Righteous Minds is building an inclusive community centered around shared experience and progressive social change, letting their audience know it's okay to wear your weirdness on your sleeve.
Influenced by artists such as M2M, LEN, Blood Orange, Charli XCX, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, and Y2K era pop/rock, artist and producer Mike Stahl mixes feel-good melodies with a tongue in cheek attitude.
If you're in the market for lively energy that will pull you into its profound grasp, the electronic essence of "Small Talk" will immerse you in the theatrical goodness from Righteous Minds. Forming a unique atmosphere that submerges you in intricate components, we love the ever-changing flow of "Small Talk" as it takes us along for the sonic journey of a lifetime.
As we absorb the protruding synths and mechanical drum patterns, it has to be that Righteous Minds also incorporates real-life instruments into this piece of work. Coming to us as an innovative surprise, we are happy to have stumbled upon it; the results are mind-blowing. "Small Talk" checks all the boxes of an eclectic, underground sound that has the potential to reach and connect with a mainstream audience.
The saturated croons smother this track like butter on a hot pan through the integrity professed throughout the mesmerizing framework of "Small Talk" the saturated croons smother this track like butter on a hot pan. It's exactly what we need and expects from a soundscape so powerful. Allowing us to bask in the feel-good grooves as we fall into sync with the rhythm, Righteous Minds has us exploring a new world that leaves us stunned.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Righteous Minds! You create a playful and vibrant sound heard in "Small Talk." Could you please take us into the inspiration behind this dynamic record?
Thanks! Small talk was mostly inspired by re socializing after 2020. Watching myself and my friends and the world go through so much during that period. Heartbreak, moving to a different city, loneliness, loss, love, just major life changes or discoveries all around. Learning how we all process it at different rates and in different ways.
Having something turn your life on its head makes the idea of small talk seem so inconsequential, almost insulting if that makes any sense. It sometimes gives off the feeling that you don't think I care about how you actually feel or what you're going through. Obviously, people want to keep some things private, and I respect that, but I think we can all relate to phoning it conversationally from time to time.
We would love to hear more about the creative process that brought this piece to life. Could you please share some details with us?
When I was working on Small Talk, I was listening to a lot of European pop music as well as a heavy mix of Y2K era pop and rock. I wanted to make something that sounded like an aggressive rock song that got taken over by Gwen Stefani and Cher. Another big influence was the soundtrack from the movie Drive.
In your own words, what does "Small Talk" mean to you as the creator? What do you hope your audience can take away from it?
I hit some crazy lows during quarantine and have friends who graciously stayed by my side and helped me stay sane. We were all going through our own shit, but being able to be there and support each other in a very vulnerable and raw time definitely stretched and strengthened our relationships. That's partially what the chorus is all about.
In a more abstract way, it's kind of a rom-com. You're not sure if you're chasing someone or being led on. I liked the idea of it being a "who's who?" sort of thing. Writing from the first person can allow for a more ambiguous perspective. It's also a fun way for more people to insert themselves into the story.
What have you noticed the most about your growth from the start of your career to this moment?
I realize more and more how people are the most important thing in life. We all basically want the same things. A healthy dose of self-awareness can take you places that hard work and talent might not be able to. I'm learning that one of the biggest misconceptions I absorbed growing up was "Work hard, and things will go well for you." It's a completely absurd oversimplification of how society works.
That being said, I'm not sure I believe in the idea of a career. I grew up in metro Detroit and watched so many people stressed out and struggling to pivot when their lifelong careers in the auto industry disappeared. Seeing that happen was terrible and also taught me that I can't put too many eggs in one basket. Since then, I've always tried to keep more than one plate spinning. I don't want to get too comfortable or complacent.
What's next for you?
I'm excited about new music and feel more purpose than ever. I love that lines between genres are becoming more and more undefinable and how that can pave the way for more diverse music communities. I'd like to develop a community around my music that's centered on inclusiveness and being actively informed about how we can continue to learn and grow as people. I'm also working toward making some live shows a reality, hopefully in the near future.