Michael Shoup
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Michael Shoup

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




""OUTing The Industry" -- Podcast Interview"

Podcast - "OUTing The Industry"

"Tragic Kingdom Album Review -- Introducing: Michael Shoup"

When it came time to pick Tragic Kingdom's featured artist for March it was a tough decision. With my latest move to Nashville, country music has become so relevant (as you've clearly witnessed by the blog's recent country takeover), but I wanted to do something special this month. I wanted to prove to the readers that Nashville is more than hillbilly rockers and twangy crooners. Despite the hicktown stereotypes, it wasn't hard to find a variety of talents spanning all genres, many of whom will be featured in the coming months. When I first moved to town, I stopped by a writer's round at a local venue near my new Nashville digs that was featuring some talented local singer-songwriters. It was there that I first discovered this month's featured artist.

Michael Shoup began sharing his gifts through music at a very early age. Performing at his church in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio the young boy learned how to be comfortable on a stage. By age 16 the singer was playing and performing in bars, where he developed a thick skin and learned how to interact with a crowd. Now a seasoned performer, Shoup is known throughout Nashville for his pop-alternative sound that he delivers in a way that attracts indie fans, but with an artistic edge that have the makings of a superstar. Ten years after his move to Nashville, Michael's greatest effort in the industry comes with the release of his debut record. He describes Learning How To Live as a "labor of love 25 years in the making". That shines through on the skillfully written tracks and with his unique ability to blend a variety of genres into one masterful compilation.
The album's eclectic sound is evident from the first track. The standouts include the disc's opener,"Control", and an uptempo number that carries an inspirational theme; in its hooky chorus, Shoup sings "you can be anything, so what are you waiting for" on "Dying to Live". "Salem" is the most country that this Nashville songbird gets on the record, but it hits the right notes, fitting-in perfectly with "Working Man" and the disc's most soulful track "NYC". The sound of organs take center stage on the touching track "Let Go", while "Loralie" shows off Michael's clever songwriting capability and moves you in your seat.

As he leaps into the new year, Shoup is fully prepared for the success that is inevitably heading his way. Self described as "one part Jackson Browne, one part Hall & Oates, two big scoops of everything [he] heard in the ‘90’s while ignoring [his] math homework, and a sprinkling of Sesame Street optimism", he looks forward to sharing his music with many more. In the coming weeks Michael is launching a new Song of the Week feature on his growing blog that allows fans to give him topics that he'll turn into a hit record in one week's time. You can visit MichaelShoup.com for more details and we'll be bringing you some really cool content from Michael later this month. In the meantime, download a copy of Learning How to Live now on iTunes or follow me on Twitter (@CMVetrano) for a chance to win a free copy. - Tragic Kingdom Blog

"Gritty Soul Interview -- Michael Shoup"

I first heard of Michael Shoup about five months ago when I downloaded his single, Dying to Live, from Noisetrade. I tend to be the type who judges a book based on its cover (sorry I’m visually oriented!) and since the graphic for the single looked pretty cool, I gave it a listen. The song really spoke to me because I had been feeling some of the sentiments that Michael shares in the song. I had also noticed that he was really active on Tumblr and Twitter so I reached out to him and just expressed my appreciation for the work he was doing. We struck up a few digital conversations and before long, I arranged for an interview with him.

In the time I’ve gotten to know Michael, I’ve found that he’s one of the coolest, most genuine guys you could ever meet. I know that if I was living in Nashville, I would definitely be hanging out with him. I hope that this interview gives you a look into what he’s like and what he’s about. I also hope that you’ll consider purchasing his brand-new album Learning How To Live. I’ve had the privilege of listening to it and I can tell you that it is incredible. So without further adieu, my interview with Michael Shoup:

1) First of all tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

Alright, well I’m Michael Shoup. I grew up in Beavercreek, Ohio right by Dayton. I moved to Nashville in 2000 to go to school for song-writing and I decided to stayed after college. The independent music scene here has really blown up since then. I had been playing guitar for a bunch of Christian and Country artists and noticed that they all needed websites. So, I began making artist websites and that started to open up a lot of opportunities and introduced me to a lot of different people.

2) How and when did you get started playing music?

My folks were the kind of parents who wanted both my sister and I to try out as many different things as possible. We both started playing piano around the same time, and I ended up taking lessons for 6 years. I started playing guitar after that. My piano teacher was really good at teaching kids, but she would set the sheet music in front of you, play a little bit of it and make you play it back to her. I would play it back, but she eventually realized I was just repeating back what she was playing by listening to her. Going through college for music, I had to really force myself to read sheet music. Part of the reason I switched to guitar was because I could play whatever I heard on the radio. I wonder if that will change now that kids don’t listen to radio anymore?

3) You’re in a band from Nashville called Philos. What’s it all about and where do you fit in?

The band consists of myself, Vince Romanelli and Kenny Foster. We all lived together for about 3 years and started it kind of as a joke after we had seen all these pop rock bands in LA with their tight jeans and cool graphics. We put together six or seven songs and did ridiculous promotion trying to make everything very poppy. We had about 100-120 people come out to our first show because everything we had done to promote it was so outlandish. Later on, what really helped us out was covering the song “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. We eventually got invited out to LA by Stephen Schwarts, the composer of Wicked, to play with some of the original cast.

4) What notable places have you guys played at? What was your largest audience?

LA was pretty great and we’ve played some regional stuff in and around Nashville. Vince and I once got a chance to play as side-men for a country artist who opened for the Stone Temple Pilots.

5) Any stories stand out from any shows you guys have played or trips you’ve been on?

Generally, when you’re on the road you have to room with a ton of people so that you can keep your costs down and it can be a bit exhausting. You drive eight hours, play a show, and then drive somewhere else the next day. I tend to sleepwalk when I’m really exhausted, so you - Gritty Soul

"The Thoma -- Michael Shoup: Musician, Obsessive Learner, and Borderline Perfectionist, Taking it One Day at a Time"

Humble and talented, singer- songwriter Michael Shoup is one of the nicest people you may ever talk to. Not only can he “hum and whistle at the same time in harmony (“I have my Grandmother to thank for teaching me that one”), he actually uses his free time to accomplish things. The best part of it all? He is an incredibly talented musician with a knack for music. “Music has been a part of my life from my earliest memories” Michael Shoup says. “I can remember my father singing “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor to me as a small child; My Great Grandmother’s constant humming when she would cook breakfast. It’s been how I experience the world since I can remember”. He became hooked on music at a fairly young age. “When I was 16, I had a rather defining experience at a missions based camp I was attending,” he says. “There were a few hundred high school aged kids there and we were all taking a week out of our summer to help build or repair houses for people who were less fortunate. Every evening, we would have a program with music, and it was amazing to me to see how the music of that week was changing the lives of not only my fellow campers, but the perspectives of the families we were working with as well”.

His latest album, Learning How To Live, was a 3 year process of writing, revising, and growing into himself as an artist, that he knew he couldn’t rush if the end product were to sound authentic. The album’s name was actually titled after a remarkable inspiration that effects just about everyone. “The title and meaning behind the record didn’t really come to fruition until about halfway through the recording process,” Michael says. “I was still deciding which tracks would actually end up on the record, and Paul [Shearer, my producer,] and I sat down in the middle of a session and finished writing what became “Dying To Live” together. With the addition of that song, a resounding theme began to show in all of the songs we had recorded. We had seen our friends and ourselves grow through our early twenties and learn together how this giant puzzle of life fit together. None of us had it perfect… but we each had a piece, and every song that I had written was about one of those pieces. That was it. Both “Dying To Live” and “Learning How To Live” quickly became personal mantras for me. It was the first time I had ever looked back at songs I had written and was able to learn something from them, again and again. I hope other people can get the same feeling out of the record,” he says.

Michael Shoup has been involved in the music industry for a very long time, specifically ten years. In that period of time, he’s been A&R at an indie record label, helped build websites for artists like Lady Antebellum and Kelly Clarkson, played as a side-man for regional and national touring acts, and finally became a solo artist. His performances range “from Coffee Shops to County Fairs, Bars to Barns” and in terms of bigger venues, he has showcased during SXSW in Austin, done performances at CMJ in NYC, and played guitar opening for the Stone Temple Pilots on tour. It was not always an easy road to be on. “I had no knowledge of the music industry or what “hit music” sounded like other than what felt good to me,” he says of his early career. “While I may not have known how to best communicate my words or melodies to people, I think I consciously took more risks with my writing than I do today, and I’m constantly pushing myself now to get back to that place. When you’re able to calm that inner doubter inside yourself, you can write a lot more in quantity, and while they may not all be gold and gems, it’s the habit that churns out songs that really get to your core”. Fortunately, he had a supportive family to help him get through a lot. “You know, I had a really great childhood. I was really lucky. I grew up in a family that knew the importance of knowledge and learning from your own pitfalls, but were always there to be supportive of - St. Thomas Aquinas College Newspaper

"You Sing I Write -- Michael Shoup"

Last month, I received an email from Michael Shoup introducing me to his music. While I receive plenty of band pitches on a daily basis, his words were genuine and his past and current projects peaked my interest. The Nashville based singer-songwriter got his start attending songwriter nights in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, in his teens before moving to Nashville for college. He soon began designing artist Web sites, including A-listers like Lady Antebellum and Kelly Clarkson, when he noticed bands he toured with were in need of a Web site to promote their music.
When not working his 9-5 job, he has spent his time writing, recording and producing his debut solo release, Learning How to Live. An impressive LP, the 10 tracks (which you can download for free this week here) are relatable and emotion fueled with solid music accompanying Shoup’s soulful vocals.
While in Nashville last month I caught up with Shoup at 12South Taproom, his neighborhood cafe/bar that he described to me as “one of the most unpretentious, chill bars around.” Well recommended as a good place for conversation, we even ran into fellow singer-songwriter Mat Kearney. So, on a hot day in June I escaped the craziness that was the CMA Music Festival downtown for a while as we chatted about his career in music, latest album and the stories behind many of the tracks on Learning How to Live.
This is your first album as a solo artist. How was the recording process?
It took just about as long as I expected because I was doing it in pieces and didn’t want to ask fans for funding. I wanted to be able to do it myself and have it as a gift to people. Like, ‘Hey, I know you’ve been waiting to hear some of this, I want you to hear it.’ Not that I have anything against Kickstarter projects. For a debut I didn’t want people to feel like they owed it. And, what if they didn’t like the record? I wanted to do something they would enjoy.
I had a producer that worked with me on it named Paul Shearer. Paul and I took basically eight months to a year and scheduled how we wanted to do every song. We did it very systematically. ‘What parts do we need on this? Let’s plan it out.’ It came out to a really good process and a really good relationship between he and I. We continued that process throughout the last year. Even new stuff we’re writing. I know what I need to do and I know when I need to send it to him.
You’ve been collaborating with fans for Song-A-Week. How did that concept come together? (Watch one of the videos below and for more click here.)
The Song-A-Week I’m doing, Paul and I have co-written two of those together and those are working out really nicely. It was twofold for me. I released the record in November and I’ve had a Tumblr blog for years so I just said I would focus on that to be a way to talk directly talk to people who were into the music. I was trying to find a good way to do that, how to get some consistent content and also motivate me to keep writing. The record’s already out, what are you gonna do now? The thing with music for me, I always want to have something that’s communicating with people. I don’t want to just write a song and say, ‘This is what I was feeling.’ I want it to be what somebody else is feeling so they can feel like it’s their song. I think Tumblr as a format works really nicely.
I just opened it up and said, ‘If you guys want to submit ideas or stories about something big in your life, send them in and I’m going to start writing songs about it.’ For me, it was partially a challenge but it was also a weight lifted off because there was this giant pallet of things I had to choose from. I think the further it’s gone along, I’ve gotten some really in depth stories and some really personal stories that move me. I don’t think you can put a price on that as a writer. It’s like I just opened this great book and found an awesome story that I have to write a song about.
The week timeline was just to make sure I had a challenge. I wanted - You Sing I Write

"SSG Music [Seattle] -- Live Review"

Headliner Michael Shoup has been performing for almost half his life, and it was obvious by the way he carried himself on stage with the crowd and the performers to his left. He’s a showman – charismatic, charming, funny, and talented on top of everything else. While he calls Nashville his home, he played music without a touch of twang. His style is in line with artists like fellow Nashville resident Mat Kearney. He is working on a project currently in which fans submit stories to him via e-mail/twitter and he writes songs based on what they share, so most of the songs he performed were pulled from that catalog. With his clear, classic sounding voice, his songs about divorce, rebirth, chasing dreams, and of course love reverberated in the theater. As he was the person behind the Round performance, his contributions to the other performer’s songs was really great to watch, but what by far was one of the most capturing ongoing moments of the night was the interplay between Shoup and Hoke. These two were so engaged in each other’s music that it was almost like watching an ongoing duet. They harmonized well on each other’s songs, adding variety and breadth to them. The nightcap of the evening was performed by Shoup, Hoke, and Keith and was their rendition of the 80s classic by Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes,” ending the evening in a way that left the audience smiling.

The night was a late one with the show going until around 1 a.m. The small crowd though was glad to have watched, and afterward the artists made sure to chat with their fans. In this sort of small, close setting, it’s next to impossible to come out of a show anything but a bigger fan of whoever you’re seeing. That was surely the case for these performers, who each brought their finest and created new fans as well as strengthened their connections with old ones. - SSG Music

"Introducing to NashvilleHype! – Michael Shoup"

Well, I’m a little bit country, but I’m a little bit rock n’ roll, too! I would like to introduce to NashvilleHype! readers a new artist that I have just come to know and now you will, too! His name is Michael Shoup and thanks to Twitter, he reached out to me one day to ask me to listen to his music, which I loved!

On our site we not only focus on the signed and known artists, but we like to help deserving independent artists get their music out, as well, because there are a lot of extremely talented unsigned artists. Michael is one of those independent artists that recently struck a chord with me!

‘Learning How to Live‘ is Michael’s newest fully-produced cd with 10 tracks. I would describe his music as intellectual pop with a slightly rock edge. Puts me in mind of Kings of Leon or Jason Mraz. This album is filled with beautiful ballads and rocking uptempo songs that I’m sure will appeal to many of our readers. “Dying to Live” is my personal favorite. It’s the uptempo rocker on the album and I just can’t get enough of it! It’s radio-friendly and just doesn’t get old for me. “Bad News” follows a close second. It’s a piano-driven mid-tempo song. This whole cd is worth a listen, for sure, and is available for purchase directly from his site at: www.michaelshoup.com and, also, available on iTunes.

I recently had the chance to talk with Michael about his music. Enjoy!

Where are you originally from?

“I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Dayton, OH called Beavercreek. It was a great place to grow up; just quiet enough to keep me out of trouble and just close enough to a city to be a great testing ground for my early trials at music. I still visit and play back there quite often, in fact.”

Where are you currently living?

“I’ve been a Nashville transplant for around 10 years now, and having run the gamut with industry jobs [from A&R at an indie label to building websites for acts like Lady Antebellum] have come full circle to use those skills to support myself as an artist.”

What is your first experience performing live?

“I did a lot of theater as a kid, following in my sister’s footsteps, but my first experience with performing live as an artist was when I was about 16 years old. I was in a band at the time [who wasn’t?] and my parents would come with me to get me into bars so I could play open mic nights and test out my songs. There aren’t many parents I know who would want to sit in a bar until 2AM on a Tuesday night just so their kid could crank out a couple songs, so I certainly owe a great deal of my early experience to their support.

Though I’m sure it wasn’t my first time performing live, one of the most memorable for me as a kid was being invited to do a Writers Round at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton with some of the better writers in town. There I was this 16 year old kid in some mustard colored t-shirt [ala Charlie Brown] with some superbly talented writers, most of which were at least 10-15 years my senior. Just a bit intimidating. It was that day I learned how humility and a good sense of humor can often get you further than the best voice on the planet.”

What is your favorite experience so far of your musical career and why?

“I’ve been lucky and have had some great times as both a sideman for other artists and playing as a solo act. Some of the more memorable would be playing guitar for an artist opening for the Stone Temple Pilots on tour and getting to play a cover of Wicked: The Musical’s “Defying Gravity” for Stephen Schwartz [the composer] at his birthday celebration.

But my favorite experiences so far come from what I’m doing right now on my blog. I have a campaign I’ve been running for over 2 months now where I take ideas and stories that readers submit, and will write, record, and shoot a video for one idea, once a week. I call it Song-A-Week. What’s been fascinating for me about this experience is that I find I’m able to directly connect with music l - NashvilleHype!


Song For You
[February 2012]

[February 2011]

Learning How To Live
[November 2010]

Dying To Live - Single
[June 2010]

This Christmas
[October 2009]

Working Man - EP
[August 2007]

The Blue - EP
[August 2005]



Michael Shoup has been working full time in the music industry since 2004. His tour experience ranges from house concerts, radio shows, and bars to festivals and state fairs. He has been featured as a spotlight performer at highly coveted showcase slots at SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX and played with numerous artists at the CMJ Film Festival in New York City. Michael has toured with The Stone Temple Pilots and has also worked with artists such as Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, and Kelly Clarkson. Michael's music is genuine and melodically timeless. He has even made an impression on Steven Schwartz (composer and lyricist of the musical, Wicked) who flew Shoup to Los Angeles to perform a cover of "Defying Gravity."