Presenting to you today an interview with Carmel, CA based singer-songwriter Michael Persall. I featured him on the site a couple of weeks back, and noted him for his superb and realistic songwriting style that is refreshing and one that really cuts to the core and essence of who Michael is as a person, inside and out. He was nice enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to do a little interview to talk about how he got interested in music in the first place, and his hopes for his upcoming debut album. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give your name and what instruments you regularly play?
Michael Persall: Guitar and Piano
What is the earliest memory you can recall of listening to music at a young age?
"If You're Going to San Francisco," by Scott McKenzie, and "Kingston Town" by UB40. My dad used to play those two all the time when I was younger.
What artists did you listen to when you were younger that still resonate strongly with you today?
Jack Johnson was someone that I listened to a lot growing up and I still love his music. It's always just so simple but has such a strong effect on the listener.
When was the moment you realized that music would become a cruical part of your life?
When I was 16 I started spending a lot more time writing down lyrics and messing around with Garageband. I didn't really have any sense of direction but that was the point that really got me started with my own material.
Take us behind the making of your song "Stance" and what the song is about?
"Stance" is about owning up to your mistakes, apologizing, and trying to win someone back. The song started off as a ballad when I first wrote it but when I took it to production, we added a really fun baseline and recorded some claps and stomps and it just gave it more of an upbeat feel.
What was it like to record your debut release, "This & That" and the experiences you encountered along the way, challenging or not?
It was great really. These songs are really personal, so it's nice to be able to take the songs and share them with everyone.The whole process of recording the songs and producing them was great too. I met a lot of cool people, learned a lot about myself as an artist and what my strengths and weaknesses are, and I kind of discovered what direction I want to take my music career in.
What contemporary artists do you frequently get compared to and what can you take from those artists and apply it to your musical persona?
I get James Morrison, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, and Paolo Nutini pretty often. All of them are singer-songwriters who have a soulful aspect to their voices, so I think that's why people compare. I think their ability to take their songs and make them appealing to a mainstream audience is something I can learn from.
Besides music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I'm a big sports fan, so I love watching football and I love playing basketball.
What's on deck for you coming down the road, any shows forthcoming in the Boston area perhaps?
I'm going to be doing a lot of writing for future projects by myself and with others. I'll gig a lot more in New York to promote the EP, and then come winter/spring I'll be on track for the next release! I'll definitely hit Boston in the summer.
Lastly, where does music rank in terms of importance in your life today?
It's my career and what I'm most passionate about, so It's my main priority.
Thanks once again to Michael for being so awesome in taking some time out to do this interview! Michael is an exceptional talent who has a very unique way of putting songs in perspective that really gives us an introspective look into his soul and what his mindset is when crafting these songs in the studio. For more on Michael Persall, 'Like' him on Facebook here and follow his adventures on Twitter over here as well.