Ever shy, but sure of himself, the blue eyed brit they call Mi’das a.k.a Mike Davies is discussing the first song from his new Album “All Inside Your Head”. “Feels Like Only Yesterday” places his trademark soulful vocal and guitar style at centre stage, it contains echoes of the best of the 60s and 70s but is by no means a retro-rehash. The narrative of the song speaks of the worry free innocence of youth. Its a deeper subject than your average pop song - is that common for you? Well...” starts the Brighton born singer/songwriter/guitarist “My viewpoint is that popular music doesn't have to be throwaway. We as musicians, songwriters and earthlings have the opportunity to say something in that 3-4 minute window. If we convey it honestly and concisely it will hopefully then carry to the listener and affect them”
A string of three EP releases earlier in 2015 by the soulful strummer was an eclectic mix of the soul and pop music he loves so much. Quoting Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joni Mitchell and Elton John as strong influences the sound is rooted in timeless songwriting but is discernibly of our time. I ask him, how has the approach to the Album developed from those releases? “Its solidified my love of ‘soulful’ music, not necessarily always direct references of soul records but anything by songwriters that put thier soul on the line in the performace or narratives. As much as i love the amazing music of the past as a source of inspiration and education i also wanted it to feel like an album recorded in 2015 not 1975.”
The education of the music of the past and the overall eclecticism heard in his music can certainly be traced to his background growing up in a musical family and surrounded by soul, pop, funk, jazz and classical. His early performances were at school assemblies and with the family band and after leaving school and studying guitar at a music college for two years he cut his teeth partly by busking the streets and partly by singing and playing at events up and down the country to begin to earn a living from music. These formative years saw him play over 250 gigs, and travel 60,000 miles a year across the country. He says of this time in his life:
“I just wanted to make it work no matter what, and i certainly learned lessons i keep with me still now from those experiences, you don’t get anything without hard work for one!”
A move to the hub of London prompted a change in fortunes. After frequenting the cities hottest jam sessions and proving his worth among some of the UKs most talented musicians, he started to land work as a session musician with artists such as Jessie J, Rita Ora, Labrinth, Jamie Cullum and many others. This also lead to memorable performances at venues such as the O2 arena, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace (In front of Prince William, Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift no less). A songwriter for over ten years by this point however, he knew standing in the shadows was never where he wanted his journey to end: “Theres a lot to be said for the formidable talents that back the chart acts out there today, and my time in that world has certainly brought a deep appreciation for everyone that's involved as part of the team around an artist”
The time spent living in London was also a creative one and saw Davies sing and write as part of the London collective ‘Bassment Project’. A 10 piece funk-soul outfit, the bands’ self titled release was influenced by Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake to name a few. It featured duets with the likes of soul legend Betty Wright, Rizzle Kicks and paved the way for shows at London’s Ronnie Scott's, The Jazz Cafe and San Javier Jazz festival in Spain where they headlined one of the nights. (Other headliners included George Benson, Booker T and Bobby Mcferrin).
In a recent interview for BBCs the Mark Forrest show, Mi’das talks of his ambitions…”I got to play a support show at the Shepherds Bush Empire earlier this year and would love to headline at somepoint in the future! I also hope to get to the Grammys oneday, if not as a nominee just for the party.”
The last few years have seen Mi’das more focused than ever on nurturing his own creative output and getting it to more ears. He certainly seems to have been succesful to date getting closer to that goal and reaching his ambitions. With a total of 60 shows to 20,000 people so far in 2015 and a new album on the horizon I have a strong suspicion we’ll be hearing of the man and his music for many years to come.
To follow the story and for music, videos, info and live dates visit: www.officialmidas.com
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