Micheal Joyce is a musical genius who has been writing songs and producing music for 22 years but only recently decided to give it his full attention. At 15 years of age young Micheal Joyce was introduced to music production, which enabled him to over the years perfect his craft.
On a steady rise, Micheal Joyce has played at a number of smaller festivals including Orange Cormorant and his music has been played on Unmade, Threads and Groove London Radio as well as a producer spotlight on the F.A.B. show by Dovetail on Unmade Radio. The multi-talented artiste has once again released a classic tune titled “Safe Again” .
He shared what inspired him to produce Safe Again, this is what he had to say about the song
“This release consist of a downtempo electronic track with sung lyrics and a computer generated music video. This piece was initially inspired by the apparent disparity between government dialogue on financial help during the early stages of the covid crisis, and their simultaneous expectation that medical professionals should freely give up their lives in the line of duty. “
“I actually wrote and recorded the song in lock down however the music video and final mix where completed more recently. The video is an experiment in AI image generation and loosely follows a science fiction story I wrote that matches the themes of the track.” He added
Not only did talk about his latest single, but he had more to share wit his fans in a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh.
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What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
It’s just my name. I would quite like to find an artist name but I haven’t thought of a good one yet that doesn’t also make me cringe. I started playing out using my name and a friend advised me I should just stick with it.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere really. I follow scientific developments, technology and geopolitics and enjoy thinking about the direction the world is travelling in. I also love listening to all kinds of music and find a lot of inspiration there.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
My parents were both very into music and had great taste. I still listen to many of the records they had today. My dad plays guitar and my mum used to sing around the house a lot. I have very early memories of composing songs in my head. I think a lot of kids do that though.
I actually had some singles on vinyl when I was four years old which included the original ghostbusters theme song and Maniac by Michael Sembello. Although perhaps I just thought they were my records and my parents just played along.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes, very. My Dad plays a mean guitar and my mum sings. My sister plays piano, guitar and sings and my older brother is also a record producer and makes drum and bass, techno and breakbeat. My mum is also a ceramicist, illustrator and graphic designer. My step dad is a painter.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
That is a tricky one. I don’t really consider myself part of the industry, but I am starting to dip my toes in. I have made music for a long long time but I find the music industry itself to be quite perplexing and have not really dealt with it until recently.
My brother has been active for a while and has always been very encouraging. People who have seen me play at some of the small festivals I do have been very positive and convinced me that I need to put some records out there. Personally I love making music and playing out so I am starting to engage more in order to foster further opportunities to do both of those things.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
My mum took me to Keyboard lessons when I was about 7. The keyboard I used had a built in 8 track sequencer, so I guess it was my first intro to music production. I started guitar lessons when I was 12 which I continued for a few years, but I learned a great deal jamming along to records and with my dad.
When I was 15 my GCSE music teacher introduced me to music production and I started making some very rudimentary beats. A lot of what I know I have gained through trial and error in terms of both playing and production. The advent of youtube has been a great accelerator in my learning as I’m not really one for reading manuals.
Singing was something we always just did. Me and my sister would practise harmonies in the back of the car. I think Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit was the first song I ever learned to sing and play at the same time on guitar.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
My first proper gig was probably Supergrass. My mum took me for my 12th birthday. It was fantastic.
How could you describe your music?
I make a broad range of styles covering many electronic genres as well as acoustic singer songwriter and indie stuff. I play a few little festivals and I will often play original acoustic songs in the day and then do a live electronic set at night which tends to gravitate towards melodic techno.
I have a couple of synths and an electric guitar as well as some pre-prepared loops of my tracks. I try not to think too much about what genre of music I am making and aim to focus instead on whether I like it or not.
Describe your creative process.
It varies. Sometimes I have a whole new track play in my head, which can be very inconvenient if I am trying to do something like shopping or work. Other times it can start with a riff on my guitar or just a synth sound and it grows from there.
I tend to have more success with the latter approach as it’s very difficult to translate the music in your head to the studio, as by the time you have mucked about setting things up, the original idea may have disappeared or morphed into something else.
I am looking forward to when they develop the machine that can read the track from your mind, although that will likely come with a whole raft of less desirable ancillary technological consequences; so for now I am content with Ableton. I do enjoy the more technical side of mixing and mastering also and, while I still have a lot to learn, I feel that I am starting to get to a place where I can be proud of the finished product.
What is your main inspiration?
I think my main inspiration is the feeling you get in the studio where everything is in flow. I try to make music I would like to listen to. It doesn’t always happen but sometimes you get in a state where things keep going right and it feels like everything is resonating.
I often think I am trying to chase that feeling, and when I get it I think that if it does it for me chances are that it will do it for other people.
What musician do you admire most and why?
That’s a very difficult question as I like so much music. It really depends what mood I am in. I can think of a few gigs that I have seen that really transformed the way I see music. Laurent Garnier being one. His live electronic set totally blew my mind.
Antix performing their album Cavalier was another. There was a local funk band I saw playing called Dual Scarab that were utterly incredible. I cannot find any of their music online as it was very much in the early days of the internet.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Definitely. In terms of my electronic music, my increased understanding of the tools has enabled me to do more the more I have learned. There was maybe something about the brashness of my earlier stuff that is lacking now that I have got a bit older.
Unfortunately 100s of earlier tracks remain unreleased and lost to computers of old. I only started to put my music out in an official capacity quite recently.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t really see music as a competition. I think you have to do it for yourself and hope that it makes some other people happy. Defining your success in relation to others is a recipe for disappointment in a very crowded industry.
What are your interests outside of music?
I am passionate about environmental conservation, science and technology. I enjoy history and geopolitics as well as philosophy. I am also addicted to science fiction.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I would like to work in a field that assists in the transition to a sustainable global economy. I have a great amount of internal conflict that maybe I should be putting more effort into pursuing this rather than music.
I have played music for people who do work in such fields however and realise that everyone needs entertaining and maybe it’s my job to provide them with some kind of release.
Perhaps I will switch my focus from music at some point in the future but for now I seem to be very driven to finish and release tracks.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
For me personally it has been satisfaction in the finished product. I have no formal education in music production but I have known for a long time that my tracks have not been up to scratch from a technical standpoint. I feel I am finally starting to get there though, so I am beginning to tentatively put things out. I have a massive back catalogue to work through.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Remuneration for artists. The way streaming revenue is allocated to more niche artists is abysmal. It’s a very complex topic and I wouldn’t claim to have all the answers. Platforms like Spotify are incredible engines for music discovery, however it annoys me that very little of my subscription actually goes to the artists I listen to.
Obviously you can buy music through Band Camp, but it feels as if there could be some middle ground between those two models as I feel Spotify allows users to be very experimental in their listening habits and the recommendation algorithm constantly provides me with great stuff.
There are alot of experiments going on so let’s see what emerges as the most sustainable platform that looks after both consumers and producers of music alike.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Safe Again is actually a missing lyric from the chorus. The finished chorus just goes “We are”. I actually couldn’t get the “safe again” lyric to work in my final edit, so I ended up leaving it out but kept it in the title.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I have just put together a new home studio and I plan to spend the coming months finishing and releasing tracks that I have been working on for years. I will probably release an EP next and then look to put out an Album. I am a bit confused as to how to segment my releases.
I am not sure whether or not to put acoustic and electronic all out under one artist name for example. I could try and create different aliases covering different genres but for now it’s just me, trying to make and release music that I like.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
I have a number of friends who also produce music. I have sent stems to a couple of them who may do some remixes. I am also hoping to invite some of them to stay and see what comes out of some joint studio sessions.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thanks so much for supporting my music. I hope you find something you like in my future releases.