"I'm a country boy from Missouri who moved out to LA. I've seen both sides of the spectrum," reflected up-and-coming R&B artist Al'Michael when he sat down with BFTV for a recent interview. Celebrating the fresh release of his new single "Fire To Myself," he told us what drives him as he's creating a fresh and soulful sound that you'll fall in love with.
"My mom said if you're not going to go to college, you better dedicate yourself to something. And I was like, you know what, I love music with all my heart, and I thought about it for a day and I decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life," he explained. So he packed up and headed west to Los Angeles, where he's already dropped two singles on the way toward an EP he hopes to release in January.
He describes himself as "a soul pop singer," adding that his music isn't just about a catchy sound. "I have songs that are [like] radio hits and they all have meaning behind them. You can identify [with] them through the whole world," he continued. "I think it's time for somebody to come back and really bring back great albums."
But what makes Al'Michael that somebody? Part of it is the earnestness in his sound - you can almost feel the connection he's trying to make with the audience. Then there's his diverse musical taste; he's a fan of everyone from The Beatles to Randy Travis to 2 Chainz. He's been exposed to a wide range of different sounds and styles.
A major quality in his favor is that he's not just a vocalist; he's willing to do whatever he has to in order to succeed. "I'm not the best at everything, but I bring something of everything," he commented. "Singing is of course my strong point, but I dance a little, I play instruments. I write all my own songs. I'm completely involved hands-on in all my projects."
And for every track Al'Michael lays down, he digs deep to find it. "My creative vibe is I like to do a lot of it alone. I'm one of those people that, when I go into the process, I just think things out quietly. I have to start by myself," he explained. "It's all about vibe for me. It has to be the right mood. I'm not one of those guys that's like 'I'm going to write a song today.' Most of my music is about life that I see every day."
It's Al'Michael's ultimate goal that his music then finds its way into the everyday of other people's lives. "What I'm really hoping for is, I just want them to feel how real this is and how much it means to me. I'm not just a guy trying to say things that rhyme," he told us. "I'm someone who's really trying to bring a movement to this world. I am this person that's really going to be for the people."
You can catch Al'Michael live this Friday, November 8 at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in Los Angeles and download his new single "Fire To Myself" on iTunes now. You can also find out more about him by visiting his official website (almichaelmusic.com) and following him on Twitter (@thealmichael),