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If you’ve been watching EDM music lately, then the name Michael S. should ring a bell. Whether its writing, producing, and even singing, Michael S. truly shows just how much love he has for music. Given his diverse musical talent, Michael S. has gained much attention from DJ’s and fans alike, and we here at Ascendance Radio were able to interview this not only talented, but also pretty cool ass man.

Michael S. Interview

Dayanna Guerrero: We’re here with the one and only Michael S., who with his passion for EDM, along with a hell of a lot of talent, brings a new spin to EDM music as we know it. So let’s start at the beginning, your beginning. When did you start making music?

Michael S. : Ah, man, I’ve been doing music for, probably since I was about 15. I started just playing guitar, and from there I just started writing songs and really just kind of had this act for … I grew up on Motown and a lot of the Beatles stuff and just always had this kind of like hunger to write really good, commercial, poppy songs. I’ve always been head over heels with just great pop music. So I started that, and I’ve just kind of been developing my craft, you know, from where it is today. So it’s been a long road.

Dayanna Guerrero: Wow, that’s awesome. Were you self-taught on the guitar, or did you take lessons?

Michael S. : I took lessons at first, but I try to just continue to take my playing to the next level. It’s always tough because you have people who teach you certain things, but there’s always that voice inside your head. It’s like, “I want to do different stuff than everybody else.” So I kind of had to teach myself. I taught myself piano. I taught myself even on top of that just production. In the last years, I’ve gotten so into production and producing my own stuff and produce with them. It’s been awesome to be able to walk into a studio and really be able to collaborate with these other artists and stand on the same ground. So it’s been awesome.

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Dayanna Guerrero: That’s cool. So on your Facebook page you have yourself labeled as a singer, songwriter, and producer. Which would you say is your favorite, and when doing live performances, will fans find you singing or DJing more?

Michael S. : I’m definitely a singer/songwriter first, before producer. Especially when I finally do start producing music, all my songs usually start out just on piano, piano and vocals. That’s kind of always how I’ve written my songs. For my fans, they’ll definitely see me performing live as a singer, as a front man, not a DJ. I can DJ, but I’ve never really gotten into that whole field. But we’ll see. There might be some cool stuff that I’m doing in the future that might integrate everything.

Dayanna Guerrero: Oooh, well that’s cool.

Michael S. : I’m pretty excited. Yeah, I’m really excited to showcase that stuff to my fans. My fans are so awesome. Every show I’ve played, they’re singing all the lyrics, and it’s just such an incredible feeling to be able to walk out on stage and go from having a song written in your little notebook. Everything I write is still hand. I don’t type anything out. When I have these songs, and taking it from a piece of scratch paper and then being able to perform it on stage and just having my fans sing along, it’s the greatest feeling ever.

Dayanna Guerrero: That’s so awesome. I would write things too, but I can’t even read my own writing, so my penmanship is not there.

Michael S. : Yeah, mine’s like chicken scratch. So I know that nobody can ever steal my music because they can’t read it.

Dayanna Guerrero: Right, top secret.

Michael S. : I have like a legend at the top of my notebook that decodes all my crappy handwriting.

Dayanna Guerrero: Wow, that’s good though. At least you’re able to figure it out.

Michael S. : Sometimes songs that I’ve looked back on, like even “Leaving You,” when I first wrote “Leaving You,” I wrote it about a year ago, and I looked back at the notebook, and I was having to sit with it for a while to be like, “What did I write? What is that?” Every time I read it, and it’s sloppy, I always tell myself next time I really should just write neater, but I never do. I never break that awful habit.

Dayanna Guerrero: It takes a long time to write neater, and then you’re so frustrated at the end. Like whatever.

Michael S. : Because my brain works way faster than my hand can work. I can’t write fast enough, so it just looks like a line, but at least I get it down on paper.

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Dayanna Guerrero: That’s good. You have a radio show called “Saved by the Beat.” What’s your role in it, and what in your opinion sets it apart from all the other radio shows out there?

Michael S. :Saved by the Beat” is … I’m the host of the show, obviously. It’s just an awesome way for … I wanted to be able to bring new music to a lot of my fans that wasn’t necessarily mine. And I wanted to be able to talk to these different DJs and producers from all around the world, and “Saved by the Beat” is that portal for me. Every week I play a bunch of new music. We like to do throwbacks and just try to keep it fun for our audience. It’s an awesome way to be able to showcase new artists that maybe aren’t getting the attention they deserve. At the same time I get to play new music of mine for my fans and kind of give them a sneak peek into my world and the things I do on a daily basis. It’s a lot of fun. We’ve interviewed so many great artists. I’ve had Krewella on, Nicky Romero, Alex Gaudino, the list goes on and on. It’s just a really cool way to extend the community of the DJ and EDM producer world. It’s just a great way to do that.

Dayanna Guerrero: That’s awesome. So I have another question for you.

Michael S. : Okay.

Dayanna Guerrero: Some songs take time to grow on the listener, and others are nearly instant hits. Your track with Audien, “Leaving You,” is one of those instant hits. Actually, it hit #1 on the FMQB charts, which our channel, Elevation, is the reporter on. Could you tell from the beginning that it was going to be so big?

Michael S. : You know, “Leaving You” was always one of those tracks that I always felt that it was special. Like I was saying earlier, I wrote it about a year ago, and we showed it to Armada, the record label, and they loved it. But I was always like, “I really think we need another producer to take it to the next level.” When I had heard Audien’s stuff for the first time, I was just blown away. I mean he’s this young kid, and he’s just got so much talent. I knew he would be the perfect producer to really take the track to the next level. I’ve always felt like … it was just one of those fun songs. I always try to write music that’s just fun to listen to and sing along to. I want girls to be just getting ready in their rooms and just jumping around to my music. I always love writing just fun tracks like that. It was cool because when . . .

Dayanna Guerrero: Confirmed.

Michael S. : What?

Dayanna Guerrero: That’s what happens. Confirmed, that’s what happens.

Michael S. : Confirmed, that’s what happens. That’s right. It was one of those tracks where everything just kind of worked. What was really cool about the track, and a lot of people didn’t know this when we started it, obviously, we have two edits. We have the radio edit and the more extended, the original mix. It was cool because when we started really getting into the nitty-gritty of the track, Audien, he had a trance background, so he’s very all about the build-ups and very drawn-out, dramatic progression of the song. I come from like a really commercial background. So when we started putting together the package for “Leaving You” as a track, with all the different kinds of versions of it, I really wanted to do a commercial version that was just 3 1/2 minutes of just non-stop fun, and didn’t really give the listener any down time, was just straight energy. That became the radio edit. It was really cool to see that, and I think that’s one of the reasons why the track is doing so well, because it is, it’s like a three and a half minute party. And that’s what we tried to do.

Dayanna Guerrero: I love it. I personally love it.

Michael S. : I’m glad. Well, thank you. I’ll give an Audien a high five for you.

Dayanna Guerrero: Yeah, thanks. And a hug too.

Michael S. : Oh yeah, I’ll give him a big hug.

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Dayanna Guerrero: Recently you hinted that you’ve started working with Morgan Page. How is that project going, and when can we get a sneak peak?

Michael S. : Yeah, I’m doing the track with Morgan and it’s going awesome. Morgan, not only is he a great producer, which is obviously a plus, but as a person, he’s a great person. I’ve been really fortunate that the people I’ve been working with have been just all-around stand-up guys. When people you’re interviews and stuff and you’re talking to people about the other people that you’re working with, it’s nice to be able to be genuinely nice about them, because they’re good people. Morgan’s one of those guys. He’s a great producer, and he’s a great friend. The track’s going awesome. We’re kind of like mapping it out and trying some different versions. I know he’s been playing samples of it out, so our fans have been hearing it. But I don’t know when there’s going to be an actual sample, maybe like a sneak peak, but I hope soon. It’s more of a ballad dance track. Morgan definitely has his style. I’m really excited to see where it goes, because I think as of right now when we were working on it, the last time I was in the studio in L.A., there’s a couple different ways that it can go. I’m excited. It’s going to be really good.

Dayanna Guerrero: You’re getting me excited.

Michael S. : Yeah. I wish I could say more about it without giving it away. You’re definitely going to remember the lyrics, and you’re going to sing along to it.

Dayanna Guerrero: Okay, that’s good.

Michael S. : Yeah, that’s the goal, right?

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Dayanna Guerrero: Right. So you were recently in town for Miami Music Week. How does Miami treat you, and given your schedule, did you get any chance to lay out on the beach?

Michael S. : You know what? This year I did not get one second to myself to actually enjoy Miami. I know. I wish I did, but I just didn’t. Like last year when we were there, you just start meeting all these new up-comers, and this year it was like everybody was friends. It was just different this year. It was like seeing old friends that you haven’t seen in a year. It was still a lot of fun, and a lot of great networking stuff, and I played with Paul Oakenfold for one of the shows, and got to jump on stage. Miami is just a blast. I wish I could go there and vacation. I just haven’t had the chance to relax when I go there. It’s always nonstop, not sleeping and just meetings and shows all week long. But it’s a blast. It was insane. What was even more insane was how many more people were there this year than there was last year. I couldn’t believe how big the festival has gotten, and Ultra in itself too. It was just crazy. It was insane.

Dayanna Guerrero: So for fans and future fans out there, can you tell us what the rest of 2013 looks like for you?

Michael S. : 2013 is going to be a packed year with new music from across the board. I’ve got a bunch of features that I’m doing. I’ve got a lot of collaborations, and I’ve got some Michael S. tracks that I’ll be releasing. It’s going to be insane. I’m really touching on the whole spectrum of EDM as a whole, not just Prog. House or Trance. It’s going to be a little bit of everything. It’s just going to be a good time. Are you excited?

Dayanna Guerrero: I’m super excited. You’re like getting me pumped over here.

Michael S. : You should be.

Dayanna Guerrero: I’m about to take a flight over there to you, be like, okay, let me crack into your laptop and see what you’ve got.

Michael S. : That’s what always so tough, because it’s funny. I have hundreds of songs that I’m just sitting on waiting to be released, and I get this bug in me that I just want to put up all my music for free online and just give it away and you can’t do that. I’d get yelled at by the rest of my team.

Dayanna Guerrero: Yeah, it could be bad.

Michael S. : Yeah, that’s why I have a manager and a lawyer. They make sure I don’t do stuff like that. It’s just exciting when you finish tracks, you want people to hear them. That’s what’s so awesome that I have my radio show, “Saved by the Beat.” It’s a way for me to preview tracks and get fans excited about the stuff that I’ve got coming up. Basically, “Saved by the Beat” is just for me to show people my new … no, I’m just kidding. I love to preview my stuff, and I love to get people excited, because I’m as excited as they are because I’m in the studio finishing it up. I get done with a track, and I burn it on a CD and pop it in my car and just drive around and I’m pumped. So if I’m pumped, then hopefully my fans will be pumped too. And that’s how you have to go, because there’s no formula of what makes a track do really well or not do really well. You just have a gut feeling when you finish it, and that’s really all you can go by, unfortunately.

Dayanna Guerrero: So you could say like you’re a big musical tease.

Michael S. : Yeah, totally, yeah. Did you say a musical geek?

Dayanna Guerrero: Tease.

Michael S. : Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m definitely a musical tease. Yeah, sorry.

Dayanna Guerrero: That’s okay. Well, Michael, thank you so much, and we look forward to seeing many more Michael S. #1’s.

Michael S. : Thank you so much for having me. I had a lot of fun.

For more information on Michael S., check out the Official Michael S. Website, visit the Michael S. Facebook Page, or keep up to date by following Michael S. on Twitter.

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