Arts and Entertainment

Silverdale producer calls out Hollywood with new series 'Nu Americas'

Mike Barnet on a recent shoot at Ish Vintage Clothing in downtown Bremerton. - Bill Mickelson/staff photo
Mike Barnet on a recent shoot at Ish Vintage Clothing in downtown Bremerton.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/staff photo

1994 CKHS grad Mike Barnet brings inspiring local stories to cable access and the world wide web.

Long before he was ever a television producer, Mike Barnet was a musician.

“A singer-songwriter,” said the 1994 Central Kitsap High School graduate. “Soft stuff ... mostly acoustic.”

With that sound, he broke out around 2005, releasing a few fairly well-received albums on his own label, which landed a distribution deal through Sony.

Then, on his next record — the possibly prophetically titled “Bourgeois Backlash” — Barnet evolved into more of an experimental/electronic vibe which, he said, wasn’t so well-received.

“I don’t want to say ‘electronica,’ but definitely dabbling in just weird sounds,” the artist explained over a shot of espresso especial last week at the Global Bean in Silverdale. “But I didn’t get a good reception for it, and that really made me freeze up ... I haven’t played an instrument since.”

In the meantime, however, he would go on to change careers and land a job through a friend on MTV Italy where he’d learn the ropes as a TV producer and begin to develop his forward-thinking view of new media and meaningful advertising.

Fast forward about four years, up to two weeks ago, when one of Barnet’s songs from the infamous electronica-tinged album was featured on “Melrose Place.” The New York Post hailed it “one of the best songs on television” for that week.

“But it’s like, you know what?” Barnet fumed. “This sucks. It’s fake. The song’s like four years old. I’d poured my heart and soul into it, and when the album came out, nobody liked it. And now, four years later, it’s cool?

“All that to say: What do you really know, Hollywood?” the former MTV Italy producer asserted. “Why should we look to you for an example of what’s cool? Instead, look in your own community. Find inspiration from that. Find purpose in that.”

Having recently returned to his hometown of Silverdale, Barnet’s now got his own show — evoked, inspired by and featuring local culture — called “Nü Americas.”

It airs this fall on Bremerton Kitsap Access Television and 24/7 online at

“There’s so many really, really great things that are going on here,” Barnet prefaced the show’s intent. “Maybe from growing up here and then coming back, I don’t think maybe everyone who lives here, necessarily, appreciates it. We get such a bad rap with “What, Bremerton?” But I feel like I can kind of be an eye to say, ‘No Look!’ There are great things going on right here... so let’s enjoy it.”

CATCH NU AMERICAS anytime online at www.nuamericas.net and also at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on Bremerton Kitsap Cable Access Television, Comcast Channel 12, Wave Cable Channel 3. Info: www.bkat.org, www.nuamericas.net.

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