Sophie talks to retro-chic soul singer Michaela Fedeczko about her release Who Am I?
Bristol born singer-songwriter Michaela Fedeczko released her newest track Who Am I? on 17th September. We talked about how the pandemic affected her songwriting, what it was like to record her debut album and what advice she’d give to other musicians.
How did your journey into music start?
Wow! That feels like a big question. Honestly, it started in front of the TV watching and dancing around to The Box - Music Television You Control and MTV. The Spice Girls had a hugely positive effect on my early years and I would seek out any opportunity to sing, dance, write songs and perform. Music became an essential part of my being and how I expressed or channelled difficult emotions. It still is.
“I spent a lot of the time we were in lockdown; observing, listening, watching, reading and learning. I think the pandemic provided an unexpected pause and exposed a lot of the injustice that still exists in our world.”
What inspired your track, Who Am I?
Who Am I? was written in late June 2020, not long after the Edward Colston statue was pulled down and also still very much in the height of the pandemic. I spent a lot of the time we were in lockdown; observing, listening, watching, reading and learning. I think the pandemic provided an unexpected pause and exposed a lot of the injustice that still exists in our world. The song was a way of me processing and acknowledging just how deeply I see and feel the reality of this. Like the great Nina Simone once said, ‘An Artists’ duty is to reflect the times’ and I kept coming back to that quote during this time.
I am actively trying to educate myself and help to drive positive change, for all!
I can hear so many influences in this track! How would you describe your sound to someone who had never listened to you before?
Ha! That is hard. I agree that my influences are diverse, my upcoming album ‘Blue Embrace’ really highlights this. I would say ‘authentic, uplifting, soul/pop’. Although I often use ‘Retro-chic soul’ as that was what a reviewer coined me after hearing my first single.
The last few years have been rough for everyone, but particularly musicians- without the ability to perform and connect with fans and audiences. What did you learn about yourself and your music during the pandemic?
Oh dear, this could be a looooonnng answer! I learnt SO MUCH and still am. I guess the song itself suggests that. One of the biggest things I learnt is I play a much bigger part in the system than I ever really understood. So I am actively trying to educate myself and help to drive positive change, for all! Touching more on what you said above I feel I’ve learnt to be myself and be okay with that. Thus enabling me to write the album. I hope that authenticity comes across to the listener.
“I love writing for other people and I love melody. It became obvious quite quickly that I can write SO much quicker for other people.”
How does it feel to be releasing your debut album soon? What was the recording process like?
ABSOLUTELY ECSTATIC! I was sat here writing the album credits yesterday and got a bit overwhelmed to be honest. I am very proud of it and so grateful to everyone that has helped make it happen.
Recording was amazing. It was one of the first musical experiences I had back in the room with actual people. We recorded at Invada Studios which is a great space and I was in my element listening to my music come to life!
What did you learn from recording your debut album?
In short, that I can. That I can do it and I have done it and the time it took was exactly the way it was supposed to be, so I could be me.
“Invest in yourself; your wellbeing and your energy. Do the hard work, it is worth it.”
You not only write your own songs, but also write top-lines for others and do session work. How do you think this affects your own music? Has it taught you anything?
Yes! I love writing for other people and I love melody. It became obvious quite quickly that I can write SO much quicker for other people. Again, this just became part of the process of understanding myself and my songwriting ability, and then breaking down the hurdles to being able to make my own album.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Invest in yourself; your wellbeing and your energy. Do the hard work, it is worth it. And be professional in all engagements without being fake.
The album launch for Michaela’s debut album, Blue Embrace is being held on Friday 22nd October at The Hen and Chicken on North St, Southville, Bristol. Details and tickets available here.
Listen to Who Am I? Here: