Singer-songwriter Michael J. Woodard released his debut EP, MJW1. The EP has a seven song track list. Michael was a finalist on American Idol and is currently signed to Katy Perry’s Unsub Records under Capitol Records.
How did your time on American Idol help shape who you are as an artist today?
Michael: I always say that the American Idol experience is something you can't buy. It really gives you kind of a simulation of what the industry is like before entering into it. It's something that I'm really grateful for. It gives you a well rounded experience where you are able to pull from the things that it gives you, whether it's tour or performing in front of millions before there's pressure to achieve commercial success. A Lot of it, if not all of it, has given me so many things that I continue to integrate the path that I'm on today. I'm really grateful for the experience.
What is something you want listeners to know about your EP?
Michael: There is so much care and tenderness that I've put into this record. It is something that I'm so proud of when it comes to me stepping outside of the process and out worldly looking in. There's so much passion that goes into making these records and it makes me excited for what's to come. I'm really adamant of the experience I have with the fans when I'm putting music out. You can hear my heart and soul in these records so to know it's communicating and resonating with people gives me all the joy in the world. I'm excited about these records and what's to come as well. I want people to know when you're listening to a song from me you are listening to my heart, truly.
What song from the EP are you most excited for fans to hear?
Michael: “Hems” I was excited for people to hear that one, it is probably the most abstract record I've put out so far. There's a story there and I really don't think I had to say anything, I could have almost hummed that record and arrangement and I feel like it would have resonated because of all the different things happening in that record. Putting that record out brought me joy as well as the others but I was most excited for you guys to hear that one.
How do you stay motivated?
Michael: There's so many things that I want to accomplish. My mom always teases me, boy if I ask you to do anything outside of music it takes you forever but when it has something to do with you singing or music you do it right then. With that being said there's so many goals I want to accomplish with music. I love it, you really don't have to really elaborate when it comes to motivation. That love you have for music it outweighs any other thing that comes in between you not going for it. When you love music you'll go to lengths to make your dream come true. A Lot of people understand it and a lot of people don't. If you are a musician or a lover of music you'll understand that. When you love it, that's all the motivation you really need. It's not about the monetary things or accolades, it's just about the love for music and wanting it to be heard on a global scale. I'm gonna keep going till I get it.
How influential has Katy Perry been in your development as an artist?
Michael: There's a lot of similarities me and Katy have. Which a lot of people may not know. Katy grew up with christianity as well. She was able to relate to me and with me with that from early on and being a christian from early on in life really means. Also our ears are similar and I think that's why I've been blessed when presenting a record to her that I want to put out. She's like yeah that's the one. It's kind of a confirmation to me that I'm glad we're doing this together which is beautiful.
What goals are you hoping to accomplish this year?
Michael: There are a lot, there are a lot of performance goals that I have and platforms I’d love to play. Before the year is over I would love to go on the Jingle Ball tour at the end of the year. I want to do at least 4 festivals this summer and maybe a couple more in the fall. Maybe a college tour would be wonderful. I really want to attend the Grammys. Coachella, the list is already out but I'd love to be on it. Just giving my followers and fans more music. Putting out music that allows my fans to see where I'm at present day. I think that we put so much into this project where you are able to hear songs I created in 2022 and 2023. Just allowing my fans to see what I'm making in this present time is something that I'm excited about as well. Even though what you're hearing now on MJW1 is just the introduction to where we are going in the future. In a couple months you'll be hearing even more from me.
Is there anyone you want to work with? And are there any artists you want to collaborate with?
Michael: There are so many, James Boterory, Ester Dean, Stargate, Amy Allen, T-Pain and Jon Bellion, so many that I'm forgetting to name, Dewain Whitmore. I would like to collaborate with Miley Cyrus, that would be cool, I would love to do something with her. I love her voice. It's stellar, she reminds me of this old school folk indie rock singer. Chloe and Halle would be really cool to do something with one day. I would like to do an R&B soul ballad with Ariana Grande.
What is one important thing you learned from being on American Idol?
Michael: Really when I said it's like a simulation, at the end of the simulation it presents the question is this what you want to do. Because you are going through every aspect of what it's like having a thriving music career and what that is like. It's not all glitz and glamor, it's hard work and long hours, early mornings and late nights. There's not alot of freedom to do things you want to do in terms of hobbies and relaxation. Can you deal with anxiety, when you are performing every sunday and sometimes monday. What it's like meeting people and dealing with other personalities, it really teaches you. The most important thing I learned is yes this is what I want to do. I knew it was what I wanted to do but on an elevated basis everything that comes with the music career after going through it I was like yes, I live for this, this is everything I want to do, I will never stop.
Listen to MJW1: HERE