Exclusive Interview with Mike Smith
Why country music ?
~ I think the country music format is where my style of writing and performing resides to connect with people. My songs are story oriented; mixed with my southern rock music style, I feel right at home at country.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Alison Krauss and ME!!!
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ That is really a hard question. On my new album, it's probably "Life Gets In The Way" because it hits home with my wife and I. It's our real life, day-to-day story about how difficult it is to balance life with love and passion and make it all work. We are blessed that we do!
What artist would you like to write a song for to record?
~ I have written dozens of songs for so many different artists, but my first, and current, choice would be to write with Chris Stapleton.
What artist and artist's career do you most admire and why?
~ I probably admire Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson the most because they both enjoyed success later in life; they never gave up, and when they saw success, they didn't push, they worked to maintain strong, healthy careers.
What is your all-time favorite country recording and why?
~ Hands down "Jolene" by Dolly Parton. Dolly is such an amazing songwriter and that song has so much angst and emotion that both men and women are moved by it.
What new flavor do you think you bring to the country music format as a "stand-out?"
~ Without question, I think my diversity in songwriting and love for the 1970s sound makes me different. I have written with some of the biggest-named recording artists in hip hop, rock, R & B and country and I have learned so much from each genre. I also play twelve different instruments, so I am able to pull from many sounds and create a unique vibe. And because I'm half Cuban, I have more different roots than most artists in the country music format.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ How do you balance being married with six kids, writing everyday, being on a national TV Show, managing all of the businesses associated with this, and not lose your mind?" Answer: I lost my mind years ago! LOL.
What is the one question that interviewers ask you that you find the most difficult to answer? (Please provide the question and your best answer.)
~ How do write for so many different genres?" Answer: I don't write for a certain genre; the songs just come out. ...and to whomever it speaks, that recording artist just matches the production to what they feel fits it (and them) the best.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (we are more interested in the facilities than the technique) where you have recorded.
~ Blackbird is the most incredible for me. John McBride played me "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Studio C and it was probably the most incredible music experience of my life. That studio is literally equipped with 20 of every piece of music equipment you could imagine!
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I'm always nervous to some extent; the best trick for me is to start with a song I know I can "kill" to kick off the set and that sets the mood right.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Wow, there have been so many memorable days throughout my career and each day something else new and amazing occurs. I think recording my songs at Gilby Clarke's house (from Guns 'N Roses) and staring at his MTV Music Award Moon Men ranks high up as "incredible" for me
What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
~ I am color blind. I cannot see red, green, orange, pink or purple. Those colors look mostly brown to me. (So, the experience of eating an apple, orange, watermelon or grapes is much less than 'juicy!').
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Answers given on May 16, 2016