Artist Interview: Michael Egleton
Tell us about yourself and your music
I would first like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the readers of this little look into my music world and also thank John over at Artist PR for affording me this great opportunity to share. I am Michael Egleton, a Blues, Soul and Jazz artist from Akron, Ohio. I am a fresh new, soulful sound with an old flare, innovative techniques, and style. My music is simple yet mature. Nothing too complicated. A straight to the point vibe, that’s refreshing in today’s music. I have developed what is now, my “signature sound” which has been described as Gospel, Blues, Soul, and Jazz all rolled up into one with the raw emotion of a classic Soul crooner. This makes me unique and one of a kind.
I began my musical at the age of 7 years old by my teenage years I began playing and composing Gospel music for local artists and churches. As a matter of fact, when not performing you’ll find me sitting on the Hammond Organ at my church. The church is the main stay in my life. It grounds me. Throughout the years my passion for music has broadened to include various genres such as Jazz, Blues, R&B and Soul. Originally from Barberton, Ohio, I now reside in Akron, Ohio and make my music home in Atlanta, GA, commuting to and from as time permits during the year.
Some of my musical influences are, Donnie Hathaway, David Ruffin, Michael Henderson, Bobby Blue Bland, Teddy Pendergrass, Lenny Williams, DJ Rodger, and Billy Paul, to name a few. The life stories of Mr. Steve Harvey and Mr. Charlie Wilson has greatly influenced my musical journey. Their paths to success have made an intense impression on me and my journey for success.
I have released 3 independent projects. My most recent, That’s Alright The Rewind has received many great music reviews and much has being written about this project. My award winning, independent project, A Look Into My Heart, afforded me quite a bit notoriety and attention while going on to win three awards and two nomination. I have won the Ohio Music Awards, Adult Contemporary, The Top 25 Most Listen To Artists for 2014 with the “It’s All Soul To Me” radio program with its host the late Mr. Simon Darke in the UK, a 2016 Akedemia Music Award, Adult Contemporary, and two nominations, 2014 and 2016, with the IMA Music Awards. A Look Into My Heart has been written about all over the world in online news sources and has even been featured in a CNN News i-report, CBS, ABC, NBC, BBC, and the Newswire. That’s Alright The Rewind is now enjoying the same attention. Baby Baby Baby was one of my first independent releases and was my doorway into finding my musical personality. I currently have begun work on another independent release, In The Q with two songs released from this project, Situations and Love Song while yet enjoying the success of songs from That’s Alright The Rewind and A Look Into My Heart. That’s Alright The Rewind and A Look Into My Heart are a main stay in the top of music charts for the Akron, Cleveland, Ohio and also the regional areas in the Blues, Soul and Jazz genres. I have maintained this status with many online music mediums also.
All of my life experiences and lessons shape me as a musician and are reflected in my music. I am presently signed with the award winning and BET nominated Blue-Artists Branding and Marketing Group in Baltimore, MD. My long play EPK, produced by the award winning movie director, Pierre Walters, has garnered much attention. It is my hope to make the name Michael Egleton a name quickly becoming noticed for my music abilities and hopes to be among those recognized music greats one day. Presently I am an independent artist. Being an independent artist can be a learning experince. The great thing about it is that if one takes the time to learn it’s a quick way to learn the industry from top to bottom. I have not ruled out labels if one would have me but the love of music drives my passions. The touching of people in their souls, reaching places in the hearts and minds where only music can go, changing a life for the better with song is the engine of my music. Provoking thought about any issue that may arise is what it’s all about for me. I have been Blessed to work with some great producers who have taken time to direct and teach me the finer qualities of music creation.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release out now is That’s Alright The Remix. Songs to this project are playing on the radio in many places around the world. The moving soul hit which will for sure become a classic, Behind These Walls featuring the great Bob Estelle on sax who has played with the mighty Temptations and many others, sends chills down your spine. Behind These Walls is a moving song about the emotions and feeling one may experience during the stormy times of a relationship that has lost its flame. Then the carry over that occurs when one transfers all of this baggage to a new relationship, penalizing the new interest for the sins of the past relationship. This song is produced by Wes McCraw, Creekside Audio, Norton, OH and Samuel Haygood, N-DA-Groove Productions, Atlanta, GA. for the new independent project from Michael Egleton, That’s Alright “The Rewind”, produced by Wes McCraw and Samuel Haygood with associate producers, Mr K.T. Beats ( Mr Kevin Taylor Jr) of KT Got Beats, Atlanta, GA and Mr Dereck Gelespie, Gee Funk Productions, Akron, OH.
One writer wrote This music starts with the keyboard playing a simple melody than the light string ensemble section and orchestra horns delivering that sultry music experience that they can do. Mr. Bob Esterle glides in with a few sax licks that pave the way for what’s to come. Mr. Michael Egleton delivers the mail with intense emotion in singing the lyrics for this song that describes what may be going through the mind of someone, male or female, as they ponder their situation. The background voices are just heavenly as they ask the question of the day, What’s going on behind these walls…. What’s going on if someone new should call and want to start a fresh beginning. What exactly is one getting into a new start with someone new?
The song builds up to a powerful ending making a musical statement as everything comes together at the intersection of song, instrument, and emotion. Behind These Walls is sure to deliver once it’s exposed to the hearts and minds of the listeners. It evokes emotions as it deals with real life matters of the heart that many of us have found ourselves experiencing. Questions we may ask ourselves and the answers we may receive. I invite you to try the Behind These Walls experience.
My latest single Situations is fast becoming another Soul stirring classic. It a song about real life in a real relationship. At times a relationship can get tenuous, things are said in the heat of the moment that are not really meant. We look for a get away. One magazine writer described it perfectly, “..Love on the rocks, drenched in nostalgia… Michael Egleton’s “Situations” hearkens back to soul’s golden age with flair. This track traipses the edge of consciousness in a haze of anguish. Michael Egleton sings with the raw emotion of classic soul crooners – telling his tale of woe over an elegantly sparse arrangement. “Jumped in my car, went to the bar…” A dim lit bar room creaks as you enter. The gloom is cold welcome. Warmth is a shot glass. Gin’s no tonic for what ails you. ..Thoughts war within – threatening to escape to reality; transform into actions. Her eyes come back into view and you stand – dropping change on the bar before returning home. “It’s just a situation.” Egleton harnesses a lot of classic soul influence in “Situations.” Old and new converge. The spoken word segment feels like a Boyz II Men hat tilt, though they weren’t alone in such tendencies. Regardless, it helps carry the plaintive story and fits well in the song.” Need I say more? These are just a few of the songs that are available now for your enjoyment. I am yet working on my new independent project, In The Q which has really been a labor of love. I’ve been working on this project over a year and a half. I thought at first I would whistle through this project. I write music when it hits me. I work fast as to not forget any aspect of what I’m receiving music wise. Then it’s time to lay tracks. Not so with this project. In my mind as God would have it, there was a life experience that had to happen to me. A transformation so to say. Six months into the project, life turned upside down for me. I experienced great pain and losses with the loss of a younger brother and a day later the murder of my baby sister by her lover. The way he killed her and left her face down in the snow in the middle of the street was just destroying to my heart. It was bad enough for me to have lost my brother I loved a day before. Then there was the loss of her son, my nephew three months later who just gave up on life. He loved his mother that much! Wow! Following that some months later the loss of my father and another close family member. There were other losses. My financial losses were also great at this time. Marital problems were not far behind. My wife had serious fears for me. She had never seen me this way and really didn’t know how to deal with it. Music just wasn’t on my mind. I went into a very dark place. Yes, I am not ashamed to say I thought about ending it all. I had made up my mind to never do music again. I was in a very dark. Days turned into months just sitting by my back door, cigarette and coffee in hand, in an old house coat and PJ’s in a blank stare. What was sleep? Didn’t get much of that. I couldn’t. I was in a Situation. Then one night it was one of my own songs that woke me up and led me to the light, Hold On To A Song. https://www.reverbnation.com/michaelegleton/song/22530443-hold-on-to-a-song. It was music that reached a place words of comfort couldn’t. When I did go back to finishing In The Q, it was from another place. In The Q will deal with social issues, life, relationship, love and more. As I do on all my projects , I try to have a little for all music lovers. One day I’ll dabble in my Rock side. lol
What inspired you to write this release?
My inspiration for writing Situations was my relationship tensions between my wife and me at one time. Through our almost 40 years of marriage, there would be times when we just didn’t see eye to eye. Arguments would ensue and sometimes they would be bad and things would be said that weren’t really meant just as the song description says. I though about it and asked myself how many other relationships experience these ebbs and flows? I sat down with my pen and paper and began to write. Once done writing and editing I had my story to share. Now it was time for the music and just all came together. I wanted to be as simple as possible. Instrumentation would be kept to a minimum as to not over power the story I was telling. I wanted to describe exactly how things may go most times in a relationship. The question at the end of the song was for one to think, who’s bed would they end up in by morning time.
Describe the writing and recording process
My writing and recording process is fairly simple. After the inception of the song I may be working on, I go through an editing process with my lyrics. This may take days or even months because I am one who waits for the song to come to me. I don’t try to force anything. Song ideas may come from watching other relationships or even my own. My life experiences. I write a lot of music that deals with relationship. I also watch other surroundings to draw ideas from. Once the song comes to me and I finish the lyrics, it’s time for the music. Yes, sometimes the music comes first but in each instance, I take my time. My object is to affect the listener. Move on their inner being. Provide options. Tell my story and my outcomes and experiences.
Once the tracks are done on my home studio they are shipped to which ever producer I’m working with. I love Wes McCraw at Creekside Audio in Norton, Ohio and Samuel Haygood at N-DA-Groove Productions in Atlanta, GA. Sam has worked with such greats as The Goodie Mob, The Braxton’s and many more. Wes is in Nashville all the time performing, attending seminars and has produced commercials, worked on TV sound tracks and so much more. He’s also yet a performing musician as to Sam. It’s like they are in my head. Once they massage the music and we sit down with it, it’s like magic. What I also love about these two guys is that they don’t try to make the song their song. Change it until what I submitted is lost. They work hard to keep the original concept in their interpretation of my music. I love working with other artist and musicians also. I invite their flavor to the mix. Just like I was given an opportunity I give them an opportunity in features in my music. Once the producers are done it’s time to get it to those who may need it.
Any plans to release a video?
I have been asked this question about a number of the songs I have out at the moment. Situation, Behind These Walls featuring Bob Esterle, and a few others. I’ve even talked to people on the street who have heard the music and asked if I could do a video to the particular song. There is also another song coming on In The Q call Again which while probably enter in in the Pop, Alternative or may be even Country genres that music reviews have already asked about will there be a video to it. There is music to this project that the raw tracks were submitted to a select few for review and the reviews were outstanding! This select group of bloggers and music reviewers were really into what I had to offer. As finances permit, remember I’m an INDEPENDETN artist, I would be happy to do a video. A video producer would have a great time creating material for these song. The emotion could really be captured for the right video producer. It’s just finances and a quality professional holding things up. I’m always open for suggestions and backers! lol
Any plans to hit the road?
2019 has a lot of plans in the works. I have a new autobiography coming out early this year, Slow and Steady Set’s the Bass, The life and Times of Michael Egleton. My co-writer and soon to be, Dr. Constance Quigley and I are finishing things up as I write. The new independent project, In The Q will be coming out and also there are plans to go right back into the studio on another independent project I’ll be working on. We are now setting a schedule of play dates. I would like to go on tour with someone or just myself. I also plan to do some music festivals for this year and who knows make a few TV appearances if they come to me. You have to keep up at www.michaelegletonmusic.com or WWW.MICHAELEGLETON.COM to know what’s going on and what’s to come. I have a big catchers mit out!
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
As an indie artist, I brand myself by the first words of my bio which are, I am Michael Egleton, a Blues, Soul and Jazz artist from Akron, Ohio. I am a fresh new, soulful sound with an old flare, innovative techniques, and style. My music is simple yet mature. Nothing too complicated. A straight to the point vibe, that’s refreshing in today’s music. I have developed what is now, my “signature sound” which has been described as Gospel, Blues, Soul, and Jazz all rolled up into one with the raw emotion of a classic Soul crooner. This makes me unique and one of a kind. This is who I am. Through the great work of my branding company, Blue-Artists everything else is shaped. The rule K.I.S.S. really applies when it comes to me and my music. It doesn’t take a lot to get one’s point across.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I’m always listening to music. All kinds. Lately, I’ve been on this Cheryl Crow kick. Why? Because my song Again will put one in the mind of her as they listen. Of course I’m always listening to my main stays, Gospel, Soul, Jazz, and Blues. There are some great young artists out there and they are hungry too!
Who are your biggest influences?
Some of my biggest musical influences are my grandfather, Bishop David Egleton, Donnie Hathaway, David Ruffin, Michael Henderson, Bobby Blue Bland, Teddy Pendergrass, Lenny Williams, DJ Rodger, and Billy Paul, to name a few. The life stories of Mr. Steve Harvey and Mr. Charlie Wilson has greatly influenced my musical journey. Their paths to success have made an intense impression on me and my journey for success.
I love Donny Hathaway. Many have said my music style and sound reminds them of him. As I did more research on him I found that our musical pasts are very similar. My mother was also a pianist and organist that was over the music department of my grandfather’s church, leading songs in the choir as a young boy was also what I did, are interest in the piano were at about the same time it just crazy how similar are lives were. Other names mentioned that I am compared to are Michael Henderson, The great David Ruffin, Bobby Blue Bland, Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass. I don’t know if it’s because of who I am or that they have such a great influence over my life. It comes out in every song.
As for my life and inspiration, it has to be the life stories of Charlie Wilson and Steve Harvey. They are the tapped my of not staying down when you fall. They never gave up on their own dreams in the face of adversity. They believed in themselves when no one else did. When I hear negative talk about me and what I’m trying to achieve I just think on them two.
Tell us about your passions
What gets me out of bed in the morning is family. The family is very important to me. I have two wonderful children, 6 super grand children and a wife of almost 40 years that I can’t do without. We grew up together. We were 19 when we were married. So as you can see, I have a lot of life experience to write about when it comes to music. Then there is connecting with the people. The fans and supporters. I’m not one to sit on the social pages all day but when I do I try to make it count. They are important to me. The feed back keeps me going. Then there is the music. Getting with the boys in the band. The background singers and the great thing about us are we aren’t stranger passing in the night. I have known these people for years.
I have other hobbies. I love fast cars, motorcycles, sports… I also like to read from time to time. My church is important to me. Giving back. Helping the hungry and less fortunate. Working in my church keeps me grounded. Church saved my life! I’ve met some great people through my association with the church. They have imparted a lot of wisdom in me that is coming to fruition at this time in my life.
What else is happening next in your world?
The next stage for Michael Egleton is to keep growing as a human being, to keep making a positive contribution to society. To help where I can. To make music that changes the lives of the listeners for the better. My grandfather played the piano clean up until he died in his 90’s. I plan to do the same if God gives me grace. I didn’t talk about him much in this interview but I love him still. Even though he’s gone it’s like he’s still here with me in my ears giving me sound advice like a soft wind in the spring time. This is the man who raised me. He is my reason for doing music. I emulated everything he did and one of those things was music. I miss you, Daddy. I love you so.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Michael
Connect with Michael Egleton
Website: http://www.michaelegletonmusic.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.egletonTwitter: https://twitter.com/MichaelEgletonReverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/michaelegletonSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/megleton7-gmail-comYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/user/megleton100