What inspired this current mixtape project?
This current mixtape (Round Two: The Mixtape) was inspired by the great artists and music I have been hearing while on the road and at home. As you go through it you will hear a lot of beats from people like Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, J Cole. I am actually a big rap fan and critic. So this shift to meaningful rap songs and abstract production is great for inspiration.
What time period was this mixtape recorded during?
I recorded this mixtape between May and June mainly. After the album was wrapped up and fully recorded I started making this mixtape.
What is your vision for this project?
My vision on mixtapes is always to show my diversity as a writer and artist. Also It is really a time for me to stretch out and do whatever it is I want to do. On the track "Inside Job" where I sang over Big Sean's "Beware", I kind of talk about my vision of giving the music back to the people and focusing on the art and expression. As opposed to dollars and cents.
If you were to compare this project with your upcoming album, which one truly represents John Michael?
Honestly, I think both do. I have always been that type of person who is two very different versions to himself. My mixtape is represents the side of me that hate commitment and constantly needs something new. My album is the side of me that has this weird patience and focus when I find something that captures my attention. From the eyes of a stranger, my album would most likely seem to be the best representation as I come off very laid back and smooth. But the more one gets to know me they will see how deep the water gets. When I write I use a lot of allegory and I think my personality matches that.
You’ve been performing all over the country, how would you describe the different regions?
Yes, its been great traveling all over the country. I am a foodie so I a lot of times judge different places by their food. On the west coast you have great Mexican food, down south great BBQ, and the east has great pizza and seafood. The crowds are a lot different too. I notice small things in the type of music people like or the type of live experiences people like. It is very interesting.
What's your wildest experience while on the road?
Hmmm....I'll keep it family friendly lol I think my wildest experience has been traveling to New York for a show with Angie Stone and others then that night heading back to DC then the next day heading back to New York for a show with K-Ci and JoJo or something. I mix up the artists sometimes but it was crazy. I sometimes just think how crazy it is to be doing what i'm doing. It was only a couple years ago that no one knew who I was and I was working a regular job, spending most nights tossing and turning wondering when I would get noticed.
If Sophisticated was a book, how would you describe the beginning, middle and end? What journey will this album take people on?
First off this album will immediatley attract the sophisticated listener. And like any good book, or any good poem, each word or lyric is carefully chosen. I pay attention to detail and I am obsessed with setting and maintaining a mood or feeling. When the album starts out it will be easy to get into the groove of where I am taking you. Songs like "You Got It", "Before This Drink is Done", and "One Last Time" having elegant production matched with a smooth delivery. Then between "Give Me All", "Arrive",and "Secrets", things take a turn for the bedroom. I'm not going to try and get some on the first track haha I'm going to wait and let you get to know me...As the album or book progresses, some songs about real love and relationships come up. It is as if I am chronicling my path through love. On the song "Summer Wind", I stop to think about the simple things in life before taking the reader/listener to the tough times.Things can and will get difficult. Finally I end off with a bright note. "Only Thing Left", which is a song that reminds us that in spite of it all, we have gained something from our trials and tribulations which leads us to a new challenge of marriage.
What other artists and producers assisted you in creating this album?
The producers on this album include people that I have worked with for the past few years in my songwriting and artist endeavors. One of my keys to success I think is I am a good social networker. That entails much more than updating a status or uploading a picture. It involved one on one conversation with people you have never even met or seen before. Producers like Detroit Red, J Rum, Scarecrow, Nine Diamond, Mickey Finggaz, Puzzle, Ty Milla, Best Kept Secret, and Tyler Smith are people I only know because of my relentless effort to branch out and find talented individuals with a common dream and goal. That is very important, considering there are no featured artists. All the songs on this album were written and vocally recorded in my own studio.
What is your favorite song on your album?
Hmmm...tough question....I love all of them. "Arrive" has always been one I loved since I recorded it. I used to write a lot of hooks for different people before I did my solo thing, so I judge hooks very hard. Doing a hook to me is like having sex. Every song has a spot, something it needs to complete it. Some songs have a couple different ways of accomplishing this, but usually regardless of lyric selection each production has a g-spot so to speak. a specific flow or melody that is required and on "Arrive", I feel like i hit it perfectly.
Give us 5 words that describe your album?
Exactly What You've Been Missing
Any upcoming performance dates?
Yes, Sept 7th and 8th I will be performing at the BB Jazz Festival. That's really exciting for me! During September and October I will be doing a lot of special listening parties for the album including Takoma Station in DC on the 29th.
What can your fans expect from you the during the remainder of 2013?
Of course the album coming September 24th, and the music video for "Arrive" is coming any day now. I am really excited about it. I have never been this much involved in any one music video. I feel very proud of what I have seen so far and can't wait for everyone to see the song come to life! and before I go I want to remind all listeners and supporters to utilize their hashtags. if you like a song and tweet me @4johnmichael or post a pic on instagram @officialjohnmichael make sure you use the # so i can look it up and reach out to you