Interview with recording artist Michala Todd
Written by Assist Editor Saturday, 06 February 2010 00:00
Toronto Exclusive Magazine
On the day of my CD Release Party, I was on top of the world.
Toronto Exclusive Magazine
Your album is now released and is available on CD Baby http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michalatodd, give us an idea of your emotional journey while creating your debut.
I was very excited about the thought of possibly recording a 10 song CD. Each time we went into the recording studio in Toronto, I grew emotionally and professionally. The experience was amazing, my songwriters and producers were great with me. The closer we got to the release date, the more excited I became. I also began to zero in on the type of songs I liked the best; up tempo pop/rock. On the day of my CD Release Party, I was "on top of the world". I had the opportunity to work with a performance coach, Kevin Pauls from Kitchener, an excellent musician and coach, who helped me put together my show. I had a great crowd to perform to, and my performance was very well received. This day was truely one in which I will always remember.
You collaborated with legendary songwriter, Cyril Rawson, whose songs have been recorded by superstars including Anne Murray, Alanah Myles, Keith Urban and you also worked with artist/songwriter/producer John Acosta, who has written for artists such as Pop duo SKY, Canadian Idol Winner Ryan Malcolm and Carol Welsman, what was the experience like?
Working with Cyril Rawson and John Acosta was an incredible experience for me. It was the very first time I had the opportunity to work with professional musicians in creating music. Cyril spent numerous hours helping me perfect my delivery and style, challenging me in every session and allowed me to grow as a singer. I admire John's talents and emotions in bringing my songs to life through his music and background vocals. John also encouraged me to record my own background vocals on a few of the songs. I learned so much from John each time we worked together in the studio.
You have won 2nd place amongst more than 2,000 entries in an online American Idol-type contest, and donated $2,000 to The Mastocytosis Society (TMS), and the GBMC Foundation (for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). When was the contest held, why did you think you had a chance to win it and why is supporting mastocytosis so close to your heart?
The online American Idol-type contest to help raise awareness for Mastocytosis and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which are two deadly diseases, began on January lst, 2008 and ended July 31st, 2008. Initially, I placed in the top 10, then placed 2nd overall. The Top 6 finalists receiving the most votes on their music, were invited to Washington, DC to perform at a Benefit Concert being held at the Embassy of France. It was on August 2nd, that I received a phone call indicating I had placed 2nd. I can't tell you how excited I was to not only be a winner, but more importantly, to meet the woman dying of these diseases. During the course of my music career, so many people have reached out to help me, and I in turn, wanted to give back by way of donating to this very worthy cause.
You have punchy songs, well produced and written, and your vocals really penetrate with confidence as a pop diva, who does Michala Todd think she is coming on strong like that?
Thanks for the compliment. I have to credit the songs to the songwriters, but as for myself, I am developing my own style and sound that I hope is and will be easily recognizable by the listener. A few singers that I am inspired by are Kate Voegele and Demi Lovato, but at the end of the day, I want to be unique and sound like Michala.
Lets get to your amazingly good looking myspace site. You must know its the world's best. Who designed it and what are your fans like on myspace, facebook etc? What type of support are they expressing?
I'm very proud to say that Michael van de Velde from The Netherlands designed both my Myspace Site and my Official Web Site. We collaborated together to come up with a very unique design that would portray the type of singer I am. I have an incredible fan base on all my sites and it is continuing to grow daily. My friends and fans have continued to support me from the beginning and still keep in touch regularly. My friends and fans have purchased my CD and come out to support my performances. I consider myself very fortunate, because without their support, I would not be where I am today.
Whats going on with school, how well do you juggle pursuing a recording career at the same time?
I am presently in Grade 11 at school, and at times it is challenging keeping up with school work and my music career at the same time. It does take a great deal of prioritizing and planning, which my mom and I do together, to work it all in. I did complete an extra course of study over the summer last year in order to make my year easier this year, which has helped tremendously. This allows me more time to focus on my music. I believe that my music actually helps me in school and vice versa.
Tell about the experience performing your original song In-Between performed at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto accompanied by an 18 piece orchestra.
Performing my original ballad "In Between" accompanied by an 18 piece orchestra, was an incredible experience. My vocal coach, Ryan Luchuck, approached me on his plan to put on a professional show in Toronto's Glen Gould Theatre, featuring his students. Ryan was thrilled with the idea that I wanted to perform one of my original songs. A few changes were made to include strings to enhance a different sound. I was excited to perform in front of such skilled musicians. This is an experience I would like to repeat again.
You are not living in Toronto but in a town somewhere in Ontario, how do you find working with the Toronto music scene, are you getting much love?
To date, I have not had a lot of opportunity to work with the Toronto music scene, but this is something I certainly want to pursue more, due to the many opportunities out there.
Whats next? What are your ideas about signing with a record label and what would you like the music industry to do more for MT?
Right now, I am getting more involved with co-writing songs with a new team of writers from Nashville; Don Somerville and Michael Lee, and I will be completing a six song EP in Nashville this Spring. As well, I continue to perform on a regular basis, which gains me more experience. My ultimate goal would be to be signed on with a record label, get my name known in the music industry, and start touring in Canada, the States and Internationally.