The rising Vancouver-based Alt-Pop Artist and Singer/Songwriter Michaela Slinger pull us in close with her bright and uplifting single, "Make You Sad."
"The most rewarding thing is when one of my songs so perfectly captures a moment or feeling in my life that I almost binge-listen to it in disbelief," states Slinger.
When speaking about her latest single, "Make You Sad," Michaela Slinger mentioned that she carried the demo with her and listened at each opportunity, aching to share this secret of a song. Recently signing with 604 Records in February, Michaela Slinger has seen vast success as she recently surpassed half a million streams.
The heavily anticipated single "Make You Sad" interestingly has us feeling quite the opposite. We pity the being that inspired this flavorful single, as Michaela Slinger releases her pent-up emotions towards unjust relationships, yet in a poised, relaxed, and humbled way. Through rich vocal harmonies and organic instrumentation, we're genuinely moved by this divine piece.
Jumping into Michaela Slinger's latest single, "Make You Sad," she already gives us chills merely through the song's introduction. While a mid-tempo electronic Pop beat lays on the low end, bright and organic instrumentals pour in and add incredible texture. As Michaela Slinger begins singing her authentic and genuine message, we're lifted into serenity.
We must note the emotional depth this single captures, especially around the hook, as Michaela Slinger belts her rhythmic vocals while emphasizing the faults of an unhealthy relationship. We adore the vocal harmonies that soak our speakers with life and this graceful ambiance that naturally gives us a sense of hope.
Reaching the end of this blissful and chilling single, we're left breathless with Michaela Slinger's thorough, well-rounded, and anthemic piece "Make You Sad." Be sure to follow Michaela Slinger on her upcoming musical ventures.
We admire the overall passion and emotion you've placed into your single "Make You Sad." What inspired the song's lyrical content?
Thank you! I put a lot of time and energy into crafting lyrics. For this one, the first line “Say you want to have a candid conversation / Doesn’t seem like that” was a quick voice memo idea I’d recorded. It describes an attempt to have an honest, tough conversation with someone you love—in the hopes of addressing hurt or ongoing challenges—that ends up sort-of exploding in your face and making things worse. I was co-writing with my two producers Louise Burns and Kevvy on this one, and I also took inspiration from a situation in Louise’s life where she was feeling misunderstood and underappreciated.
What did you want to get across to listeners with "Make You Sad"? How did you write your lyrics to offer a conceptual lyrical message?
I think a thesis of this song is that sometimes good and important relationships don’t feel easy or totally open. You have to decide whether it’s more important to keep people in your life or to say anything and everything that you’re feeling at the potential cost of hurting someone beyond repair.
In terms of the song structure providing that message, I use the verses to paint a specific picture between two people, and the chorus to move into bigger reflections. Imagery in the verses like “I’m sitting and I’m listening / Silently wishing you’d release control” or “Screaming on the street that I’ve ruined everything / I watch you lose it” play out like a mini-movie in my head. I want people to feel like they’re inside of a tough conversation.
Then, by the chorus, I zoom out to make more global statements where people might envision situations in their own life: “I can’t tell you what I want to / Pretend we’ll make it through this way.”
Could you bring us into the recording/creative process for "Make You Sad"? Did you produce the single yourself, or did any other creators accompany you?
I worked on my entire record with two incredible producers, Louise Burns and Kevvy. This song was unique in that we wrote it together, Nashville-style, where all three of us were in a room jamming from scratch. I had that initial voice memo idea, and both of them were drawn to it.
From there, it happened quite organically. Kevvy immediately started programming drums and different pads, while Louise worked her magic on melody and chords. I’m always fairly lyrically focused. We were all working individually but together, if that makes sense, caught up in our own creative zones. At some point, we came together to put together the different pieces we had, and we knew it was special.
Why did you choose to keep the instrumentation/production within "Make You Sad" so organic and serene? How does the song's sonics honor your lyrical message?
I tip my hat to my producers for creating an arrangement and sonic landscape that fit the message so perfectly. I think having minimal background vocals and harmonies for the majority of the song helps make my voice sound almost confessional, which suits the vulnerable content of the lyrics. It also makes it that much more satisfying when all of those floating harmonies come in at the bridge—it disorients you, just like a challenging conversation.
2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone. What has been keeping you inspired to create music? What advice can you give another artist who's finding it difficult to do so?
In all honesty, I find it hard to not have song ideas coming into my head all the time. I try to stay open to inspiration in high-brow and low-brow forms: maybe it’s a book I’m reading or a podcast I’m listening to, or it’s a stupid phrase I remember from high school that I want to use as a play on words.
In general, I think the more connected I feel to the general energy of life happening around me, the more I create. At the start of the pandemic, I was in fear and panic mode, and not leaving the house much. It was the first time I didn’t feel inspired to write. Since then, I’ve tried to access scaled-back (and safe) versions of the connection that inspires me—going for walks and runs, paying attention to passersby and little vignettes playing out in someone’s apartment window, talking to friends and family, and engaging with art in many forms.
It’s okay to take moments of pause and rest. I’d hate for artists to put ideas of productivity or output on their creative process, especially when all of us are experiencing different levels of grief and fear and sadness and fatigue this year.