Q&A with Folk/Rock singer
Delving into this massive dark abyss that is the music industry with a new independent project can result in a plethora of outcomes.
While in most cases the artist continuously struggles especially in the first few years as they begin to circumnavigate blindfolded with no real ‘textbook’ way of how it will consume your music and eventually spit you out the other end. For this next artist (and not without struggles I’m sure) ‘Michael Burrows’ has already found some solace in his debut single release ‘Please Don’t Cry’, making headway with his gripping storytelling and sultry voice.
Michael first off I want to say how much we love this track.
How important is it for you to write something that has a connection with people or is it just accidental?
Thank you very much. I think every songwriter wants to connect to someone, somewhere. I have a big print-out that’s stuck on the wall in my (powder room) work space at home, with the following statement (I believe it’s by Neil Finn), and I always refer to it when I get lost. It always seems to bring my conscious back to the task at hand:
“I like to picture him in a room in a time and a place. I think if this is happening in this time and place, and this person is feeling something and it’s a series of thoughts or impressions that they have, then it makes me feel something”.
I feel like music for me, has always been a soundtrack to the ebbs and flows, ups and downs, of my life. I feel like that mission also drives me as a writer and I can only hope that my songs also find a place within other peoples’ life experiences. I was recently playing a gig in Nashville where I recorded this EP, and I noticed a couple looking at each other during a particular song in that way you do after a stupid fight. They hugged during a particularly obvious chorus lyric, and I felt like I helped them through that moment. That’s really the power of music and the power of a song. If I could do that every day, I’d be a happy man!
‘Please Don’t Cry’ is a really interesting tune because it’s almost as if you have heard it before and because of that I think it allows the listener to easily accept it. I’m interested in the writing process and how you went by recording this song in particular?
I was going through a Buddy Holly phase and wanted to try and write a breakup song that told a story, centred around simple imagery, with a strong chorus. I was writing in the early hours of the morning when everyone was asleep, so the original demo had a softer, almost drunk tone. I got the opportunity to record that song with my hero Neil Finn, in his NZ studio. The opportunity was via the charity (Medicine Mondial), that Neil is involved with. Neil also sang on that version which, as you can only imagine for me, was a stratospheric experience; I still haven’t landed on earth. When your hero sings on your song, it’s beyond validating. I haven’t yet released that version just because I didn’t want to ever appear taking advantage of his generosity … but maybe one day …
The current released version was recorded in Nashville, working with Grammy Award winning songwriter Frank Myers (I Swear) and Jimmy Nichols, who have worked with everyone. Steve Marcantonio mixed the EP, and he’s worked with John Lennon and Taylor Swift, so I knew the song was in very good hands.
I’m really proud of this single. It always makes me smile. I love playing it and get such a thrill when I hear it on the radio.
We have heard on the grapevine that you are already getting some great feedback from people and radio in Australia which is great. Is there an aim for Michael Burrows over the next year or so?
I’m so appreciative of the support I have had on this journey and the song has been picked up by a heap of great radio networks from ABC to KIXX, Grant Broadcasters and Flow FM. I’ve also had people telling me they hear it in Coles while they are shopping, so the song is getting a real opportunity to be heard and find an audience.
Last year was such a whirlwind: recording with a cast of incredible musicians at the famous Ocean Way Studios, finally bringing this collection of songs to life and meeting up with Larry Grimes, who is the American Executive Producer of the EP, and the guy who made it all possible. He is currently working with me on the US market. So, 2018 has been all about getting everything together, promoting and releasing the tracks off Turn This Love Around and being totally available to go with the flow of opportunity.
You look and sound as if you have been in the industry for quite a while now so I am curious to know what inspired you to head in the direction you’re going in and who has inspired you to do what you are doing?
I’ve always been writing songs since I can remember. I’ve got piles of notebooks and folders filled with unrecorded and half-finished ideas. I played on and off in my twenties and started to get somewhere and then I lost confidence, broke up the band and pretended not to care. The best part of that period was setting up my musical alter ego in Brand Music where I’ve written hundreds of jingles. It’s essentially a home to put every chorus I’ve never used, and I get to hear my songs on radio every day.
My wife had a near death experience during the birth of our second son, and I guess it shifted my gears into high speed. I realised that life is indeed short and got tired of hearing my own excuses. I’m not a spiritual, man but I believe there’s a force that follows you around and it throws opportunities at you. The trick is, you have to be ready to accept them and step out of your comfort zone.
Within months of deciding to get cracking, I got that opportunity to record with Neil Finn and then go on tour with another hero, Martha Wainwright. I posted a random video from one of those shows and that’s how I met Larry Grimes, who encouraged me to work towards the US recording. Suddenly, I’m co-writing with Grammy recipients and making an EP in Nashville!
And one last question before we go, did you have any gigs, online live gigs etc coming up and where can we find your music?
I’m active on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and have been known to pop up live when the moment takes me. The first single ‘Please Don’t Cry’ is available on all the digital platforms and most shows will be announced on the website.
Follow MICHAEL BURROWS
AMNPLIFY – DB
My nickname is “The Amnplifier”. Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes that people come here for. My day to day “work” is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences.
Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some “wisdom” from my regular and constant “observations”.
Amnplify your experience. That is what we want you to do here, and if you want to let me know why you do, or don’t, shoot me a message on Facebook.
Hope you enjoy yourself here and find something that hits you somewhere.