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Cheeky Asks: Michaela Wright

CHEEKY ASK - 02/19/2009

Cheeky loves nothing more than finding raw, undiscovered female musicians and artists. We also love the bragging rights of saying “We found her first!” Lucky for us - we just did. The very down-to-earth, very beautiful, (both inside and out), Michaela Wright, is just your average cheeky chick, working her 9 to 5 over in London while she pursues her musical dreams across the globe. Cheeky recently caught up with this genuine talent and budding star to talk about big breaks, bad business and Britney Spears….

Cheeky: Where are you from and tell us how you discovered music was your passion?

MW: I was born and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. At the age of 17, I moved to the U.S. on a swimming scholarship. I did my BA and MA at Western Illinois University and then moved to Clearwater, Florida after graduation. I always had a passion for music and singing. From a young age, I starred in many plays and musicals, joined multiple choirs, played many musical instruments in the school orchestra, etc. However, I didn’t start pursuing music seriously until after school. I started singing in local karaoke bars, which I really enjoyed. and I was always asked by people if I was pursuing singing. I always replied: “Not yet, but I think I am going to!” I had always dreamt about being a singer, but never thought it was actually possible. Once I started working on my own material, I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do.

Cheeky: How would you define your musical style and where do you get your inspiration from?

MW: My style is a pop sound infused with a rock/funk expression. My inspiration comes from lots of different things – from the music I am listening to at the moment, to how I feel, to certain situations family and friends are going through. I think it also helps to have an appreciation for every musical genre because there is so much to draw upon. My inspiration comes either directly from the music or from specific situations. For example, when Simon Ellis played me the chorus to “Spinning Our Wheels”, I knew I had to write something quite melancholy and dark to create an emotional song. However, “Never Gonna Give In” was created from a situation a close friend of mine found herself in.

Cheeky: What’s a day in the life of an aspiring recording artist?

MW: Not at all what people would think. I work full-time as a PR Executive in London Monday through Friday. On the evenings and weekend, I work on my music or do gigs. Sometimes I feel like I lead a double life. During the day I’m a corporate, professional, working woman and by night, I’m an aspiring artist.

Cheeky: I see you have collaborated with some pretty impressive producers and musicians. How did that happen?

MW: Yes, I’m very lucky! To be honest, a lot of it is who you know and being at the right place at right time. I met [critically acclaimed pianist] Allon Sams through a good friend that recommended him to me; another friend sent me an advertisement which lead me to work with Christian and Simon Ellis [two of the UK’s biggest songwriters and producers] after they saw me at a showcase in London and then listened to my demo.

Cheeky: Tell us about your upcoming performances? I heard a rumor about a Britney Spears show…

MW: Haha yes! That rumor is true. I have been asked to do the pre-show for Britney Spears in Tampa on Sunday, March 8th . I have been a fan of Britney from the beginning, so it’s an honor to even be asked. I can’t wait! I would love to catch her show as well – I hear it’s going to be incredible.
I’m also performing at PUSH Ultra Lounge in St. Petersburg on Saturday, March 7th. So for anyone in the Tampa Bay area, please come to any of the gigs!
March 16th I’m performing at a showcase for unsigned artists here in London; it’s called The Sounds of London. It’s a great venue that displays up and coming talent. I’m also in talks to perform at The Pigalle Club in London in the next few months. I’m so excited about this venue as it’s a very prestigious club in London where the likes of Duffy, Van Morrison and Solange have performed.

Cheeky: Being a musician is not an easy road. Tell us about some of the hardest lessons you’ve had to learn.

MW: No…. it’s definitely not easy. The hardest lesson to learn is that most people are just looking to make a buck. People will exploit you and your talents for whatever they can get. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough that really care about making great music without a price tag. I also learned that you have to be very skeptical of everyone and keep your wits about you. If you are too trusting, people will just take advantage.

Cheeky: Now tell us about the greatest high/best moment of your career so far.

MW: Working with Simon Ellis - definitely! He is such an amazing songwriter and produce - Cheeky Chicago.com



Never Gonna Give In
Better Than That
Spinning Our Wheels
Don't Let Go



Michaela was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. A natural performer from a young age, she took the stage in local plays and productions in her home town. Michaela moved from the U.K. to the U.S at the age seventeen to pursue her dream of being a singer.

After graduating with a Masters In 2005, Michaela began aggressively pursuing a singing career. She began writing her own material and recording cover songs to gain exposure. She has also done some modeling. During this time, Michaela was connected with International House DJ/Producer Christian Dio. Three years later, the dance track “Don’t Let Go” was born in 2008.

Since then, she has also worked with an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist, Allon Sams. Together, they produced “Teardrops”. They also remixed “Don’t Let Go”, giving it a more retro sound. Michaela recently went back to her roots in the UK to gain a more ‘British’ sound to her music. While there, she caught the eye of one of the UK’s biggest songwriter/producers: Simon Ellis. Simon and Michaela have written and recorded 3 songs that showcase her sound. While having strong pop vocals, the music is infused with organic rock and funk expression. The result of their work can be heard in the songs “Never Gonna Give In”, “Spinning Our Wheels” and “Better than That”.

With singing, songwriting and modeling experience, she has the talent, and the eye to be the total package. She is independently pursing the entertainment industry and is well off to a good start.

Her current EP is aptly named "BETTER THAN THAT". Rock Pop Funk infused music!

Myspace: thisismichaela
Twitter: michaelawright1