theaussieword.com catches up with Michaela May.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music? From a very young age, I just remember loving how music made me feel. I remember listening to all my parents records: Michael Jackson, ABBA, Motown, Earth Wind and Fire etc. I listened on repeat for months on end, learning every word, dancing around my living room and bedroom, putting on shows for family, singing with my mum in car. I felt so happy when I was was listening to music. I also saw music bring people together and lift moods instantly and I loved that music was so powerful and universal. It is the ultimate communicator. Fast forward about 20 years and here we are!
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? I think I just want to connect with people on a very real level. I’m motivated by connecting with others. If I can connect with even just 1 person through my music, that’s enough for me. As a songwriter, I want to express and capture how I feel in that moment but I also want to make people feel something and relate to my music when they listen to it. There is nothing better than listening to your favourite song that instantly lifts your mood after you have had a crap day! As far as influences, I’m always listening to all the great songwriters out there and learning from them. In pop music specifically, I look to Sia, Gaga, Bruno Mars, Taylor and Coldplay – they are incredible songwriters and artists.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? I would like to be an international recording artist, touring worldwide and performing as many places as possible! There is nothing better than performing live. But I’d also really like to continue to write for other artists as well. I have written for other pop acts in the past and I really enjoy the creative process of stepping into someone else’s shoes.
Success, what is the secret to it? Well…I’m learning all the time, but I think in music success is based around hard work and perseverance. In life, I think the secret to success is finding whatever makes you happy, choosing to be happy and living in the moment. Everyone has issues and things that happen in life, but being happy is a choice.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far? Releasing “1954”. I’m so attached to that song for many reasons, but to know that it is also impacting others is completely amazing.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? Madonna, Gaga, Sia, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Adele, Taylor Swift and Tori Kelly.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Touring internationally and taking my show to as many places that will have me!
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? Great question, it has changed so much and it continues to evolve rapidly. The best thing about the way the industry is now is that independent acts really have an opportunity to shine. We have such incredible platforms at our finger tips to build a fan base and promote our music – social media, 3rd party music platforms, digital music stores, music bloggers etc. Before the internet, artists/songwriters/musicians couldn’t reach the masses like we can. I also really like the ability to connect with fans and music lovers via social media. However, I do think that the art of songwriting has been completely devalued by the industry and streaming. Songwriters have been badly hit by music streaming models. Writing great songs is not easy and songwriters need to be compensated fairly. Radio still delivers some good compensation but how many songwriters are actually lucky enough for that to happen? So the majority now have to rely on streaming income, which is very poor . I’m actually really worried about when streaming hits the car industry, I think people will choose to stream music while in the car and listen to the radio less and less….then what?
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Sia is my favourite, she is the most incredible talent! I also love Kylie as well (who doesn’t!) I also just heard of a girl called Grace who has an amazing voice, I love her Dirty Harry song, it’s such a vibe!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? I’m releasing a couple more singles from the EP before it comes out, which I’m really excited about. I really hope a tour is on the horizon, I guess that will all depend on the demand!
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music? I think the best way to describe to my music is empowering, feel-good pop. I really try and write from a place to inspire and provoke thought. I also love to make happy pop songs; ones that make people feel good – great melodies, beautiful production. I guess this is where my early influences start to show – ABBA & Michael Jackson had the most incredible melodic choices and abilities.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? Yes! I’m currently writing the next EP. The debut EP will be out in a few months but the next one is already under way! I also think I will be touring Canada and parts of the U.S towards the end of year as well.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Thanks so much, great questions! Live life to the fullest and choose to be happy 🙂 Michaela xoxo