If there is a modern folk-pop artist who has seen the harsh side of life, then Michael Lane is it. An ex-US soldier sent to Afghanistan and Iraq, Michael was forced to live with cruelty. Now he uses music to spread feelings of positivity and well-being. We had a chance to chat with this German-American musician about his new single ‘Take It Slow’, remaining motivated and much more!
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
I always knew I wanted to be a musician. Entering the music biz was just part of the package. It’s a very dynamic workspace with many challenges and things to look out for, but, in the end, it was the best decision I ever made.
What can you tell us about your release ‘Take It Slow’?
The title of the song says it all. Take it slow, don’t go through life in a rush missing all the beauty that hides between the lines. It’s something I myself struggled with for a long time. It’s also the first single where I’m intentionally trying to engage a wider audience with a more upbeat electronic sound. Despite that, the message is still the most important part of the song.
What was the recording and writing process like?
This was another new one for me because usually, I would produce music without a reference or idea from other music. In this case, I was inspired by a song I used as a reference point and source of inspiration. I used to be against this sort of thing, but honestly, it’s the best way to work.
Does the single have any significant meaning for you?
For sure! I mean, if an artist is releasing a single with no personal meaning then there is definitely something wrong. To me, this single means a lot, more specifically, something that’s been working in me for quite some time. It has an important message that affects everyone’s lives in some way. This single will always be a light shining through some of my more sad, melancholic songs.
What do you hope people take from your music?
A good feeling and atmosphere. The message of the music can always work subconsciously, but the sound should make people want to relax in some way. If I can help people relax at the end of a stressful day or create some sort of atmosphere that helps people calm down, then I’ve already achieved my purpose in life.
What is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
It depends. Sometimes it’s the melody, sometimes the lyrics. It depends on the song really. I guess the most important thing though is to have a vision. If you have a vision or idea for the song, the rest comes naturally.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Since I’ve been doing music full-time, I’ve realised that the more work I put in, the more I get out. This is definitely the biggest motivation. Listening to music that I grew up with is another big motivational factor. It inspires me to always stay original and create something unique.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s always in some way melancholic without being too sad, but I guess that’s for the listener to decide. I love using lots of reverb. I know it sometimes can muddy the mix, but it’s a space where my soul can fly around and I feel at home.
I also use other artists music as a point of reference or inspiration for my sound. Sometimes it’s just little details; sometimes it’s just the way they mixed something. There’s so much to do creatively to explore new sounds.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
YouTube, playlists or your old man’s vinyl collection. There are many ways to discover new music, sometimes just turning on the radio will do the trick. I’ve discovered new music just by talking to people.
What does the future hold for you?
Because I got into the music business kind of late, I’m sure there’s still a lot in store for me. I have a feeling that all the hard work will pay off one way or another. The most important thing for me in sight of the future is to have a vision. To know what I want and envision it in every detail.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Please feel free to explore my music. I have produced four albums already, all with their own unique sound and story. I also love hearing from my listeners, so if you have any thoughts please share them with me. It’s always great to know what the listener wants more of and the emotional support is always priceless.