Thanks so much! I’ve been great. I’m still on cloud nine since the release!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Taking You Back”?
Yeah! “Taking You Back” is the lead single from my new solo project. I’m really proud of it, as it marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I think my fans might be surprised when they hear it because it’s a brand new sound for me. And honestly, I’ve been somewhat afraid to share it because it’s so different from what I’ve released in the past!
“Taking You Back” reminisces about the early stages of a relationship, when everything is new, fresh and exciting. I had my girlfriend, Rebecca, in mind when it was written. It’s funky, cool and even a little bit sexy.
Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?
“Taking You Back” was written at a time when my girlfriend, Rebecca, and I were in different places—I was in LA, and she was in medical school in Northern California. I missed her, and I wanted to write a song that reminisced about the beginning of our relationship.
Rebecca and I have been together for 6 years now. It’s amazing to have someone in your life that knows you so well and loves you unconditionally. But, after 6 years, it’s easy to take each other for granted. So “Taking You Back” is also a wish to “go back” to the beginning of a relationship, when you constantly have that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! We’re hoping to make a music video in April, and release it in May 2019.
How was the recording and writing process?
Naïka, Jason and I wrote “Taking You Back” in just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. When we wrote “Taking You Back,” it was actually the first time we had ever met, but we really gelled creatively. Jason and Naïka are a dream team and so easy to get along with.
I came in with a keyboard riff—which turned out to be the chord progression—and the idea for the concept of the song. Once we had written the song, I recorded the vocal tracks, and Naïka recorded the background vocals. I think her vocals on the choruses are the best part of the song.
After Jason sent us the demo, I was ecstatic—it was the coolest thing I had ever made. I got together with Jason a couple more times for tweaks, and then it was done.
What was it like to work with Jason Strong and how did that relationship develop?
Jason is an incredibly talented and skilled producer, and it was a dream to work with him. We met through my manager, Evan Griffith, and we got along instantly. Creatively, we are completely on the same wavelength. He’s innovative and always thinks outside the box. We tried all sorts of things in the studio—from playing the drums on a pack of Trident gum to playing a wooden slide whistle he brought from his home country, South Africa. Come to think of it, I don’t think we used either of those instruments….but he and I experimented with a lot to make this track sound innovative and fresh, and I think we were successful.
How much did he get to influence the song?
A lot! Jason was my creative partner in making this song, and I couldn’t have wished for a better collaborator.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?
Yes, definitely. When I’m writing by myself, the songs I write are drawn only from my experiences and influences. But when I write with other people, we can make something that blends both of our experiences and influences. Because of this, I think writing with others almost always makes something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Does the new single means we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! I’ve got lots more music coming out this year. Currently, we’ve got 7 more songs written that will be released later this year. We’re in the process of producing these songs and getting them ready for release. Also, I’m writing all the time, so stay tuned for lots of new music!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I’m hoping to release an EP, or a full album, by the end of 2019. It’s too early for a title, but I’ll keep you posted!
Any plans to hit the road?
Right now, I’m focusing on producing and releasing this new music, but once the EP is out, definitely.
What else is happening in Michael Blum’s world?
2019 has been a really exciting year so far! Last week I moved to LA… I’m exhausted from the move but really excited for what’s to come. I also recently signed with Fire Tower Entertainment. I’m stoked about my new team and everything that’s currently in the works. “Taking You Back” is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to share more soon.