Making his emergence onto the music scene earlier this year is the exciting new artist Michael, better known by his stage name Be Like Milo, who showcased his vibrant and immersive artistry with the release of his debut offering Pieces this January. Melodic and poignant, Pieces brings us into his sonic world that features rhythmic percussive beats, delicate instrumentals and powerful indie-pop melodies to create a bold and ambient atmospheric energy. Above the meditative instrumentation are Michael’s heartfelt and captivating vocals that are placed at the forefront of the sonic landscape and make for the standout feature on the track. An incredible release and stunning introduction to his sound and artistry, Pieces is the first taste of what we can expect from this talented singer-songwriter. With an exciting journey ahead and more fantastic music to come; following the single release, we sat down with Michael to chat all about Pieces, his journey so far and what we can expect from him next. So, make sure to keep up with him on his socials to be the first to know about all his music news and releases; and for the full interview, keep on reading down below.
BM: Making your emergence onto the music scene earlier this year with your debut single Pieces, how does it feel to have this track, and your first single, out in the world?
M: I wrote Pieces when I was in a rough spot mentally, and the song directly reflects on experiences from my recently ended relationship. It was pretty daunting to put my music out there not only as an artist for the first time, but with a song that is so meaningful to me. It’s great to hear how it has resonated with the experiences and relationships of others. I feel motivated and excited to keep writing and working on new music.
BM: How long have you been a creative making music and where did that curiosity come from?
M: It started with writing down my thoughts and feelings. Some people choose diaries, others blogs. For me it was lyrics in songs. It helped me to write down things I was struggling with to make everything feel more manageable. Playing my songs in a better place than when I wrote them, or having recovered from the state they refer to, is very therapeutic and reminds me how far I have come.
BM: How did you start out on your musical journey and how have you found that so far, especially being an emerging artist during these crazy times?
M: I have been singing and playing music from a young age. When I went to university I took my dad’s guitar with me and started to learn in my spare time. The girl who lived next door to me also played guitar and wrote songs. I remember being surprised to hear that one of the songs she first played me was hers and it inspired me to start writing my own. I find songwriting is an opportunity to be honest with myself and people around me. My music gives others an opportunity to learn more about me and hear stories that I may otherwise struggle to tell.
BM: Over the past year and with everything that’s gone on, how would you say that that’s changed and developed you as an artist and/or your career trajectory?
M: Songwriting and singing has always been a way for me to focus on myself and my mental health. For this reason, working on and recording Pieces during the pandemic was a way for me to escape from the day to day and allow me to create something for the future. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my past and what I wanted to achieve going forward.
BM: What’s your usual creative process like and what would you say is your favourite part of the process?
M: There are days when I sit down and tell myself to write. This rarely works. There are days when I feel the urge to play around with some chords on my guitar and write down some lyrics. This sometimes works. Most of my songs have come from those rare moments of creative spark that visit unexpectedly. My favourite part is the natural urge that encourages me to sit down and create something new. It’s normally days when I feel particularly low and I enjoy turning those feelings into something creative.
BM: Talk us through the making of your latest single Pieces.
M: I was living on my friend’s couch, having moved out of the house that I lived in with my ex. I had just finished a job interview that had gone pretty well. I remember pacing in the living room, thinking back over my relationship and a few words began to fall into a tune in my head. I grabbed my guitar and went to sit in the kitchen. I spent the next ten minutes or so playing some chords and noting down my thoughts. I remember crying as I played making it hard to type the lyrics into my phone. I knew immediately it was something I wanted to work more on.
BM: Are there any specific themes or notable messages behind Pieces?
M: Pieces is my attempt at summarising a four year relationship in three minutes. It takes the listener from the very first moment we met, our ups and downs and eventual break up. It tells the story of what was left of me, to pick myself up and carry on.
BM: What made you feel that Pieces was the perfect debut release?
M: I felt like I owed it to myself and the relationship with my ex. It felt like the perfect tribute to the memories and time we had committed to each other and it didn’t feel right to release any other song before Pieces. I believe it is my most honest and heartfelt song I have written to date and it felt like the best song to put myself out there as an artist.
BM: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2021?
M: I’ve been busy working on my next track ‘Hold On’ which is due for release on 11th June. I’m excited for people to hear it. Hold On is an upbeat song focusing lyrically on my past troubles with mental health and suicidal thoughts. After that I’ll get back to writing and recording some more songs, and maybe even work on a music video if it feels like the right time. I miss playing in a band so much… I would love to work with some other artists to write, record and perform music – if you’re interested then reach out!
Such a pleasure to chat to Michael, he is certainly one of 2021’s ‘Ones To Watch’.
Be Like Milo on streaming platforms