Occupation: Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Recent release: Mychelle's Someone Who Knows EP is out FAMM.
Recommendations: Sava Tavares – Balance; Hiatus Kaiyote - Breathing Underwater
If you enjoyed this interview with Mychelle and would like to find out more, visit her official website. She is also on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started writing songs when I was really young. As a child I would write songs with my younger sisters and neighbours. I briefly played guitar with my best friend when I was 10 but stopped after a short while.
As I approached my later teens, I picked it up again and began teaching my self more so I could expand my songwriting.
When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?
I can’t explain it, I just feel it and it’s not usually the words that I connect with at first, it is the melodies all playing a part in the final piece.
I also love how music has the ability to attach itself to a particular time. For example, how listening to old songs I once loved allows me to feel a deep sense of nostalgia.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
Living in Hackney, I was able to grow up around a lot of diﬀerent people which exposed me to diﬀerent genres, music from all around the world and diﬀerent eras. I also enjoy reading about the history of places and its people. It’s very interesting how their music evolves with them.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
I think for me at first performing was very important and something I wanted to make sure I did a lot of. I didn’t have the resources to record and put out music for a while so I decided I would just make sure I’m performing as much as I can and get heard that way.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Wherever I am, I use voice memos on my phone to capture any ideas I come up with.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
It’s great to consider both when it comes to music.
I love listening to music across the timeline and I think even when you develop a new sound there will always be a traditional element involved.
I think ‘music of the future’ is the evolution of what came before it.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
My guitar has been an important tool for me. It was important for me to play because when approaching shows I felt that a backing track didn’t allow the music to connect in the same way. It was also a writing tool for me.
Busking is also something I did to develop my craft. Singing multiple times a week and for hours really allowed me to connect with my voice.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
Every day is very diﬀerent. Especially as an artist because one day it could be a studio session, one day I could be performing so it’s hard to say.
I have added in things like gym, basketball and football to create a routine then all the music stuﬀ goes with it. No one day is ever the same!
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
My first EP was written at home on the guitar.
3 out of 4 of the songs were written around the same time and they felt really easy to write because it was what I was going through at the time. They were written before I had started recording music properly so I used to sing these songs frequently when I was performing live and busking.
Eventually when I got the opportunity to start recording music I knew those songs had to be my first project.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
I enjoy writing a lot of my music at home on the guitar. I feel like that allows me to be a bit more vulnerable and prevents me from over thinking too much.
I have started to collaborate more recently though and I do enjoy it. Especially when there is a good writing chemistry with the other writer/s involved.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
They say sharing is caring and I guess i’m sharing my music to the world, so I’d like to think that’s the little role I play.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
I think for me writing is definitely an outlet and a way to express my feelings, however it’s usually done subconsciously.
If I’m in a creative zone or mood, what I’m going through will naturally be a part of the song if that’s where the vibe is taking me.
How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Sound is formed by vibrations so the two are definitely connected. Even the way chords are structured has a science to it.
It’s quite amazing how music is more that just listening.
Creativity can reach many diﬀerent corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently diﬀerent from something like making a great cup of coﬀee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
I guess it is diﬀerent. You kind of know what a coﬀee is going to taste like where as with music you just don’t know which way it’s going to go.
Forming an idea and exploring it further as it takes shape is a thrilling experience.
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it is able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
I think it’s wonderful that music has the ability to do this. I wouldn’t be able to explain why or how it happens, but I really appreciate it.