Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?
Bobby “Blue” Bland, George Benson, Michael Henderson, Donny Hathaway, Johnny Gill are just a few of the names that come to mind when you hear the music of Michael Egleton. Whether you’re in the mood to dance or for love the R & B, jazzy and sultry blends of piano and orchestra sounds sprinkled with raspy vocals takes you there with every song.
Today my keyboard is how I interprets life and allow my feelings to flow from the heart. My mature sound can be attributed to my childhood and being raised by my grandfather, a fiery Gospel preacher from the south and former " Honkie Tonk" musician himself during the 30's and 40's playing in the juke joints around Chicago and New York. I began my musical career by playing and composing Gospel music for local artists and churches. Throughout the years my passion for music has broaden to include various genres such as Jazz, R&B and Soul.
I'm a fresh, new sound with an old flare and innovative techniques and style. This is the best description of Michael Egleton music. It's simple yet mature, nothing too complicated, a straight to the point sound that's refreshing to today's music. Many of My musical influences include the legendary DJ Rodgers, Billy Paul, Johny Taylor, Teddy Pentergrass, Barry White, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, The Clark Sisters, George Duke, Michael Henderson, Michael Henderson, Donnie Hathaway, George Haynes of St. Louis and Barry White, Al Greene to name a few.
Originally from Barberton, Ohio, I currently reside in Akron, Ohio. Akron which is well-known for producing several high profile artists during modern and past times. My aspiration is to add my name to that list one day. I have released three independent albums Baby, Baby, Baby, my ward winning, A Look Into My Heart, which also received an Ohio Music Award along with others and current independent album titled, That's Alright the Rewind. I also released one album with the Tate Music Group, (TMG) record label named, That’s Alright-I. My new independent and anticipated offering, "In The Q", will be produced by my bread and butter main stays, Wes McCraw of Creekside Audio, Norton, Ohio and Samuel Haygood, N-DA-Groove Productions, Atlanta, GA, with other associate producers joining these gifted men. All of my life experiences and lessons shaping me as a musician and are reflected in my music. Eager to experience success on the next level, I am seeking to make my mark in the music industry with each try.
How would you describe your style and genre?
As I stated before, I'm a fresh, new sound with an old flare and innovative techniques and style is the best description of my sound. It is simple yet mature, nothing too complicated, a straight to the point sound. that many writers music reviewers and fans have said and is different and refreshing to hear in the music of today. I believe in the saying, K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Stupid! I'm not trying to be a " Wonder" or this deep, complicated musician full of complicated music. I'm just trying to tell my story in song where it will change the life of someone for the better. Just to express to someone that may be giving up that your not alone. I believe simple music doesn't over power the message. I don't ever want my music to over power my message. This is who I am musically and as a person. I live my music and message everyday.
Who are your biggest idols ever? Dead or alive, musician or non-musician.
There have been so many greats in music and many more are yet making music today. Being that I'm considered an Adult Contemporary Artist, this should give yo a hint about what and who I like. One is Ms Tracy Chapman, who I was told by my father is family, I LOVE Nora Jones and Cheryl Crow. They are perfect examples of simplicity in a song. Then we get to the music of yesterday that really described the times like the song from Edwin Starr, "War" done during the Vietnam era of which I was a part of. Janice Joplin, the great Jimmie Hendrix, Otis Redding, "Sitting by the Dock of the Bay" Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, "Tears of A Clown" and many more great hits that spoke to the emotions from them. I also loved the Emotions too! lol Barry White and his orchestral arrangement still blow my mind every time I hear them. They have a great affect on me when I make string arrangements, The soaring and moving voice of Ms Deniece Williams, The Tower of Power Horns are the most sampled and emulated horn section around! Because they are Baaaad! Then there's Mr. " I know you want to leave me but I refuse to let you go"' David Ruffin and the Temptations. They had so many hits that had super instrumentation and arrangements. Teddy Pendergrass would cause a problem with ladies every time he came out on stage because he knew how to sing to their thoughts, situation and emotions. George Duke, Bootsy Collins, The Funkadelics,… Aretha Franklin, There are many more names I could mention that has an effect on my music but I save one for last. Why? Because it's who everyone says I sound like and who's life was so much like mine. I started as very young boy leading songs in church choir and playing instruments. My mother was also a piano player. I had opportunity to go on to school or music, I didn't go but it was offered to me. Then there are life adversities. He had his own unique set and I have had mine. His style of playing the keys and chord structures are very similar to what I play. You can hear the church upbringing throughout his music. Mind You I didn't research this man until I heard my mother singing the praise of him and his music. Remember she too was a pianist. I had to become and adult in my 30's to understand him. his music and what really moved my Mom about his music. This is non other than the late, great Mr Donny Hathaway. I still listen and read up on him. It's like a thirst that can't be quenched with me know as much as I can about him. Each song he's was giving of himself. Peeling off another layer for people to explore. He told different chapters in real time of what he was experiencing and feeling.I just watch old video's of him and listen to his music until I can "feel an understanding." My dude, Mr. Donny Hathaway.
What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?
I think the biggest mistake I made was believing that everyone in music was as sincere, honest and serious as I was about making music. There are ALOT of opportunist and just plain crooks in this business. I understand the term, "Sharks" first hand. The next would be not having learned the business side of the industry first!!! With time having past now and gaining more knowledge and experience, I believe it would have been less expensive and I would have gotten more for my music dollar had I known what I know now. Things like finding the proper producer for your music. Networking with others. It's very easy to believe you can do it all yourself but you quickly learn no one man or woman is an island. Quality, the need for mastering your music and the difference this makes. Presentation and what makes people take you serious about your craft. How to prepare to have your music for radio. The importance of interviews and music reviews. Well placed info like. searching for the best opportunities. Paying attention to even the smallest details. The importance of choosing band members who have bought into your dream and what your trying to achieve. I could just go on an on but I believe you get the picture. The advice I would give to a new artist would be to first learn the other side of the business. The many different aspects of the business side. There's much more to the music industry than just making music. That's the easy part. Understand why you do what you are doing. Why do you want to make music? What kind of music do you want to make? Are you willing to sacrifice for the love of music or will it just be a hobby? There are a lot of questions you must answer about yourself. How will you finance your craft? What kind of artist will you be? What genre of music will you play? See what I mean! You must develop a plan. This will be your business as well as your way of life and provide food on your table. Last but not least, BE READY! Opportunity knocks at the most inopportune times! If your ready no time is an opportune time! These are just a few bits of information I can think of off the top of my head. I could write a book if I were to sit down and get into it. Always be willing to share.and offer help. I'm always willing to give information and point someone in the right direction. Why? Someone took time to help me.
How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?
Gigs can really be found right under you nose many times! Usually within a close radius of your home especially if your a music city like one of the music hubs like Atlanta, Nashville, Cali, New York, ect…. But, if your like most of us and are not fortunate enough to live in an industry city, the hope is to not only be lucky enough to find a gig but to also make a living at it. I can't say enough about networking. Going out to other artists, talking to the people, owners and even the band performing. Something going on outside your city doesn't guarantee something inside your city. The competition can be a little steep in a city with limited places to play. It would be nice to play for free but remember you have to eat if this is your work. I watch want ad opportunities sometimes, canvas clubs, cold call venues to see if they have an open date available. usually it's an off night to get my foot in the door. Remember, your an independent artist. You don't have a big label doing all the grunt work! Word of mouth is the fastest advertisement and if your good, it will spread and other venue owners will show interest.I know we sometimes think our music is great and we believe that when we ask to play at a venue they will readily say yes. That's not always a reality. Open mic nights are also a way to get your name out. I did a few myself. If nothing else you;ll have made friends. It's a good place to find band members also. Usually somebody knows somebody looking for some live entertainment a these venues. It can also be a great place to audition for a venue owner. then there are festivals and traveling outside of your area. I'm always scouting the net for opportunities that are bigger and better. Festivals usually a way to build your fan base. sell your items and cd's. Grow a think skin!!! You'll hear NO a 100 times before you get a maybe! It doesn't mean your not good, your just not what they're looking for right now. Quitters never win and winners never quit!
What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
When your an independent artist you always have needs in many varieties and as we know, money makes the world go around. I believe challenges changes with your musical growth and experience. Also where you are in your musical career. At this time in my career I have found that project financing and sponsorship has been a hard hurdle for me to overcome.As I mentioned before I've completed three (3) independent projects and am now in the studio with my fourth independent project. I've found that as quality has increased, so has cost. If you want your work on a level to compete with the bigger artist and have a realistic chance at making radio, it has to be a certain standard and quality. This costs money. We haven't even gotten to releasing the project. I'm yet learning to overcome these challenges. Finding where the money is. Crowd funding is not always the answer. I've tried crowd funding three (3) times and have been unsuccessful all three tries. So financing for me usually comes by personal funds, concerts, sales of my wares at outings and playing gigs helping others. Securing funding is yet a work in progress. I'm always looking and accepting though. You must explore all avenues.
How do you promote yourself? Do you have any specific promotion tips for other musicians?
Presently I allow my branding team to handle much of my marketing duties. I'm presently signed with the Blue-Artists Branding Group in Baltimore, Maryland. This is an award winning outfit that is involved in many areas of marketing an entertainment .I also take advantage of other opportunities with great sources such as Muzic Notez Music Magazine which also has a marketing aspect aside from the music magazine. Then there is my business manager, Ms Kim Giles at Beyond One Entertainment, in Florida and I also work with Ms Jaqueline Jaxx at A.V.A. Entertainment also in Florida. These are friends I was Blessed to meet some years ago and have maintained a relationship with over the years. Others like Ms LaShaun Turner at Urban Stars Media in Los Angles, CA., Ms Chantel Atkins at the Rhythmic Lounge Magazine that also does advertising and marketing for me and many more.You maintain these relationship, nurture and treat them right, it can lead to other relationships. Through these sources and many others, I try to always keep something fresh and inform them when things are going on. I also take advantage of area sources with posters when I'm doing a show, Talking with my local new outlets and news papers. Everything I've mentioned has been low budget for me.. I try to maintain my web presence through social media and feeds on my web site and music pages. I enlist the help of others to share and spread the word through my social media pages. My tip for others is once again, network!
We meet again in one year. What has happened?
In one year I hope to have finished my new independent project, "In the Q', finished my book,and explored other avenues in entertainment like acting or something else in the music world.Hopefully I'll have grown as an artist and this being reflected in my music. Hopefully I'll have learned more about myself through my music.