MuzicNotez Crew: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Michael, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
Michael Egleton: Music was something placed in my blood. Passed down from my grandfather, Bishop David Egleton, to my mother, Jeanne Egleton-Bell, then to me. So in saying that, I would say my music interest and journey, started from birth. From playing Grit boxes at age 2, to drums by age5, trumpet and guitar age 7, and piano and Hammond Organ by age 19 up until now. I have since passed it on to my daughter who started learning music in grade school band and plays violin and flute. She also at one time was proficient in reading and writing music. I would write a song and she would figure out the notes and write them for me. I, myself, don’t read or write a lick of music. Now I’m seeing the gift develop in my grandkids with their interest in music starting. One on drums the other on keys and both of them singing.
MuzicNotez Crew: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Michael Egleton: There are so many great musicians and artists that have deposited their artistry in my life until where do I start! First there’s the quick, nibbled fingered, Art Tatum. Also originally from Ohio, he was so far ahead of his time back in the 40’s and 50’s. The great late Donny Hathaway. He sang so soulful. Like silk. I’ve been told many times I sound just like him. Mr. Michael McDonald. Wow! What a singer and piano player. The growly voice of Joe Cocker. The great Aretha Franklin. When she sings and plays piano she takes you to church! Steely Dan. His chord structure is off the chain. Charlie Wilson. Not only his singing but his life story gives me encouragement when I’m down and ready to give up. The electric Sister Rosie Haynes a gifted saxophonist and singer and her brother, a monster on the Hammond B3 Organ, George Haynes from East St. Louis. The Mystro himself, Mr. Barry White with is string arrangements, Michael Henderson, Jonny Taylor and Jonny Gill. I could go on but those mentioned have affected me in a way that’s not measured.
MuzicNotez Crew: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Michael Egleton: The ultimate goal of my music is to affect the listener in a positive way. To somehow touch the mind and heart in a way that causes thought and/or change in their situation and life. There is great music that makes you move and dance then there is music that you look to for an answer to what’s affecting you at that moment. Whether it’s to calm down or cool out or help you through a rough relationship situation. I believe music is universal. Goes past language barriers and enters the spirit and soul of a man or woman then transposes outward from their soul and sprit to their mind and heart changing their continence in a way unimaginable. Yes, I would like to have the awards and recognition that comes with making great music but I believe if you first make music that touches, the rest will come. I believe the ultimate reward is to hear your music 20 or 30 years later playing on the radio having the same effect as the day it first came out.
MuzicNotez Crew: Your about to release ‘A Look Into My Heart’ this June, what was the motivation behind this? What can you tell me about it?
Michael Egleton: The motivation behind A Look Into My Heart, was I became full. Full of music and words that had to get out. Things from my life I need to share in song. My music is therapeutic for me. Not so much like my former release, That’s Alright (the remix) coming out in September where I knew I could do better and needed a second crack at it. A Look Into My Heart is just what it says, and actual look into my heart, soul and mind. Each song represents a piece of me. Little rooms in my life and heart with the instrumental cuts representing how I feel where I don’t have words to describe things. Example, It’s Over (the remix), represent the rooms of when I was 19 years of age and the things that were going on then. Why Does It Hurt So Bad speaks to how one doesn’t really realize how important or how much the other means until they are gone for real. Then it becomes, “I didn’t know…”
MuzicNotez Crew: What is different about this album from your previous releases? What can we expect to hear?
Michael Egleton: The difference between this project and my past projects is one, I’m working with experienced producers who are like minded and felt what I was trying to portray. It had gotten so bad until we were finishing each other’s words! lol These great producers, took things to another level for me. Past projects were primarily done on my own and I was learning as I go. You never heard the true flavor I was trying to develop and relay. They were also not as technically ready for the industry. If you allow the music from A Look Into My Heart in, you’ll began to feel what I’m talking about. Some of the songs will make goose bumps rise on your neck!
MuzicNotez Crew: Who are some of the people you have been working with to create this album?
Michael Egleton: Everyone on this project has been true professionals. From the producers to the background singers and musicians. Everyone brought a special flavor to the mix. Wes McCraw, the head producer, also produced most of the songs. This man’s credits list reads like a who’s who in the motion picture industry and TV commercials. From the New Transformer movies to some of the commercials you see on TV, he brought his A game. He has also produced many area secular and Gospel artists. He made the songs become just what I heard in my head. He did the music so it would stay with you long after the song is done. Then there was Mr. Samuel Haygood from Atlanta, GA. This man has worked with the likes of Toni Braxton, Silk, TLC, Outcast, Charelle, The Goody Mob, The SOS Band and many more…Wow! What can you say….. I don’t need to say one word about what he did to the music. I’ll let you listen to Dunk A Dunk and Like My Girl then you tell me! He helped Jazz say hello to Funk. His ability to raise music to another level was just phenomenal. The background singers, Ms. Paula Depree Smith and Ms. Ginger Pittman-Vinson brought such emotion until it made me raise my game. Dereck “Doc” Johnson has played Bass with the likes of Walter Beasely, George Benson, and many more did his “Smooth Thang”on the Bass in Why Does It Hurt So Bad. Michael Ohara on lead has also played with Walter Beasely, George Benson, Switch, and many more through years of playing. He is one of the most sought after guitarists in the area. Lit things up also on Why Does It Hurt So Bad. KT Beats a gifted beat maker and rapper, from Atlanta, GA, was on point. He had so much in common with me outside of music until we thought we were related. He appears on Playing A Game. With these pros, it was hard to go wrong! I’m grateful for having such qualified help on this project.
MuzicNotez Crew: You’re signed with the award winning Blue-Artists. What has that experience been like, how have they helped you?
Michael Egleton: What can I say about Blue-Artists and the team there… Wow! Lead by the C.E.O. and award winning movie director, Mr. Pierre Walters, and the rest of the Blue-Artists team and actors, has made this a memorable journey so far for me. They are the single most reason you are doing this interview with me today! They have molded and shaped me into something I never thought I could be. Taken me places I never thought I would go with my music. My confidence level has been raised to a place where I never thought it could go. They are bringing the best out of me. They are awarded and proven and know just what to do to make someone such as myself, into something other than myself. When you watch the A Look Into My Heart EPK, you see and feel the evidence of this. They have taken me in like family and this is what’s missing in the industry today. The feeling of family. They make me feel like I can do anything with the support they give. When I hand people my card that they developed for me, people take me serious and instantly the door is opened. I’ve found a home with Blue-Artists and don’t plan on going anywhere.
MuzicNotez Crew: Are you working on anything else? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
Michael Egleton: I am also working on That’s Alright (the remix). As a matter of fact, the music tracks are done and we’ll be laying the vocals down very soon. It will also be produced by Sam and Wes. That’s Alright 1, I felt, didn’t really hit the mark for me as an artist and I wanted another crack at it to do it right. I don’t want to take anything away from my label at the time, Tate Music Group, but musical interpretation is in the ear of the beholder. You first have to be provided with a quality track to work with though. I just didn’t feel like I did my best for them to have a quality start. On That’s Alright (the remix), I played every track over. Sang every track again. I even added a few extra things to freshened things up and bring it up to today. It’s going to be great. It will definitely rival A Look Into My Heart.
MuzicNotez Crew: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
Michael Egleton: To my fans, I love you all so very much. I’m nothing without you. You listen to the music and buy the music. You appreciate what you hear and show it by supporting me. This music is for you. To maybe make your life a little easier. Touch your situation. Calm or “cool you out”. I hope to one day play for you in your city then you can reach out and touch the ambience and be left with a living piece of me.
Thank you, MuzicNotez, Nick, Mike and Kristi Rockz, for catching the dream and sending it forward.