BANNERS, a.k.a. Mike Nelson, may very well be the perfect artist to add to your playlist for your morning/evening commute or your cool down at the gym. His musical style is a blend of electronic, pop and alternative rock. Often considered a mix between Imagine Dragons and Coldplay, his songs are mellow and perfect to listen to after a busy day.

Singer/Songwriter Mike Nelson was born and raised in Liverpool, England. After singing in cathedrals and halls across Europe, he decided to work on his own material. He originally started out under the name RAINES, but later changed it to BANNERS.

Nelson is headed for a big year with the release of his self-titled EP on Jan. 16 and a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Jan. 28. His songs Start A Riot and Shine A Light are steadily making their way up the charts, and music buffs should keep an eye on his success.

In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Nelson describes his track Shine A Light to be about “feeling lost at sea and desperately searching for a beacon of light.” The song makes you feel as if you are caught in a storm, getting hit from all angles, and hopelessly searching for someone to come to your rescue. He makes it come to life through his cinematic lyrics, echoes in the background and his heavy use of drums. Nelson can turn a piano ballad into a stadium anthem.

I have had my share of hardships, like most everyone else, and that is why I feel like his music is so relatable. Songs like Shine A Light send out a positive message that everyone, especially college students, should hear. While you may be struggling or being faced by tough challenges, you have to keep fighting — there is always someone that you can turn to.

A personal favorite from his EP is Back When We Had Nothing. From my own experience, it takes me back to a point when I was having to build myself back up and the journey of getting to the point in my life where I am today. I also really like the message behind this song – it is a great reminder not to be so materialistic. Material things go away, but the memories and friendships that I make along the way are irreplaceable.

College is where you make so many unforgettable memories and, while at times it gets stressful, I think it really is important to enjoy life along the way. BANNERS will remind you of what’s important in life with calm but heavy lyrics and music.

Listen to BANNERS live in Louisville July 16 during Forecastle Festival, an indie summer festival fronted by better known and critically-acclaimed artists Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers and Gary Clark Jr.