Posted on Dec. 1, 2018, 10:02 p.m.
This past weekend, I caught up with Michael Seyer before his set at Tropicalia Fest. Sitting across from me in his trailer, Seyer sounded off about city pop, songwriting, and the state of the music industry – all while strumming his guitar.
ES: How did you first get into music?
MS: My dad, yeah. He taught me how to play guitar and turned me on to a bunch of music, like old classic rock stuff. Like The Beatles, Zeppelin, The Who. And then from there, when I got older, I just wanted to find music that I liked individually. I’ve been playing music ever since.
ES: Who have been your biggest inspirations?
MS: Really old musicians like Al Green and Freddie Mercury. I’m a nostalgic, so I like that type of stuff. As far as contemporaries, I really love the scene that Homeshake and Mac [DeMarco] are pioneering. As far as people I look up to or things I really enjoy, I just started listening to this genre called city pop. It was this music scene in Japan in the 80s and it has a lot of electro, funky, soulful vibes. It’s just cool to see a lot of Asian musicians do something really funky.
ES: How would you describe your sound?
MS: Ooh, I don’t know. I think that’s a tough question to ask artists – to describe themselves. I wouldn’t be the right person to ask that. If I could describe it, I would just say that it’s a representation of myself.
ES: What is your songwriting process like?
MS: It changes depending on the song. Sometimes I’ll have the instrumental already fleshed out or I’ll have a few lines that I really want to develop, and I just take it from there.
ES: What do you think the music industry needs the most right now?
MS: That’s a pretty bold statement to make. I don’t think I would say that there’s something that I’m trying to proactively do to steer the music industry in the right direction. I feel like that’s a pretty heavy responsibility for someone to place on themselves. I’m just trying to make music, and I’m trying my best to be as honest as I can be. But as far as what the music industry needs, I think it needs more representation.
ES: What’s next for you?
MS: Who knows, you know? I’m playing it by ear. I’ll probably put out a few singles, maybe tour. Wherever I go, I’ll be there.