We are really excited to announce we are working with an exciting new singer songwriter called Michael Armstrong! His debut EP will be released at the end of June. We will be looking for people to review the EP so get in touch if you are interested and in the mean time cast your eye over the press release!
Debut EP: Paler Shade of Blue, Living What You’re Breathing, Regalia Release Date: 24th June, 2012 (Upbeat Synergy)
The last year has been something of a whirlwind for dad of three and London builder Michael Armstrong. As a young boy he listened to his musical heroes such as Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Eagles and dreamed of living the life of a rock star. However, the dream was going to have to wait as he grew up, took over his father’s building business, got married and started a family.
The love for writing songs never went away. He learned to play the guitar, taught himself piano and continually wrote new material whilst moonlighting in the evenings around London in various bands. Later, as a solo artist he played some of the toughest crowds in London, winning them round each time. Michael lived for this buzz and his dream of being a singer songwriter full time never waned.
Totally by chance and whilst on holiday in Florida in April last year, the American Idol TV show were holding auditions and the team spotted Michael and asked him to enter. An intense day of coaching followed, plus numerous knock-out heats, culminating in a final sing-off performance in front of a packed theatre audience in the evening. Michael not only won the competition outright, he received a standing ovation and was awarded a ‘ dream ticket’, offering him a place in the televised auditions. He thought this was his big chance but sadly it was not meant to be. Due to not having a US visa or citizenship, he was unable to take it any further, which was a heavy blow.
Within a few weeks of returning from Florida, Michael was working on a building job in Surrey. Spotting all the gold and platinum discs on the wall, he got chatting to the owner and realised he had struck lucky once again. The house belonged to music celebrity TV and Radio PR, Lisa Davies, whose clients include Sir Cliff Richard and Chris de Burgh among other major artists. The next day he gave her a CD containing a selection of his own compositions. She was immediately impressed and offered him a recording contract with her new label, Upbeat Synergy. His lucky break had finally come!
Michael began living a double life. One moment he was on a building site, the next rubbing shoulders with musical icons and being called up last minute to stand in at rehearsals for Cliff Richard at ITV’s Daybreak and Chris de Burgh on X Factor. This continued over the next few months as Lisa called on him to cover other TV and radio shows for her artists, including The Alan Titchmarsh Show and Loose Women, giving him a break from his day job and the experience of a ‘real life’ X Factor type boot camp.
The recent record deal has enabled Michael to record some of the songs for his new album at Elevator Studios in Liverpool. Michael chose this city, firstly in recognition of his long-term obsession with The Beatles and secondly as it gave him the opportunity to escape from London and the building world.
Michael is an exciting new British talent, unashamedly raw, emotional and direct. On the outside are his trademark sparkly eyes, cheeky builder smile and bravado and on the inside is a sensitive and tender song smith. On ‘Paler Shade of Blue’, track 1 of the EP, the lyrics purposely reference Michael’s work as a builder in a nod to the life he intends to leave behind. His songs strike you immediately as being well-honed classics, which have echoes of the crafted lyrics of Dylan and the musicality of The Eagles, Paul Carrack and Steely Dan.
This young man is a star in the making and the building work may have to take a back seat for while! Take a look at Michael’s winning performance at the American Idol heat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FHwXUrxzDM