Wanderer….Philosopher….Fun Doctor…..This tradesman of sound was born to bring people together, to make light of a troubled day, and to administer a steady I.V. of positivity to the world. Since 2002, the Kelowna native’s rapid growth as a singer/songwriter transpired out of love and encouragement from his unbelievable family and friends. Emerging in Vancouver as an intriguing Folk artist, his magnetic melodies and warm demeanor unite for an experience that dissolves woes and change perspectives. Michael’s musical aim is to provide a space for people to feel apart of something, and to be excited about living the lives that inspire them.
Growing up in a world competitive athletics and a career in exercise physiology, Michael’s performance record often took shape along the sidelines of teammates races, in echoed training stairwells, or yoga studios when not on stage. It is from these motivating environments that he cultivated his uplifting character, and many can attest to the joy and insight his music has brought to them.
2011-2012 have been packed with his debut puzzle album release “What’s Life All About?,” and international travel/performances in France, Germany, Nepal, China, and currently around the country with his first solo Canadian tour.
Every performance from house concerts, festivals, open venue jams, to busking on the street, seamlessly wind up fostering community bonds between complete strangers, always leaving an infusion of happiness in the wake.
June 2010 - "Right of Life" Single release to raise money for Humanitarian Organization "Right To Play." Produced by Chin Injeti
March 2012 - "What's Life All About?"
An interactive puzzle album loaded with a practical video quest
November 2012 - "New Day, New Path, New Legend"
A 5 song soundtrack for the documentary "Beyond the Gates of Phu" - a mixed artist collaboration about a journey to ancient Himalayan mountain cultures untouched by commercialism.
Spring 2013 - "I'd Rather Walk" release date, and Canadian walking tour start.
Michael Averill: What's Life All About?
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I get a text the other night from Michael Averill, aka Mikki the wandering troubadour: “Hey ‘sista’,...I get a text the other night from Michael Averill, aka Mikki the wandering troubadour: “Hey ‘sista’, he types, how do you get up to that lookout on Grouse Mountain again you showed me a few months ago? I’d like to go there first thing in the morning and record a song.”
“Well,” I say, “I can’t explain it too you – too confusing – but I can take you there again!” So off we are the next morning, hiking a special route up Grouse, for ‘just’ another day in the office.
Breaking a sweat on our way up, I say “Now please enlighten me...why are we lugging Charlie the Charango, a microphone, camera, cables and laptop up Grouse at 8 am again??”...
Read on for a full Q&A with Michael Averill:
Mikki: That particular view spot on Grouse reflects the theme of the video series I’m working on. I released an album, “What’s Life All About”, in March that is an interactive puzzle meant for listeners to learn about themselves. This particular recording will be all about encouraging people to get outside to grow.
CS: How did this morning session on the way up Grouse make you feel? How did it impact the rest of your day?
Mikki: Recording videos on location always makes me feel charged....especially this one. When you have to journey into a demanding location with 40lbs of recording gear on your back, and limited time to shoot...you better nail that performance. That, and sitting near a cliff’s edge while playing was something I've never done before. I think the hike actually opened up my vocal cords...it's never felt that easy to sing that song. I was bushed for the rest of the day...felt great after a mega nap!
CS: What’s the song all about?
Mikki: The song is about a trek I did in 2010 to Machu Picchu. I was with a group on the Lares Trek, and it was a situation of ascending into altitude too fast. 90% of us got sick, and to the point where we had to shift our route for health safety reasons and get to lower elevation quickly. The place we went to get help was a really small village called Patacancha. And that’s what the song is all about - the story of our motion towards refuge. I had my Charango with me and was playing this tune all the way there for my own mind, but also to keep the team spirits high.
CS: What are you all about?
Mikki: I am all about constant pursuit and discovery of myself through adventures that perk my curiosity. In that journey, especially in the last two years, I have found a deep routed desire to build communities that share this value, and in that facilitating the growth of communities that are full of people living their passions. To me, there is nothing greater than being surrounded by others living what they love to do. I believe that is how great change will come in our world to areas that really need it. If more people are connected to who they are as individuals, and live with their values and passions as guides - then we are on a path to real success as human beings.
I've noticed that a great number of people don't believe in their dreams until they meet someone who is actually fulfilling theirs, and doing so from making sometimes very tough, but always values-based decisions. I stand as someone who has done that, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
Stand Up For Vancouver's Anthem
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It’s been just under a year since I parked my car in sunny Kitsilano, after driving from Ontario. T...It’s been just under a year since I parked my car in sunny Kitsilano, after driving from Ontario. The moments I’ve shared, people I’ve met and sights I’ve seen continue to fill my heart and soul with love and beauty. This city is truly one of the most amazing hubs for Van-migrants to land and grow within.
Like the gargantuan trees that fill Stanley Park, we too grow happier and stronger with each passing day. We flourish with Van-periences. This city acts as a muse, inspiring us all to create and share. We the people of Vancouver are bound together by the love for this city and all the lives within it. Whether you’re here for a short while, or decide to plant yourself, Vancouver is home.
If ever there was an anthem that we could all stand tall and sing proudly about this great city, it is the “Vancouver Song” created by Simply Organic Studios. One of the singer/songwriters that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is Michael Averill (aka @TheMaverill). This phenomenal talent has shown me that a typical Open Mic night, can actually be more atypical than I could have ever imagined. Most Open Mic nights that I had visited in my past had embodied a karoke style that tends to display a group of drunken people singing Spice Girls or the ever famous “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers. Open Mic at Corduroy in Kitsilano is so far from the ordinary Open Mic nights that it could compare to big name Festivals (ie. Squamish) in the talent category.
It is this bloggers opinion that we make the “Vancouver Song” our anthem for this wonderful city. By this time next year, I am hoping that every Vancouverite, radio station, sporting franchise and school recognize that this is our city Anthem.
Thank you Vancouver, “you’re loving keeps me young…”
Michael Averill....What's Life All About?
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I had the honor of attending Michael Averill's album release fundraiser birthday party, I knew I had...I had the honor of attending Michael Averill's album release fundraiser birthday party, I knew I had to meet him after the event. The event blew me away, and brought many emotions to my attention. The event represented a entire community and what they had to share.
Living your life to it's full potential, meeting a greater cause to leave your foot print, talent to share, and support as one large community.
The album is a collection of puzzle pieces, the pieces were an array of artist's coming together with a snit bit of there character, a word, a beat, a musical voice a rant or a speech on who they are. Michael describes how he came about this album in the YouTube video below.
Michael also wanted to give back for his birthday, and had a array of his belongings on stage, items that have helped him grow and learn.
The speakers, artists, friend's and associates were all beautiful talent on stage. I was able to capture a bit of the talent on my little Nikon camera which I will try to place into the article later. I was very moved by the event, like none I had been to before. The community that came together to help Michael raise funds for his trek to Nepal, made me look at the great support groups we can have as a community and one person can make a difference.
Michael talked about his journey a little on how he came to be where he is today, and this was not a easy transition, it never is, when you start working for yourself. When you finally have such a huge accomplishment, its like why was I ever worried!
Michael is co-owner of simply organic studios. Michael describes his work in his own words below;
Clarify my work
Simply Organic Studios » Blog Archive » “Is What I Say Between Songs Important?”
My “work,” is a mixed bag of activities, but it all centers around some key concepts. I used to be a trainer/exercise physiologist where I did life coaching and counseling as part of my role, but I have never been an “official,” life coach, as people like to label it.
I left because I had been ignoring giving my truest passion the full attention it deserved, and it was starting to eat away at my soul, and I was withering away. Again, there is much to say as far as what led to where I am now, but I don’t think there is enough room in your blog for all of it, so to summarize, this is what I do now:
-Active/Performing Singer/Songwriter (1 solo project, 1 band I write mostly for, and 2 other female led bands I play back up instruments for)
-Business Owner – Simply Organic Studios, partnered with Tim Weaver
There are 3 divisions of this business (Recording, Live Video Production, and Artist Development), but the goal is primarily to work with folk artists, and/or any artist really wanting a means of showcasing themselves in forms truest to who they really are. Although I do little bits of recording and video production, my baby is in Artist Development, which is basically all the life coaching skills I gained in my other career applied to music. Through this I run events that help singer/songwriters grow on and off stage, I work with artists one on one, I give educational seminars, and ultimately work to enhance the music community in Vancouver and beyond. Everything I do here revolves around helping artists figure out who they are, why they are in music, and what it is they are actually trying to say, and then working on how best to deliver that to their audiences so that it is an unforgettable experience. Through all of this, I have become a solid event planner/facilitator, and a specialist in community building and networking. All in all, keeps me pretty busy, but it all centers around helping change peoples lives for the better, and I get more out of that than money could ever buy.
I met Michael again on a more intimate level, the earth day event at UBC in biology research building, a structure that is sustainable. Michael was there with two other artists and a hand full of performers.
We chatted afterward over cake and drink at capers in kits.
I had so many questions, but not enough time. Michael is only 29, known for these incredible hugs-
his soul is wise, its like he has already lived 60 yrs, and has been reinvented and thrown back down to the earth to start all over again.
Travel seems to be important to Michael on many levels, like most artist's, to travel is to add learning, so off he will go to learn traditions and cultures in Nepal. I have a feeling that Michael is an extremist, this is a person that will find the extreme ultimate challenge.
So my questions were, why are you doing this trek? tell me a little about what happened for you to change your life so drastically? Tell me about the cancer? In my mind I am also thinking..and are you single!
So this is what Michael had to share:
Why am I going on this trip? Where is it? Mission?
The trip – 1 month trekking in Nepal
The mission – A cultural observation of ancient mountain communities that live completely sustainable lives, and have done so for over 700 years. Tourism has yet to touch these regions where a handful of westerners have traveled, but it is approaching and will probably hit within the next few years.
I was invited to join a mixed team of artists (photographer, painter, musician, videographer, etc.) to hike to these special areas in order to observe and learn about the values of life these people hold. The idea is to note their state of happiness living with the bare basics we need as human beings, and be able to relate that back to the western world in the form of a documentary, music, photos, etc, but mostly through outreaches in schools/universities.
Why I am going on this trip……
Changemaker Interview With Michael Averill
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Changemaker Michael Averill is a fantastic guy. I recently met Michael in the midst of his organi...Changemaker Michael Averill is a fantastic guy.
I recently met Michael in the midst of his organizing a 29th birthday/album release party. He put on an amazing event involving the culmination of a life’s worth of work in his album. The album is comprised to incorporate a puzzle asking the question “What is life all about?” and the party involved inspirational speakers talking about what the music meant to them. It was a truly powerful event and I was very fortunate to have been invited to speak on one of his songs.
Here’s what Michael had to share with us on some questions I posed to him:
What are the three biggest changes you would like to see in the world around you?
1. An increase in the amount of individuals living the lives they are passionate about.
2. Elimination of humanity’s fear of being judged.
3. An increase in plain and simple kindness without expectation.
What have you been doing to implement these changes?
The answers for 1. and 3. are leading by example. I walk the talk on a daily basis, which I hope helps to inspire others to do the same. I have made my “work” revolve around helping others,(my passion), discover their passions, and showing genuine kindness to others is just the right thing to do. We usually ignore our natural feelings to do so because of change I wish to see number 2…The fear of being judged for doing anything, even if it could have a positive effect. It’s mind boggling!
What are the 3 most powerful personal changes you’ve made?
1. Making time for myself to rest, recover, refuel the tank.
2. Being honest with my opinion and true feelings in communication with others. I held this back for a lot of years because I was afraid either people wouldn’t care, or I would hurt someone’s feelings.
3. Immediate acknowledgement and execution of my intuitive thoughts and ideas.
What are you currently working on?
Waking people up to themselves via various projects fueled by music. Just released a concept album designed to take participants on an introspective journey over the course of 11 months. More info can be found at michaelaverill.com.
Otherwise, I am about to embark on an artistic/cultural expedition in Nepal for the month of April, and then to China and Taiwan for 2 months to engage with kids in music/art/and language. Coming back to Van for the summer to play/perform/run a variety of music community development events. The main one being The One Song Challenge, which will be held Sunday nights starting July 8th at Corduroy Lounge. More info on that will be available through our company website, www.simplyorganicstudios.com, very soon. This is a huge singer/songwriter development challenge that, at a minimum, requires 8 artists to write and perform one new song a week based on a give suggestion. It’s a blast, and Corduroy’s food is killer!
Beyond the summer is a either Western or full Canadian tour, and continued development on next year’s massive musical endeavour…I keep myself busy!
What do you do when times get tough?
Times are always tough, and easy at the same time. I don’t think I really do anything extraterrestrial in nature, although it might seem like it in western world mentality. If I were to pin one thing I actually “do” when times become challenging, it would be embracing my excitement. I now get really pumped when I hit major roadblocks, primarily because I know making it to the other side changes me in incredible ways, and I love it. Tough times have brought me my greatest joy.
What are you most proud of in your life?
The fact that I could die tomorrow and be happy with what I have done thus far. Anything else is bonus!
What else would you like to share?
A game of chess….I am very amateur, and love the game, but no one seems to play…Any takers?
To check out Michael’s sweet tunes, learn more about his work and invite him to a game of chess, visit http://michaelaverill.com/
Songwriter Sings For Right To Play
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Mike Averill, a musician and sports enthusiast from Vancouver BC recently completed a song called 'R...Mike Averill, a musician and sports enthusiast from Vancouver BC recently completed a song called 'Right of Life,' to serve as a fundraiser for Right To Play.
Averill became involved with Right To Play through Olympic Rower Ben Rutledge, who at the time was teaching him how to row for a fun ergometer competition. Ben’s experiences with Right To Play inspired Mike so much that he went on to spend the next year and a half developing his project to rally support.
Averill’s song, "Right of Life," was written to be an anthem of positivity and a vehicle to raise funds and broaden Right To Play’s reach. "Life is about the experiences you have, and the person you become along the way. Right To Play creates positive life-changing experiences for kids in the world that wouldn’t have them otherwise, which is one of the greatest investments we can make in ourselves as human beings."
Besides being a musician, Averill is a Certified Exercise Physiologist/Trainer at Studeo55 in Vancouver, where he coaches, motivates, and inspires people every day through his specialty-play. Known as the resident "Fun Doctor" in the health club, he bases his training on creative games, challenges and exciting goals. He aims to bring this same enthusiasm to music, which is why he chose to fuse his passions with this initiative.
"This project is in direct alignment with my values and beliefs. I have always wanted to utilize my craft for a good cause, and this was the perfect fit. I truly believe in what Right To Play has to offer, and it is my greatest hope that this initiative aids in furthering the growth and development of this amazing charity."
Visit Mike’s fundraising page to learn more or check out Mike's Facebook page
A mixture of works from debut album "What's Life All About?"
and a reservoir of 80 original songs.
Can play sets from 1 song in length to 4 hours.
Favorite Bands/artists I cover: Dispatch, John Butler Trio,Jack Johnson, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Lovin' Spoonful, The Police/Sting, Steelers Wheel, Steve Miller, Garry Averill (my dad)