Chad Michael released his record “The Aura” and I was taken back by the impressive professionalism and skill in his flow. If you want to know who Chad Michael is, he’s an independent and hip-hop artist born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Chad Michael is self-taught. He steadily developed not only his craft but his knowledge of the music profession as well, indulging himself in mastering all areas of production while writing and delivering his own original music. “The Aura” begins with a melodic introduction, a RnB and hip-hop vocal serenade that openly creates the vibe of the song. Chad begins to lyrically spit and his sound and flow reminded me a lot like the likes of popular artist “Drake”. He transitions in tempo like a storytelling climax, increasing the speed of his laid-back rap energy and The effortless flow, and his own interesting individuality was something appealing for us to see and we can assert you and him that we will be hearing more from him. He has the whole star package from the image to the sound and to the vibes he produces through his gravitating instrumental beat and impeccable delivery.
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Get to know Chad Michael a little better through our exclusive interview with him below!
Hey Chad, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
What's up? I'm a hip-hop/R&B recording artist originally from Tucson, Arizona, and I've been in LA for almost five years now. I write every line of my music, so its always personal and real on my end. I also do a lot more than just the writing and recording - I'm a self-taught guitarist, audio engineer, graphic designer, and video editor, and I'm finally diving into music production. I learned pretty quickly out here that relying on other people for too much was going to keep me from creating the vision I've always had for myself, so I've been learning the ins and outs of this industry for a while now. That doesn't mean I haven't found amazing people along the way though, and having those friends to share and create with makes this path so much more fulfilling in the end.
What inspired you to begin creating music?
Having a voice, an outlet to speak on different topics and express myself, has always driven me, even before I started making hip-hop music. I have a degree in English and Psychology from Western New Mexico University, so writing and reading have always been a huge part of my life and a passion of mine. I guess somewhere along the line I started believing that music was the best way to let all of that expression out. Music has always been a branch of poetry to me - listening to artists like Tupac, Nas, Outkast, Lupe Fiasco (to name a few) - really showed me how beautiful and raw hip-hop can be, and I still believe at its core that's what hip-hop is: poetry with a beat. I believe in my art and my ability to reach people through music in a positive, helpful way - that's the bottom line.
Have you ever faced moments where you wanted to quit during during the learning process of studio production?
I wouldn't say that I've ever felt like quitting - I think when you know that what you're doing is what you're meant to do, there's a commitment that intensely hard to break. Like I said, I believe in myself even more now than when I started. I've made so much happen, and seen so much growth in myself, that stopping now would be a failure to see this through to my full potential. But there have certainly been times where its been hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So much research and ground work that nobody sees, months of waiting and preparing, releases that never gained any traction, songs that weren't good enough to release. That's the life of an independent artist starting from zero. Everything is earned. But that also means that every small success, every new fan, every performance at a new venue, they're all special and mean so much to me. I remind myself a lot: the journey is the beautiful part of this. Its what is going to make all the successes that much sweeter down the line.
How important is versatility to you?
Its the most important thing to me. I've been blessed with multiple abilities, so fine-tuning them and perfecting my craft is what gets me excited about music still. Starting a project from scratch and knowing that I can literally do or try anything I want to with my voice and my mind is empowering. I don't have to stay inside the lines of what something "should be", or how things have been done in the past. I don't have to rely on an engineer to mix my songs based on how they were taught, or a label to tell me when and what to record. I don't answer to anyone when it comes to my art, and I feel that freedom when I'm creating. When you can use the entire spectrum to create is when things get fun (and weird), and its crucial to me that everything I do is a new extension of myself as an artist and musician.
What is “The Aura “ about? What inspired you to write "The Aura"?
This song is about temptation. Its about this big, gorgeous, insane city and all of the lights and shadows that it offers, the opportunities to either fly or fade into oblivion. There are very few cities on this earth with the energy of Los Angeles. I felt it when I first got here, this electricity and buzz that exists when everyone is following their dream and chasing the best version of themselves. But that energy can quickly turn dark when you realize how many other people are here to feed on your dreams and trap you into doing things that were never part of the plan. Drugs, women, money - I've witnessed and personally dealt with all kinds of vices designed to pull us away from our purpose. This song is about fighting through those obstacles, keeping focus on why we chose this life in the first place, and always recognizing that its ultimately up to us what we decide to pour our own energy into. I ask myself at the end: "Can you find your way home?", and it's still a question I'm fighting to answer. But through all the smoke and lights and temptations of this city and this industry, I'm getting closer to where I want to be, and in the end that's all I can ever really ask of myself.
Do you personally prefer singing or rapping?
I've been singing since I was two. My grandmother, a lifelong musician who had enrolled in college with a full music scholarship at 16, told me by the age of 6 that I had perfect pitch. I had no idea what that meant at the time, but I vividly remember the conversation - it gave me the confidence that I could sing and that (most of the time) people liked listening. People never really told me to shut up when I sang along in the car or anywhere else, and R&B quickly became my favorite genre of music. Classic artists and groups - Marvin Gaye, MJ, The Temptations - became my go-to soundtracks for any situation or mood. I grew up singing my soul out. Rapping has become only in the last six to seven years an art that I've started to really practice. I love it. Being able to use as many words as I see fit to get my point across, with really no hard structures or rules to the flow, has opened up the possibilities of music to me. Being able to do them both is the best feeling. Rapping while I sing (I call it melodic rapping) is a challenge and an art in itself that I'm still learning to take full advantage of, something that really has only come to the forefront of hip-hop in the last decade or so. At the end of the day though, I can't say that anything touches my soul like a good R&B record. Singing will always be the first level of music I fell in love with, so it will always be extra special to me.
Catch a glimpse of Chad's "The Aura" below!