Micky is the recently acquired moniker of singer-songwriter-stageman Michael Persall who makes melodically engaging pop music with the historical footnotes of classic rock and motown. New single “Candid”, co-produced with Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers, Wet, Man & Ghost), is the latest example of MICKY’s modern take on ‘60s/’70s pop, rock and soul. Sounding like a halfway house between Bruno Mars and Leon Bridges, the NYC-via-California musician confidently croons his way through the retro-ish instrumentation.
You can hear the natural performer in Persall’s voice, whilst the actual delivery of these catchy words subtly hints towards the R&B that he grew up on. “Candid” also marks the first of many developments in MICKY’s ever-expanding musical landscape, one that he wishes the audience to be an intrinsic part of.
“With the first release as MICKY, I really wanted to set the tone for the direction I’m taking my songs and have “Candid” serving as a bold introduction to myself. The live instrumentation and overall arrangements, as well as my energetic performance on the song, really align with how I perform live. One thing I wanted moving forward was to have consistency with the live show and the records. The song incorporates a lot of my older 60s/70s classic rock and Motown influences, as well as my affinity for hip-hop and R&B. On the lyrical front, the song is based on my personal attitude to life. A lot of people seem to waste time putting up a front rather than being themselves and actually talking about things. “Candid,” is just the ideal alternative in my mind.”
Prior to changing his stage name from Michael Persall to MICKY, he released “Waiting For”, a song praised by the likes of Clash, I Heart Moosiq, Vinyl Noise, Baeble and several others. Another notable accomplishment was the completion of his New Year’s resolution to perform 400 shows in 2015, a feat that in fact took him to 408. Throughout this journey, MICKY had the opportunity to assert himself as a front man, to relay his music to many different listeners, and to further explore where he wanted his sound to go next. Following this achievement, Persall landed shows at renowned music venues Mercury Lounge and Webster Hall.
Before the New York shows, the blog posts and even his four-year-long education at NYU, MICKY had a humble start performing in a family-run Bed & Breakfast, where he often played songs by his favourite artist, Elvis. There’s few better stage masters to learn from, but others that Persall has been inspired by are James Brown, Otis Redding, Jim Morrison, Robert Plant and The Beach Boys. His influences don’t stop there – the singer also credits ‘90s and early 2000s hip-hop and R&B as significant contributors to his current sound.
Bringing it up to the present, MICKY worked as co-producer on Taylor Bennett’s new track “New York Nights” and took to Brooklyn’s Room 17 Studios for a live rendition of Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman”, which you can watch here.
The NYC artist will also be stepping out of the studio for a couple of live residencies throughout January with Sofar Sounds, and February at Rockwood Music Hall (Saturdays 10pm).