Michelle Owen is a singer-songwriter from Toronto in Canada and is our latest StarNow competition winner. We were absolutely delighted when she agreed to complete a feature artist interview for Song Revelation so that Michelle could share with you her experience and interests as well as showcase her talent. Read the full interview below to discover, amongst other things, which modern day artists she would love to gig with, how she creates her unique style of music and what she’s hoping to achieve in the future.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Music from the heart, I play and make music because I love it, if others love it too that is a bonus!
Q: What is your musical background?
I took piano lessons from about 5 years old and followed that up until I was 18. I use the piano as the base for writing all my music. I sang in school choirs throughout middle school and high school, and played the trumpet in Jazz band up until Grade 12. Guitar is my favorite instrument, however I don’t know how to play it and would never learn because I admire those who do too much and would rather listen. I would love to learn to play the drums.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
It was an insightful year. 2010 was when I began my first album and spent half the year in the studio creating it, so it was a very enjoyable experience. I learned a lot more about myself and what I like in music and what I don’t like. I met a lot of people within the industry and learned a lot from that. I’m working on a new album this summer and my experiences from 2010 will definitely influence the growth in my music. I’ve learned I like a more simple sound and want to bring my music back to its roots; the heart of the music.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I don’t really look up to specific people to be inspired, it usually just happens in the moment. If I see someone perform live, or I hear a song I get inspired in that moment from their music abilities. However, I do love Annie Lennox, the Red Hot Chili Pepper, Led Zeppelin and Adele.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I recently have fallen in love with The Pretty Reckless. Their stuff is a lot different from mine but I love everything about them. Their music rocks and they do it because they love it and don’t care what other people think. I’m also a huge fan of Eminem, he’s awesome. He’s been doing his thing for so long and is still on top making sick music. Musically though, Adele is who I look up to the most. I think just because I can relate to her and we have similar sounds. She is truly amazing and so is her music.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Kings of Leon, Aloe Blacc, Eminem, Boy & Bear, Adele, Justin Nozuka, I would be honored to work or play with any one of them.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Lots of songs, haha I have so many songs. I have stuff ranging from Led Zeppelin to Aqua. Mostly I would say a lot of Rock, old and modern. I like Hip Hop a lot too though, so there’s a lot of that and some Pop. I don’t really have a specific genre to my iPod, if I like something I’ll get it, and I can say I have bought every song that is on my iPod.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I don’t really have a process, I kind of just write. Usually I’ll be busy doing something else and a song or an idea will come into my head and I’ll scribble it down and from there I’ll either write the whole song or come back to every so often. Sometimes I’ll get inspired from experiences and write lyrics and hear what the song should sound like from the lyrics.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I would say both are equal. These days, most would probably say melody, something quick and catchy to get stuck in people’s heads and then throw some lyrics that are easy to sing on top of that. I think it’s important that the lyrics and melody complement each other. Good lyrics show depth in a writer and a good melody shows knowledge musically, so if you can get both right you’re going to have a good song.
Q: Where are you based?
I lived in Toronto this year for school, but just moved back home, so now I’m just outside of Toronto (Oakville). I perform mostly in that area. I love Toronto.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Oakville is definitely not a place you go to get big, but it’s a good town. It’s in good distance of places which are nice to perform and meet people. I recently just found the studio I am going to record some new music in Oakville and I love it, I would never have thought that I would find something like it, but it’s perfect for me.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I am currently finishing up some writing for some new songs that I’m going to go and record. I’m really excited about it and am interested to see the growth in my music. I’m looking forward to be a lot more involved in the whole process and just get back to the heart of my music and make it very real and natural.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I played a show in Toronto a couple months ago and it was amazing. It wasn’t a big show but a lot of my friends were there and the crowd was awesome. It just felt so good to share my passion and love for music with everyone and get a good response. It was awesome.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I really just want to take things slowly and see where my music takes me. I’ve learned a lot about the industry and myself and what I want from it. I have these new songs I’m working on and am excited to get in the studio, and just keep writing because that’s what I love. I would really like to start writing for other people or seeing if others are interested in using some of my songs in their career. That would make me insanely happy.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I playing a show June 14th in Toronto at Grace O’ Malleys, but I’m focusing on other things for now.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I love to just hangout with friends and talk. I love just talking and listening to people talk, it relaxes me, and laugh of course. I laugh at a lot, and being around people that I love I am always laughing.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I just finished my first music video for “Rise Up” so I’m very excited to see how that turns out.
Editor’s Note: Michelle combines her amazing voice with creative songwriting and great production to give a professional, personal yet commercial sound. 2011 could be a breakout year for Michelle. Watch this space.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Michelle Owen, just follow the links below:
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Michelle/152184098152335
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/michelle-owen
web page link: http://www.michelleowenmusic.com
Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/user/michelleowenmusic