failed to show her love for my siblings and I.
The amount of resilience my mother displayed during the hard times was incredible. There was a time when my mom, my sister, brother and I all lived in a tiny studio apartment in downtown Los Angeles. She would say things like “it’s small, but it’s our place” and “we’re here, we’re together and doing better than before.” She would remind us to be grateful for what we had and always find the positive in any situation.
It’s these moments that I reflected on when writing “Mama.” “To see you be so strong gives me strength to carry on,” is a line that was inspired by her strong will. She’s never let the setbacks in life keep us from moving forward.
For many years I was a single father to my son, Jaylyn Thai. Because of that, I understand what my mother went through. I know what it feels like to have to do it all on your own with no one to turn to for help. With that comes a lot of sacrifice and putting others’ needs ahead of my own—another lesson imparted by my mother. I rap “even if you didn’t have it, you would give a dollar” because of my mother’s selflessness. I teach my son the same values my mother taught me so he can grow up to be a good person and learn to appreciate life.
With “Mama,” I wanted to let my mother know how much she’s influenced my life, how she’s raised me and how much I love her. She means the world to me and is the reason I’m the man that I am today. I also wanted to make a record for all the amazing mothers out there to let them know that we as sons and daughters appreciate them.
Happy Mother’s Day, to my mama and yours.