The fight for inclusivity has been an ongoing battle for many years. And although society has become more open and accepting in recent years, there is still a long way to go before genuine inclusivity and equality can be achieved. One champion for this cause is GeoMike122, a new artist who inspires others through his music.
GeoMike122, born Michael Ciolino, is a multicultural, non-binary, gay musician based in New Jersey. They are an elementary school teacher and an active member of their community. GeoMike122 is also the co-chair of the Fair Lawn Green Team, where they promote more sustainable lifestyle choices to all members of the community.
Growing up as a gay teenager was not easy for GeoMike122. While attending Lawn Fair High School, they were faced with bullying from their peers. “My experiences in school were mostly positive. And I still have amazing friends who I have known since middle school and high school,” they said, “However, I also experienced being bullied by other students. Aside from this, I also encountered some family problems and personal issues, which meant that my teenage years were not entirely smooth sailing,” they added.
Even when their early years in Fair Lawn were not completely happy, GeoMike122 has always felt a connection to their home. After graduating from university, they went back to their hometown to teach and serve the community. “Motivating and inspiring people has always been part of who I am as a person. Just because I had bad experiences growing up does not mean I cannot foster a more supportive environment for the younger generation,” the Lawn Fair native said.
Recently, this teacher and community leader turned to music to inspire others to be better people. GeoMike122 has taken insights from their multicultural background and lessons from their teenage years and a broader, more mature perspective and poured them into their songs.
Their first single, “Whimsical,” discusses how GeoMike122 is gaining self-confidence. The song also talks about how the artist does not let distractions and haters get to their head. “The song is about staying authentic to who you are. Of course, not everyone will agree with the lifestyle I lead. But I do my best not to let their comments get the best of me. At the end of the day, I am expressing myself through art and hopefully help others who have had the same experiences I had,” the artist shared.
Soon after the release of that first single, GeoMike122 released its Spanish remix called “Caprichosx.” While both songs have similar trap beats, the remix version adds more flutes and is more inviting to dance too.
Following the success of these two songs, GeoMike122 released their latest single, “Abyss,” in April. This track hits on more difficult personal experiences as it delves into the artist’s struggles with mental health. “I was diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. These all affected how I lived my life, and I wanted to communicate that through this song,” they said. Aside from discussing mental health, the song also explores the artist’s perspectives on the ebb and flow of creativity.
GeoMike122 lives as a multi-faceted person, and they embrace and stay true to who they are in everything they do. Although they faced discrimination growing up, GeoMike122 did not let the negativity snuff out their flame. Instead, they have worked towards inspiring other people to achieve more. “My music is an extension and an expression of who I am. I hope that my songs reach people’s hearts and minds and help them feel less alone.”
GeoMike122 hopes their music inspires others to live authentically. Their songs can be found on YouTube and Spotify. To get to know the artist better and receive more updates, you may follow them on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Watch GeoMike122’s live performance of “Whimsical” on YouTube.