Interview - Michael Blackwell
Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Michael Blackwell is from Seaham in County Durham, England. Having worked as a touring musician and songwriter for many years, he is now prepared to set out on his own. His music blends traditional singer-songwriter, 90s grunge, 2000s indie, and contemporary alt-pop, drawing on a variety of inspirations. By listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, The Police, and The Beatles on his father's record collection, he was motivated to learn the guitar at an early age. His love for the guitar and songwriting was cemented as he grew to be enamored with several 90s bands and musicians, including Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots.
London-based singer-songwriter Michael Blackwell’s energetic new single ‘Down On Your Luck’ showcases the foundation of his love of music and unmatched talent for fusing captivating instruments with profound lyricism. The indie-rock offering infuses guitar, bass, drums, vibraphone, tambourine, and vocals. It’s an easy-listening tune in that it showcases his soaring vocals with an exceptional earworm production.
We sat down with Michael Blackwell to discuss his music and much more. Here's what he had to say:
Hey Michael Blackwell welcome to FLEX! How are you?
I’m great thanks! Really happy to be putting out new music!
Congratulations on your new single ‘Down On Your Luck’ - what inspired this particular track?
I wrote ‘Down On Your Luck’ at the beginning of the year when I was on tour. I felt my set was missing a song like this and felt inspired to write. I went through a period of feeling like life hadn’t been working out how I had imagined it would, and I was blaming that on other people and making excuses. I realised that I was kidding myself to think that and actually the problem all along was me.
And do you have to be in a certain mood to write?
The inspiration to write can hit me at different times. Sometimes I can work so hard to try and get an idea together but nothing comes. Then other times I can be on a walk or not thinking about music and I come up with an idea straight away.
How was the recording and writing process?
This song developed a lot as I was touring and playing it to a different crowd each night. I recorded it at the Old Church Studios in the North East. It’s a beautiful studio in the middle of the countryside that is really inspiring. I worked with my friend Adam Forster on this one. He played the drums and I played everything else. We also produced it together.
For viewers who don’t know Micheal Blackwell, how would you describe your sound?
Indie rock, singer-songwriter.
And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren't writing or recording in the studio?
I love to travel and explore. I’m a bit of a history nerd, so I spend a lot of time researching the past. I also have a wonderful group of people in my life so I spend as much time with them as I can….. quite often at the pub.