13th Annual New Age Song Nominee
11th Annual New Age Song Vox Pop Winner
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Record Label: Self-Released
Home Base: Salt Lake City, UT
Genre: Solo Piano / New Age
Categories Entered: New Age Song and New Age Album
Work Submitted: Waking The Muse (Album) and “Spiritual Awakening” (Song)
Artists Featured: Michele McLaughlin
Who are your influences?: George Winston, Chad Lawson, Ludovico Einuadi, Scott D. Davis, David Nevue
Describe your nominated work: I describe my music as “musical storytelling”. It is full of emotion and passion and takes the listener on a journey.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: No
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: Everything went as planned, this was one of the easiest recording projects I’ve had.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: I funded this project completely on my own and made that money back in the first couple of months after its release.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 13th IMAs?: I have been a long time follower of the IMAs and have submitted my works for the last several years. My song “Melancholy Snowfall” was nominated for “Best New Age Song” a few years ago, and won the Vox Pop Vote.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: If you can wake up in the morning feeling happy and do what you love doing and not have to worry about work and money, then I feel that is successful. Success is all about loving what you do and being happy doing it. I feel like I achieved that a long time ago.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: I would hope that the IMAs could help bring exposure to my music.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: Everyone from young children, to adults of all ages. Piano players, piano lovers, lovers of music that makes you feel, people who appreciate music spoken from the soul. My fans are wonderful and I am so thankful for all of them.
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: My guilty pleasure on my last tour was breakfast at Cracker Barrel or Waffle House. I fell in love with grits as I traveled through the south. My last tour took me through 26 states and over 11,000 miles of driving, for a total of 30 shows. It was an incredible experience with so many life-changing memories. I loved every minute of it.
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: George Winston, David Nevue, Chad Lawson, Ludovico Einuadi, Scott D. Davis
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: Anything that makes me stop and lose my breath. I love music that touches my soul and something that stands out as heart achingly beautiful is something I usually wish I wrote.
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: Hard rock in my car. Folk music in my office. Movie scores. Blues when I’m feeling feisty.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: Pandora radio is one of the greatest inventions for exposure of music ever. I listen to Pandora all the time and find new music I love every day. When I find something I love, I buy it from iTunes or directly from the musician’s website. As a musician, I know how important buying music is, and I like to support my fellow musicians by buying the music I enjoy. I support Pandora Radio because I know how important the royalty payments are to the artists as well.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: There will always be people who are willing to support musicians and pay for music. Musicians need to be grateful for those who will pay, and realize that those who don’t, won’t. It’s a battle that isn’t worth fighting. Musicians should focus on promoting their websites, promoting Pandora Radio, promoting the sources that earn them income rather than fighting the sites that offer it for free. Internet radio is a huge source of income for a lot of musicians today, and live performance still contributes. Luckily, in today’s market, there are multiple sources of income for a musician if they’re being smart about it.
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: The musicians who make the music put their blood, sweat and tears into it. It’s truly their art, and it’s part of their souls. Making a living doing music is not as glamorous as it sounds and musicians work hard for every penny they earn. And independent musicians that aren’t backed by big record labels rely heavily on their fans to help spread the word about their music through social media, internet radio, and general word of mouth. It truly has become a fan/musician symbiotic relationship.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: Yes and no. I think the idea of releasing singles is interesting, but at the end of the day, most customers like having a whole album to listen to.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…always changing and evolving. Every day there is something new to learn and something new to do and new ways to grow.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: I am working on my fifteenth album now, which will be a “Hits” album of my most popular songs, and a sixteenth album of all new original works which will be released later this year.
Official Website: www.michelemclaughlin.com