After spending years on-screen and behind the mic as a voice over actor, Michael Johnston is stepping into the music industry.
Michael's debut single 'Trust Me' offers an upbeat, lighthearted feeling and speaks volumes to Johnston’s abilities as a songwriter. The track will lead Michael’s upcoming EP, set for release this year, which will offer a diverse selection of tracks.
We had the chance to speak to him on the release, his past in acting and plans for the future...
Hey Michael! Welcome to The Lowdown! Introduce yourself and tell us something about you!
"Thanks for having me! I'm Michael Johnston, a screen actor, voiceover artist, and pop singer-songwriter. I make a lot of noise and try not to bother my neighbours too much."
Where are you from?
"I grew up in a tiny rural town in North Carolina, but my new home base is Los Angeles, California."
When did you realise you wanted to have a career in music?
"Music is all relatively new to me. I did not grow up in a musical household. I had this fear of singing throughout my childhood and I was about 18 years old the first time I even tried it. When I finally made the move to Los Angeles to pursue acting, I had the opportunity to sing in a voiceover cartoon role (that never came out) and from then on it became something I wanted to do."
Can you sum up your sound in one sentence?
"Singer-songwriter pop with an organic, grounded feel."
What is your biggest motivation or inspiration?
"Writing and singing my own music is very cathartic, and it is incredibly motivating to hear that someone can relate to my lyrics."
Where’s your dream venue to play?
"I'd love to sing my music in a stadium some day. Preferably post-pandemic."
You’ve just released your debut single ‘Trust Me’. How has the reaction been so far?
"It's been wonderful! I'm so happy people are enjoying the song and it is surreal to see videos of people on social media singing and dancing to my music. It only makes me more excited to release my EP, because I believe the tracks sound even better."
It’s a really commercial upbeat and catchy pop song! What kind of music do you enjoy listening to / who are you listening to at the minute?
"I had been listening to Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran (maybe you can tell with 'Trust Me') but lately I've had Lauv and Troye Sivan on repeat. I'm looking forward to experimenting with a more edgy, electronic sound in some of my future tracks. I'm also a big fan of Niall Horan, and I am working on a cinematic, soundtrack-like song in the vein of 'Flicker' that I can't wait to share with you."
You’ve come from acting in shows such as ‘Teen Wolf’ as well as the lead role in comedy film ‘Slash’ to now releasing music. Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do? Has anything put you off doing this until now?
"Until the pandemic hit, acting was my main focus. Making music was something that I rarely had time for, so being stuck inside has been the perfect opportunity to start working on it."
Your EP is set for release later this year. What can we expect from it?
"You can expect at least three additional tracks on my upcoming EP. I'm experimenting with slightly different sounds and I can't wait to see what resonates the most with my listeners."
What are your plans going forward and into 2021? Are you hoping to get on the road to play live?
"I haven't thought ahead that far, but I love performing for local venues so going on the road would be a dream!"