By Dani Kowalczyk
The very young but very acclaimed singer/songwriter, and recent NYU graduate, Michael Persall has been featured on Baeble Music, Surviving The Golden Age, Performer Magazine, and PopDose for his belting pipes. And after touring the states, playing 400 shows, Michael will debut his sophomore album, 400 to the masses, this coming Fall. Inspired by the likes of The Beach Boys, Elvis, and even Otis Redding, Michael promises “more energy and fun to music, especially as a male solo artist”. His first installation of the anticipated EP is his single “The Move.” I was most intrigued with his outlook, his past/first album, coupled with his new single. I began to wonder, really, what Michael Persall wanted from music, what he wanted to offer, and what he learned from it all…so far, anyway.
Tell us at Black on the Canvas, what was your goal for your Sophomore album, 400?
Michael Persall: I want people to hear it and get to know me. It’s a cool exploration into a lot of my influences growing up so I want it to just serve as an introduction for me and the music I’m going to make moving forward.
A calling card, essentially…you’ve got one calling card – that’s for damn sure!
What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned as a musician coming from This & That to 400?
Michael Persall: I’ve learned to focus on yourself rather than trying to recreate whatever is popular. Nobody can do you better than you can yourself. So that’s the way I try to think now.
Many of the influences and inspirations you cite had to face significant adversity…what arguably made their sound relevant but soulful. Can we expect any social, political, or personal anguish or adversity from 400?
Michael Persall: I think the challenges those artists faced are pretty different than what artists today face. The music on this EP isn’t really politically or socially geared, it all kind of revolves around my own experiences just growing up, dealing with relationships, and trying to be a better guy.
Well, that’s certainly more relatable, thus more marketable…but is there any reflection of “the times” or our generation in your lyrics…maybe even production?
Michael Persall: I think this biggest challenge is getting heard and seen in an over saturated market. Developing an organic following to the point where it’s profitable and then more appealing for people to jump behind and back up. Also a lot of people are socially influenced and look for validation in the media when it comes to music so creating a product that is unique and true to you can be difficult when there’s a certain mold or trends that people follow that are easier to write about or sell to consumers.
Is there any advice you would offer to aspiring musicians, something you wish you had been told?
Michael Persall: Just play out every day and write every day. Anyone can practice in their room but it’s different when you’re interacting with people, learning what works and what doesn’t and getting a sense of how to adjust whenever the mood in a room changes.
Your single “The Move” is a playful ballad in its own right, a Doo-Wop to dance, we love it! Is this the tune of things to expect from the rest of your EP?
Michael Persall: Glad to hear! Thanks…yea the EP has a lot of those influences in it so the Motown and Doo-Wop sound is definitely present throughout.
What is the/your most important meal of the day?
Michael Persall: Pretty into breakfast at all hours.