Michelle O Faith is a talented rising singer, songwriter and producer carving her own sound that throws pop’s rulebook out the window. Recently releasing her latest EP ‘Birthday Blues’ her confident unique voice and engagingly creative lyrics are paired with such dynamic production you find yourself hooked as soon as you press play. Read on to learn more about the mind behind the music of Michelle O Faith.
Hi Michelle! How would you best describe your sound for someone who has never heard your music?
I would describe my sound as anthemic, orchestral, tribal Pop.
Do you have any musical inspirations that helped you to find your voice as a singer?
My number one inspiration is Michael Jackson – that’s who inspired me to want to perform, and start making music.
In regards to finding my voice, I wouldn’t say that anyone helped me find my voice, as such. I sang along to a lot of Mariah Carey when I was younger, Destiny’s Child, artists like that. So, I suppose I would have turned out with a very much Pop/R&B vocal sound if I hadn’t then, aged 11, been awarded a scholarship to study Classical Voice at Blackheath Conservatoire. I learned for 10 years, and went right up to Grade 8. As time progressed, that Classical training seeped into my Pop vocal more and more, coalescing in the sound you hear, today.
So, I would say, a combination of the Pop acts to whom I grew up listening and mimicking, alongside the Classical training I then partook in throughout my adolescence and teen years, is what has informed my sound, vocally. And, the more I wrote my own stuff – (as opposed to only/mostly singing songs of those artists I loved) – and thus developed my own sound, musically, the more I developed my specific sound as a vocalist, and the meeting of the Classical training with the more traditional Pop sound became audible.
It’s great to see women in the industry being appreciated. What has being awarded the Women Make Music award from the PRS for Music Foundation meant to you?
Being awarded the Women Make Music Award by the PRS Foundation means so much. The award is designed specifically to acknowledge women music creators in the UK; and the vast talent possessed by so many of these women music creators – both things that are, often, to some degree at least, overlooked. Particularly in the presence of the many male music creators doing their thing up and down the country. It’s almost like the Foundation purposely omitted the word “too” at the end of the phrase – Women Make Music too is the connotation!
Most important, though, is the award’s acknowledgment that women music creators don’t “just” song-write, but compose and produce, as well – a concept still alien to too many – and their emphasis on such women. As a female producer, I have, on more than one occasion, been met with skepticism when I’ve told someone that I produced a song as well as wrote it. So, to have that part of me be acknowledged by an organisation as well-respected as the PRS is both humbling and confidence-boosting – a confirmation for me that I am doing something right.
How have you grown since the release of your EP ‘No Romance In China‘ last year?
I am more confident this time round – I question myself a lot less. I’m more sure in who I am as an artist, sound-wise. Whereas I feel like I was still searching just the tiniest bit with my first EP, this time around, I feel as though I’ve really nailed my sound – and I think you can hear it in the end product.
Definitely, so what’s the story behind your new EP ‘Birthday Blues’?
The whole EP was spurned by the first song I wrote – the lead single and track the EP is named after, Birthday Blues. It’s a song about my single greatest fear – time.
As well as a being a songwriter you also produce your own songs, how important is it to be involved creatively with your music?
I always say a song is a facet of you – for me, it’s a little slice of my heart in audio form. If I’m not creatively involved in a song, that song isn’t me – none of my heart is present in that 3 minutes and 15 seconds of melodies and rhythm and lyric. For me, music is an emotional outlet, my single most effective means of communicating what’s inside – so if I wasn’t creatively involved in the music I’m putting out, it would negate my whole reason for doing this.
Your music has such an atmospheric feel how will you bring the songs to life when performing live?
By just emoting the best way I know how – which, for me, comes naturally when the songs have come from you.
What song do you put on when you just want to dance?
When I just want to dance, I put on Madonna’s Get Into The Groove. One of the best melodies in Pop music history, in my humble opinion. It’s just so joyful and fun – one of those songs that makes you feel alive. If I knew I had to go on a night out, but wasn’t in the mood – (that never happens!) – this is the song I’d put on.
What is one of your favourite quotes that continue to motivate you?
“Reach for the stars, so if you fall, you land on a cloud.”