Lancaster, PA native Michael Wavves has his upcoming sophomore EP on the way which is being released on June 15th. Overtime the artist has been building a solid fanbase for him and he’s now seeing all his hard work pay off. In his new interview with us we get to know him more, discuss his EP, and his music career thus far. Check it out below!
RESPECT.: What is a common experience you find yourself making music about and why?
I write a lot about topics I usually don’t talk about with people. Whether that is
relationship troubles, not liking myself sometimes, family issues, or the constant
up and down mental battle that is trying to make it in the music industry. I have
been working on my music for going on 8 years and am just now starting to make
money, build a fanbase, and experience continued success. That process has
come with large amount sacrifice and continuous work. It is just like starting your
own business, you have to invest money and dedicate large amounts of time and
effort for years until you finally start to profit and become successful. That kind
of grind takes a lot of self-belief and mental endurance, which can be difficult to
have at times. But I write about what I am going through, music has always been
my form of self-expression and therapy. The only thing I know how to do is talk
about my experiences and struggles and hope it connects with my fans and
people who listen. If it connects and helps them get through whatever they’re
battling with, then I know I have something great on my hands.
RESPECT.: In what ways has music saved you?
As cliché as it may sound, music saved me from myself. I am a chronic over-
thinker, especially about my music because I am so passionate about it and it
means so much to me. Being able to put my thoughts out onto a page and make
them into a song helps me not overthink things. When I am able to ‘get it out’ it
doesn’t sit in my mind and fester. I have also had self-confidence issues since I
was young, and I never really accomplished much, in my opinion, in terms of
school and sports. I was the kind of “b-team” athlete kid, which kind of ate away
at me for years during and after high school. When I discovered making music I
knew I had found my thing, my passion, and I haven’t stopped since.
Accomplishing things with my music that people, including myself, never thought I
could accomplish has really helped me believe in myself and teach me hard work
conquered all and makes anything possible. It has literally changed me as a
person in such a great way.
RESPECT.: What music artist do you feel will make the perfect collab with you?
I would love to collaborate with Mike Posner. I think him and I would make some
awesome music. I’d love to work with him because I think he is one of the best songwriters out there and being able to see him in his element would be mind-blowing. He also really values and practices mental health exercises, which I am
really getting into. I’d also love to work with Kid Cudi and Kanye West, both of
those guys are musical geniuses and have influenced me heavily since I first
started making music. Drake too, but I feel like everyone says Drake ha.
RESPECT.: When you first started making music how did the people/ peers react?
I was definitely a joke to most of my friends and family, which I understand. I was
really bad when I first started, quality, lyrics, everything; I think most people saw
it as a phase and something I would stop doing at some point. I started around
the time a lot of white kids started making suburban-friendly frat-rap type stuff,
like early Mac Miller, Sammy Adams, Chris Webby, Mike Stud and guys like that,
so it definitely came off like a gimmick and something to do to seem cool. But it
has always been so much more to me, I just had to work hard to get the music to
sound the way I wanted, build my brand, and set myself up to really go for it. 8
years later, I think people really see that now, they notice the hard work that I put
in, genuinely enjoy the music, and hopefully get inspired to go after their passion.
RESPECT.: Why is it important for you to stay busy and keep working on the music?
I am hardwired to do that, which I got from my Dad. My Dad is extremely hard
working and never seems to stop. So, as I got older, I watched him become
successful and figured out that working as hard as you can is how you achieve
your goals. I never really have to remind myself to stay busy or to keep working,
there has been a never-ending fire lit from the start of this journey that pushes
me to continuously work towards greatness. I want to achieve things that at the
start seemed impossible and I want to create the best life for myself, my family,
my fiancé, and my future children. I want to be the person that people look at
and say, “He did it, so can I.”
RESPECT.: What is one major thing you would like to accomplish in your music career?
I want to build my fanbase to the point where I can consistently tour around the
world. I have had success regionally touring in the United States, especially in the
northeast. But I want to grow and progress to the point where I can play successful shows all over the globe. I have some international fans that I keep in touch with, some from the UK, some from India, some from Germany. But
cherishing them and growing everything as big as possible is the ultimate goal.
That way I can spread my message and impact people on a global scale and live
off my music for the rest of my life.
RESPECT.: What is the meaning behind your ‘Purple Heart’ EP?
I came up with the name ‘Purple Heart’ maybe 6 months ago when I first started
putting the pieces together for this project. I made one song, ‘These Girls,’ which
was one of the first times I made an R&B type of record. I then got the idea to
make an entire R&B style project, infusing elements of Hip-Hop, Pop, and
Electronic production as well. When I started trying to figure out a name and
tried thinking of something that sounded really cool and something I could
promote easily on social media. I looked through my texts to try and find a
phrase or something I use frequently in conversation and I came across the purple
heart emoji. I loved the way the words “Purple Heart’ sounded and I knew I could
craft up a great a genuine story behind the name. First off, I knew ‘Purple Heart’
is a military award for soldiers killed or wounded in battle, which I view as the
ultimate sacrifice for something greater. I related that to my music career, which
has included sacrifice. Sacrificing time with loved ones and friends. Sacrificing
money to invest in something next to no one believes in besides myself.
Sacrificing sleep and my own sanity at times. Although that type of sacrifice is
nothing close to what soldiers sacrifice, I still identified with it. As the songs came
together, I noticed a theme; I kept writing about this dark period in my life around
3 years ago where a destroyed a relationship and causes a lot of hurt. For some
reason I kept metaphorically comparing it to a ship wreck. Me being the captain
of a ship and crashing it into the rocks and being forced to survive a mess I
created. Then it came to me, call the ship the ‘Purple Heart!’ So, I had the
artwork drafted up with a ship on the front and loved it immediately. When you
listen to the EP you can hear nautical themed transitions between songs that add
to the story and theme of the project.
RESPECT.: Have you ever hit a writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I step away. I used to try and force myself to ‘write through it,’ but I’ve learned to
step away and try to seek inspiration to get through it. I go for a run or bike ride, watch a good move, listen to music, have a good conversation, and stuff like that. I think most writer’s block stems from a lack of immediate inspiration, so I try and
get inspired to help get through it.
RESPECT.: After the tour what will be your next focus?
More music! I still have several songs in the vault, a bunch of collaborations in
the works, and am constantly working on new stuff. I will be dropping these as
singles throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall and winter and heavily
focusing on growing my fanbase. I will be doing some more touring this coming
winter around the holidays with another dope artist friend of mine, which I am
really excited about. The goal is always growth and progression, every song
released, every show played, and every move made is about growing things to a
larger scale than it was the day before.
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