Interview: Blake Michael
Fri, 04 Jan 2013 08:22:08
The Beatles Photos
Swedish House Mafia Videos
In addition to shining brightly on the Disney Channel's popular series Dog With a Blog and in the movie Lemonade Mouth, Blake Michael also can light up the turntables with the best of them. Michael's been DJing and making music even more as of late performing at various high-profile events, and he's starting to make a big splash. His infectious charisma and powerful presence transfer over to the music, making him one of the most exciting young DJs on the scene.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Blake Michael talks music and so much more.
Do acting music come from different creative places for you or are they completely separate?
I like to focus all of my energy on either one or the other at a time. In the music, I can definitely put emotion and aspects of acting. They relate in some ways, and they don't in others. I became interested in acting at three-years-old. Even though I wasn't into music as much when I was little, I feel like it's something that's always been inside of me. It's been waiting to be unleashed. When I was seven-years-old, I bought this little business card maker for kids. It had fun ideas for jobs kids could do like mowing lawns, babysitting, or pet-sitting. One of those business card templates was for a DJ. I told my dad, "That would be so cool to do. If I had some equipment, speakers, and lights, and people danced to the music I played, that would be amazing". That launched the making, doing, and creating part of my music career or life. It was a little bit random.
Does music run in the family?
My dad and brother are musically talented. It's something I've been surrounded by. My dad can play just about any instrument. We had a drum set in the basement. He'd play in restaurants with his friends in college.
Do you prefer performing live or creating music in the studio?
As much as I love working in my little studio, I practice all the time. Last year, I think I practiced for an hour every single day. I absolutely love playing in front of a live crowd. I can't even describe how I feel when I'm playing. I just played a show at CityWalk that was so much fun. There were 3,000 people. That's my biggest crowd so far. It was so cool that I could control such a large crowd's energy through the music I was playing. I didn't need to get on the microphone or say a word. It was through the music and my body language I could control such a mass.
What music always sets the audience off?
For 2012, "Gangnam Style" is way up on the top of the list. I have a few remixes of that I do. When I take a song, I'll drop out the instrumental on the chorus and replace it with something totally different like a throwback. For instance, I did "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia, and on the chorus, I dropped out the instrumental and put in "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses. The crowd went crazy. No one was expecting that. The things I do to get the audience to go bonkers are what they would never expect.
Are you working on original material too?
I'm building up my studio and my equipment. I'm getting together with a few people to work on my own music. I've been keeping busy on Dog With A Blog. Now that I've got a break, I can get serious and begin working on new music. I'm really excited about it.
What's been your best show so far?
Either CityWalk or Variety's "Power of Youth".
What artists shaped you?
When I was a kid, I listened to The Beatles and Elton John. My dad listened to that good soulful music. Then, there was Kiss. When I was little, the boy bands like N*SYNC and Green Day were really in. I downloaded a program called DJ when I was filming Lemonade Mouth. I played "Bass Head" by Bassnectar. I thought it would sound cool with another song, so I mixed it up! Now, I absolutely adore deadmau5. I love when Laidback Luke performs. I did Afrojack,'s remixes and originals. I appreciate everything. I love country, blues, folk, jazz, rock, and EDM. Any music that hard work has been put into I find inspiration within.
What's next for you?
Making music is definitely my priority. Nothing excites me more than thinking of what it would be like to perform at a big concert and play one of my own songs and get everyone singing along.
Have you heard Blake Michael DJ?