In the five years since he has been out of jail, Michael Doucet has been trying to tell a story. His hope is to inspire young people and he has chosen music to get his message across.
“I sing, I dance, I rap, I do poetry. I do different events and try to motivate kids to do positive things,” said the 37-year-old who, in 2015, spent nine months in prison for drug dealing.
“I started because I saw so much in the community that was negative. I felt that we had some people that could do more than be just confined to their circumstances.
“I took a look at when we were all young kids in primary school and we said when we get older, this is what we want to do.
“Nobody said they want to be incarcerated, or dead before 21. Sometimes people need someone to help them get steered into a different direction.”
He still appreciates the mentors he had while a student at CedarBridge Academy, even though he did not heed their advice.
“One was Carlos Lee, another was [called] Graham. They were personal mentors who came to the school and sat down to talk, but I also had other mentors outside of school who kind of showed me some things, what not to be like.
“I kind of was doing bad as far as with schoolwork. In class I was getting in trouble, getting suspended and stuff, and my mentors helped me to make a change.
“They showed me what my future would be like if I continued on that road that I was on. I got incarcerated, but I did listen to them. I know for a fact that I’m [the type of person that has] to learn on my own.
“So, I was kind of taking people’s advice, but still trying to do my own thing. I need my story to tell. We all have our own road that we have to travel; my road was a little different.”
Once out of jail, he performed at Chewstick’s open-mic nights and put his songs on streaming sites under the name Mike D Man.
“I started before I [went to jail] but I got more deep into it after I came out,” he said. “I felt like I had a story to tell. I used to always try to hear other people’s songs.
“I would use their beats and try and put my own music on it — that was my sport. While other people were playing football, cricket and stuff, I was fooling around with music.”
Then came the offer to perform at various clubs live. Although nervous at first, “a few drinks” from the bar helped.
“People were shouting: ‘Where can I get your music?’ They were cheering for me, shouting my name,” he said.
“So, I’m just recently getting into performing. It’s all been basically free performing, but I’m starting to work with people. I’m going to take it a bit further.
“My name’s getting out there with my music videos and stuff and people are starting to get an idea of what I’m doing.
“I want to use it to help the younger generation in Bermuda to go for their dreams and goals.
“We have kids that look at soccer and they wanna play football; they get interested just from looking.
“The majority of people I know like a little music. If I get to a point where people like me so much ... there’s always that one person who wants to be like you.
“Music is another avenue. I’m starting to figure out how it works so I can teach someone as well.”
In the meantime, he is a truck driver for Bermuda General Agency Ltd and delivers for Four Star at night.
The extra hours are necessary as he works to establish his brand, Ice Cream & Cake.
“Basically, I have hats and shirts with my logo on them,” he said. “The hats are in Sports Locker across from KFC and are also available from me direct.”
• Contact Mike D Man on Instagram and Facebook: only_1_doucet. Follow his music on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and other streaming platforms