By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A) I describe my sound as Urban Pop. I started out more in the Pop Rock area and still do feel there are rock aspects to my vocals, but my writing style and the sound in production that I feel is me is a more urban R&B feel. So, it’s really cool to feel I’ve found my sound and still have that rock influence behind some of the songs.
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) The whole reason I began to sing and play guitar was because I was hugely inspired by Elvis Presley. So, even though you can’t hear that in my music it all stems from him opening my eyes to music in general. It’s so hard to narrow down a list of influences because I listen to so music in all genres and am constantly influenced by whatever I’m listening to. I would say throughout the process of my new EP a lot of influence was from the likes of OneRepublic and Tori Kelly.
Q) Your debut EP came out Dec. 16. What do you think it is about these songs that fans will connect to?
A) Yes my EP is FINALLY out now! My main goal in my original music is to make listeners connect and feel something. I always write personal songs that directly relate to my life, but keep it so that anyone can relate. I think the topics covered on this EP such as heartbreak, struggling with self confidence and staying true to yourself are all common, but highly relatable. I feel really good about how I got my messages across with these songs so I hope listeners can feel it.
Q) How do you plan to celebrate the album release?
A) I’ll just be promoting it as a celebration! I have a few performances while I’m home in New Jersey for the holidays that will be a lot of fun to do while pushing the record. It’ll be great to be with family and friends to celebrate the release as they all have waited just as long as I have for me to get these songs out.
Q) Will there be videos for all the songs or just certain ones?
A) Well, there is already a video out for “Without You” that is on YouTube. Before coming home from LA I shot a new music video for another track, which I haven’t announced for which yet. So, that will be announced soon and hopefully there will be one more after that!
Q) How much of a hand did you have in the production of the music?
A) I write all my songs with an acoustic guitar or piano. So, I come in with the lyrics, melodies, song structure and all the chords. I have a basic idea of the production I want around it, but I worked with a really incredible producer on this who I think understood where I wanted to go with the songs so that made it easy for it to just happen.
Q) What can fans expect from a live Mike Schiavo performance?
A) Most of my live performances are just me and an acoustic guitar. I love playing full band when I can, but I really love getting to do my songs acoustic since that’s how I started out. I love the studio versions and production, but people hear the songs in a whole new way when I do them acoustic. So, fans can usually expect an intimate performance. I try to be as real as possible at shows while on stage.
Q) What songs off your EP are you most looking forward to performing in front of an audience?
A) I think my favorite song on the EP to before is “Back For Me.” It’s probably my favorite song to date that I’ve written. It’s just such a real song to me that portrayed my feelings on a very real situation and I really love to sing it. I’m working on teaching myself piano to incorporate into live performances so that one will be even more fun to play when I get there.
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A) Ah, this is a tough one since there are so many artists I listen to and respect. I have to say I think if I had to pick someone to collaborate with someday it’d Tori Kelly. I had the pleasure of working with her briefly while on “The Voice” and she was just such a real person. Her voice is from another world and her music is so genuine in a genre where that is rare.
Q) What can fans do to help promote your music?
A) Just spread the word on social media and tell your friends! It is really so much more important that people think. Simply showing a friend your favorite song or a video or posting your favorite songs online helps so much and it is very much appreciated.
Q) We recently saw you on “The Voice.” Have you kept in touch with your former coach Adam Levine?
A) Unfortunately, it’s a bit tough to keep in touch when there’s now two seasons of “The Voice” per year and so many artists working with the coach, but I have seen him since I was on the show and he’s such a great dude.
Q) What was the best piece of advice you received from him during your time on the show – something that has carried with you?
A) It was simple, but when I was eliminated from the show he just said to me, ‘Don’t stop. You’re great.” He looks at me and the others (the coaches) and says, “We’ve all had our asses kicked and look where we are now.” It was really what I needed to hear in that moment when I was discourage. It put in perspective the amount of time and work it takes to make it and that all the people I look up have been through what I’ve been through in a way. and the key is to never give up.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) Social media is honestly the most important part of the music industry right now. I don’t love social media, but I’m very aware of how amazing of a tool it is. What I do love about it though is how connected it allows me to stay to my fans. I’ll always read everything sent to me and I love being able to talk to fans so easily and hear what they are thinking about my music. It also allows me to show some personality outside of songwriting which is always nice.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) THANK YOU. Seriously, thank you so much to everyone has supported me so far. There’s a long way to go, but things are moving forward. Please stay tuned because the I promise the best is yet to come!