“Other Side” is the new single from singer-songwriter Michael Fairman who, in his fifties, is a latecomer to the pop music industry. Michael’s mid-tempo blend of pop and soul is catchy and proves that this boomer can sing! Its message about ageism, personal struggles, and finding inner-strength is especially poignant. Michael recently discussed this and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for singing and why did you wait so long to break into the music industry?
Michael Fairman (MF): I discovered my love for singing when I was very, very young. I do feel I received a gift to be able to sing as it always came natural to me. Throughout grade school, junior high, and even high school, I remember being pretty much a loner, and would love to spend my time in my room putting on the latest albums or single from R&B, soul and pop greats and sing to them. When I was 12, I actually put out my first single in Chicago, so I don’t remember a time early on when I was not singing. It was later in life that I found success working behind the scenes as a TV producer and a TV journalist that I thought maybe my calling in life was meant to be in something else. But what I learned from this is; that if that fire burns deep down within the core of who you are it never leaves you. So, I finally felt ready over the last few years to embrace the musical side of my talent and go for the career I longed to have.
MM: What inspired the music and lyrics for “Other Side?”
MF: I had been going through and preparing for some very major and difficult changes and challenges in my life; that I knew would bring me down emotionally during the process of having to go through them. I also know many people who are faced with daily personal struggles in their life. So, I wanted to come up with a sort of “fight song” if you will that says in essence: give it your best shot, throw whatever you want at me, that no matter how bad it gets, I will have the strength to get to the other side of it.
MM: What do you hope listeners take from the song?
MF: I hope during times of doubt, fear, anxiousness, sadness, breaks-ups, physical challenges and changes that this song can offer them solace and hope in its lyrics and delivery that they too can get to the other side of life’s most difficult moments.
MM: Are you planning to make a music video?
MF: Yes! And in fact, we were scheduled to shoot it and then the coronavirus pandemic hit, so we were not able to do it. But as soon as things return to some sense of normalcy where we can film without a health risk to anyone, we plan on shooting the video; which I am excited to make. I really love the process of making music videos from concept, scouting locations, to performance, to editing. A great video is one that tells a story, or evokes a feeling, tone or emotion for the viewer, and enhances the song you write. But let’s be real, when all is said and done it’s all about that video editing!
MM: What other songs have you produced and what are they about?
MF: Before “Other Side” within the last year and half I released two other singles, “Thing About Me” which really takes on the dangers of social media and how toxic it can be, especially when people form an opinion about you from it, and they don’t even know anything about you. The other track “Can’t Let You Go” was an anthemic pop/dance inspired by Dua Lipa’s and Mark Ronson’s “Electricity” (which I think is one of the best produced singles of all-time) about trying to get over that relationship that is dead and gone, but for some reason, you are holding on to the past, and how you need to break the chains the bind you to have the freedom to open yourself up to love again. The dance remix version was done by Cristian Poow; a talented Argentian-based DJ/Remixer that I hope will hit the clubs very soon.
MM: How did you find your trademark style and what’s been the toughest thing about breaking out in this industry?
MF: I’ve always been that blue-eyed soul white guy! I love soul music. In my 20’s and 30’s in New York City, I would play many of the R&B clubs and not just the rock venues. I think I have always had a bit of the British vibe of how I infuse pop and soul to the musical elements and the melody and hooks in the choruses of my songs. Now, as to the toughest thing about breaking into the industry – it’s getting people to hear and play your music, and making people aware. With the way the music industry is today; there are literally millions, probably, of independent artist, some of whom are so talented, that it’s a shame that people aren’t hearing their songs and about them more, because of a handful of other talented artist who get mainstream radio play and are tried and true. But all of them had to start somewhere, right?
MM: What can attendees expect from your live shows?
MF: I love playing live. I think when artists take the songs that everyone knows of theirs and changes them up a bit for the live-version of it; it’s a very cool thing. For my show, expect full band; keyboards, drums, guitars etc., and some amazing back-up singers to handle all of the parts I love to craft in my songs. All about those back-ups! The show will be comprised of originals and “Michael’s Playlist “of songs that I love that fit the style of the show.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon?
MF: That’s a great question! Everything we had on the docket got canceled or bumped due to the coronavirus pandemic and moved to the fall. What I can tell you, is once we don’t have to utilize “social distancing” to help bend the curve of the virus, I plan to be back in the studio recording and finishing some new tracks I had started. I also look forward to the day when we can book some live appearances too; when it’s safe and healthy to do so for all.
To learn more, visit Michael’s Spotify.