MUSIC FOR HOPE 2 feat. MICHAEL CARREON: Exclusive Interview

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I have been lagging with my blogposts, I am totally aware of that and I do want to apologise. The reason for being so far behind with posting is that I literally have been busy with the litte renovation in my room. Ikea here and Ikea there the past couple of days. But I am back and I told myself to put a little more effort in my blogging during the summer so to improve or keep up my writing.

Anyways, the afterhype of Music For Hope 2 might have already been digested. However, I bet that it is still quite hard to process that Michael Carreon left for the States last weekend. I was thinking that with this long awaited post, reminising about the past week with him would hopefully make you smile.


About a week ago I got the (highly appreciated) chance to get to interview Michael. We kept it lowkey and chilled in a little café at Praterstern. While Michael sipped on a beer I kicked off the interview by asking him how he found the benefit concert. “It was one of the best shows I’ve ever done. First off because of the crowd, it was pretty organised like the set and all the committee since everyone had a job. So yeah, everything went pretty smoothly. My favourite part of the show was when the music started and the crowd started screaming and the initial dance piece started where they picked two people out of every dance group.” Michael did not only praise the M4H-Crew but of course also that nights’ performers. “I had no idea there was so much talent in Vienna that more people definitely have to see.” Who does not share his opinion? Vienna might be a small city and not many Austrian artists make it big internationally, we all know that but I guess the professionals and the music scouts overlook one niche segment in Austria’s population when it comes to talents – the pinoys. It might be clichéd but it is true. Every Filipino has at least one talent and there are no disagreements on that.

Brian Salonga – the organiser of M4H2 – made sure that Michael got around Vienna and he also made sure that Michael had the possibility to get to know new people. Of course, as a foreigner you do notice the cultural differences such as the language but other than that Michael did not actually feel out of place during his stay. “Apart from the language difference it actually is scary how close it is to home as well because there are so many Filipinos here who also speak Tagalog. It’s like being home away from home.”
Michael is also the opinion that when you would put a bunch of Filipinos on one spot everyone would get along just perfectly well which of course is true since we all share the same mentality – respect, family and faith.

When talking about travelling as it was his first trip to Vienna he mentioned that he used to travel around during vacation when he was younger but now as a musician he never had an international performance up until the M4H-event since his usual performances only limited themselves among the States. “I would wanna perform anywhere I could. Especially in places I have never been before.”
But when he would get the choice between actually living in a different country or city in Europe he would most definitely choose Vienna. “There’s no other city that hit me like this one did!”
No one can deny that Michael has literally fallen in love with the V-Town, the city where everything is pretty laid back and chilled – “gmiatlich, eben”. While others wish to live in the USA Michael on the other hand would rather wish to live here with all the people who are just like him.

Now continuing with the most crucial part of the whole interview – Michael’s music. The first musical experience he went through was with just 3 years old when he started pushing random buttons on the piano which his mother bought for decorative purposes for their house. However, he started really getting into it by the time he was 18 or 19 years old when his ex-girlfriend bought him his first ukulele and his mother bought him his first guitar. With all the musical instruments he had around him he started to get more serious with his music and started to put up random videos on his Youtube-Channel. At first his goal was to see if he could get 100 fans and he would then stop just to see if he could do it but luckily he never stopped and his fans never stopped to watch his videos which resulted in people calling him up for shows. He then started off with little coffeeshop performances or open-mic shows and ended up doing charity shows all over the States and also here. “And now I’m here in Vienna! I can’t believe it.”

Of course we also got to talk about his recently release EP-Album ‘Carry On’ which was his “biggest accomplishment” he has done so far. After all the money he invested and all the work he did for this project it definitely paid off and was definitely worth it. “I wouldn’t be here if not for the Album.”
Not only for Michael but for every other artist it is strange at first when you realise that people actually listen to your songs and know the words to them. “Especially when the people so far away like here know the songs and the words.”

The producer of his EP-Album was none other than Jesse Barerra who recently produced AJ Rafael‘s Album as well. You might not know but Michael and Jesse are best friends so working on this project was even more fun since it was not a business thing, Michael told. Knowing that artists with a major record deal are mostly under pressure getting an album done, Michael who is independent in that sense was able to enjoy the process of creating this album without being pressurized by anybody and just basically continuing his daily life only with his best friend on his side and more hours of music in a day. “The glory after album is done is cool and everything but the actual making of the album was the best part out of the whole project.”
Michael has a special connection to Jesse due to the fact that he really looks up to him. “Jesse is my musical idol. He inspired me so much and he so knowledgeable because he travelled the world when he was still in the band ‘My American Heart‘ and now after the band broke up he does his solo thing.”
Even before they met each other Michael was a big fan of him and he says, “he has helped and inspired me to write songs but more so he does all these amazing things even though he is just another regular guy, another person that really loves music.”

Since Michael writes all of his songs on his own his biggest inspiration when writing are girls,love and everything around it and because he is a songwriter he always has a notepad on him. When it comes to the musical part of writing a song his influences come from raggae music. If you listen to his song ‘Hey Love‘ then you understand how the influences can be transformed into a self-made song. For that reason and also for the reason that not many people listen to raggae music – the feel-good music, how he calls it – Michael’s sound differs from all other YT-artists. But the reasons do not stop there. What makes Michael’s sound so different and unique is that he tries to appeal to every listener out there and therefore tries to write different kinds of music also as to improve his writing skills. So, as soon as a thought hits him in the day he writes it down so he ends up with all these little thoughts and lines that do seem to have a connection. However, the melody just comes through messing around on his guitar or improvising. “Music should make you feel good.”
When we talked about his songs Michael said that each song reminded him of the experience he had in his life and that each song reminded him of a specific girl he knows or used to know and who inspired him to write the song. He took up the courage to actually write down and express the things in such a simple and unique way that people at his age go through as well as relate to. “My songs are true stories that’s why maybe people can relate to them because I’m just a young adult who sees life just every other person in my age.”

Since the social media plays a major role in his career for Michael the social network was a great way to spread and get feedback from his fans on his music and was also a way to collaborate with other artists. It also gave him the opportunity to get his music more out there and make it spread all over. Nevertheless, there are also downsides on the Internet as Michael mentions: “People get too caught up into the Internet thing that they think that music is the Internet even though you could be sitting by yourself in your room and just do music. Some people think that it’s all about getting the most subscribers or comments and it is kinda blinding. It even blinded me at some point.”

Now, what can we expect from Michael Carreon in the future?

Michael is basically ‘milking’ this whole album thing, doing shows, selling merch, cds and posters and stuff, which is doing well for him. The next step he is going to take would be doing another EP 
which will be more a Hip Hop, poetry, rap type of albums. Due to the fact that he used to rap and freestyle a lot before his friends suggested and encouraged him to take that route in his musical path. It is not just about to be versatile and open to other things but also to appeal to that sort of crowd, he says. “Let’s just see how it goes. It might fail, it might be even better than my singing career but it’s definitely what I’m working on.”
Michael Carreon has won many hearts here in Vienna with his modesty and his way of enjoying life and of course music. He gained a lot of fans here in Vienna but not only with his laid back attitude but also with his great and unique music. This guy is such an inspiration to all of the aspiring musicians but at the same time he is just a regular guy who loves what he does – music. We are hoping to see you soon Michael!
Random Questions:
Your advice for an aspiring musician:
“Never stop. If you really wanna do it then never stop doing it. No matter what people say. I get people telling me to stop or that I’m never gonna make it or that it’s funny-good luck with that. But they don’t really matter. If you really love it then go for it.”
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Definitely still making music. I might be a little bit bigger or might just be like now with my music but I don’t really care just as long as I’m continuing with my music, making myself happy and making my parents proud of me.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
No idea actually since music is the only thing I got but probably still be in college and working. Just like everyone else from where I come from.
If you could get any musician, living or dead, who would you want to collaborate with?
Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, The Roots. If The Roots would perform as a full band with me, that would be a dream come true.
Three most important things in life:
 1.    God – I wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for Him.
 2.    Family – they’ve always supported them.
 2,5. Friends – who are basically my family as well. Even the Vienna people, who I already see as family.
 3.    Music – Music makes the world go round.
Thanks for reading people and remember,
=] <3 don't forget to smile.
Ezzy
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