“My conclusions I have come up to this point about the music business is that it is as they say, “who you know and what clique you land in.” The wrong association will shoot you down. I, at my age don’t have the time to waste afforded opportunities as someone younger would have. They have the time to try it again. I, on the other hand have to make every move count by thinking them through. ” – @megleton
Listen to the Interview
Episode #324 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/05/18/episode-324-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW MICHAEL EGLETON
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
My feelings about the music business today are somewhat mixed…
Having been in Gospel music, I’ve seen many things and like everything this also has it’s good and bad. I always wanted to share music to all people and test my abilities to see if in fact the public would accept this simple not too complicated music. This is the vehicle for what I have to say and share. Having broken into the secular music scene in such an unorthodox way, I’ve also learned a lot, first hand real fast. I’ve been taken for money and most of those negative things you hear from musicians and artists starting out. I’ve also been Blessed to meet some great people in my journey. This is a journey for me. It’s taking me to a place where I’ll finally be home. On this journey I’ve learned and been taught things from some of the best in the business. I’ve listened and read what other artists and musicians have had to say on the top end and the low end as to not make some of the same mistakes over and over. Someone in the industry once said to me. “I’ve been in this business over 20 years and haven’t talked to or dealt with some of the people you have talked to and call friend! How did you do that?” I said pray! Lol
My conclusions I have come up to this point about the music business is that it is as they say, “who you know and what clique you land in.” The wrong association will shoot you down. I, at my age don’t have the time to waste afforded opportunities as someone younger would have. They have the time to try it again. I, on the other hand have to make every move count by thinking them through. In today’s digital industry, information moves at such a fast pace until one has to really consider what and how they may do things. The labels are more of a distribution point anymore. Digital downloads, video, contracts, costs to do things has all affected the music industry. If you’re not up to par you can pretty much forget it. Independence is the way to go for me at this point. Although I would really consider a label deal, the new 360 contract that’s used now a days would have to be changed. I’m not happy with the fact that the small independent artists who can compete on the upper levels doesn’t seem to get the opportunities of the major label artists and that money and favoritism plays such a big role in the way things are done. Back in the day, music was real music and had a real message. This was an effective way to speak to the things that were going on during the times. Vietnam War, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights…. It facilitated change. Artists used their platforms to address these things and people would listen and gather in numbers. A song was a rallying cry. Today’s music speaks to other things, some good and some bad. It shapes younger people’s minds as never before. I feel the industry has a responsibility to consider what get to the airways and affect people and their lives. The way I overcome these barriers is to write music that deals with situations I know about and have lived. Talk about the out comes in the song. Keeping the song and the message simple so there can be no confusion about what the song is dealing with. I try not to wade out into waters I know nothing about. The listener can smoke this out. Also real can feel real. Heart to heart and mind to mind. This is just a small portion of where my head is on music and industry.
I think social media is super!!!
This is one of the pro in music. You can reach more fans where they live physically and mentally. It quickly expands one’s bases of supporters and increase one’s being known. You can get more personal with your fans through conversation and keep them constant of what’s going on in your music life. You can reach more of a variety of people also. Many such as myself, use social media to gauge many thing quickly and make changes where they are needed. People almost know you before you get to the stage in their area. I love the way it creates a base so you have people at your concerts when you get there. There is so much that can be done when the marketing part of music chimes in. The con for me is not knowing how to take even more advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer in increasing one’s Brand. Or how to make the proper adjustments after studying the analytics of what’s going on in a problem area.
For me releasing singles and then the album works best…
I would think this would be how it works for many independent artists. Without the backing of a label, finances are the life blood or the existence of an independent artist. I’ve learned by releasing a single or a series of singles, raises finances to complete the project also to maintain the marketing support for a project. It also keeps something happening with your Brand. Your always looking busy to your fans and giving them something to look forward to. No, not all the songs to a project should be released but I usually release the first 3 songs as singles and then let the public’s taste drive what happens next. On my web site it shapes the look, the information, the campaigns that will be instituted and what will be done for a particular song. If a music video is needed or not ect. Each single also reflects a new personality of the project being marketed.
I would like to have 5 minutes alone with…
Mr. L.A. Reid. He has experienced every aspect of the industry. He’s also experienced success and failure in this industry. He’s from Ohio, a place that has limited industry access. Most had to leave Ohio to become well known as he did. I’d want to know the journey he took. Not what’s told to masses but the inside things that no one ever hears about. I’d want to hear in today’s music, what roads do one take to be successful in this industry. I know he would have something to say in a closed conversation and would not sugar coat things. What he would have to say would let me know exactly where I stand in my journey and if I’m doing things right or need to make changes. I admire him for the reasons mentioned earlier. It is one thing to come from a place where music is an industry but it’s a whole other thing to come from a place where music isn’t an industry.
When I write music…
I don’t really even think about the trends or longevity of a song. If the music comes from the heart and is real it will play for years. Why, because there is something there that will affect a person’s life for change. That’s why you hear some songs that have been around over 20 years or more yet relevant today. An example of this is Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key Of Life. That came out a year before I graduated sr. high school 40 years ago!!! The music from this project yet speaks to today’s situations and people of today. Marven Gaye’s, What’s Going On is another one. Life is what drives my music. That’s something that never changes. You have to live it!
I am most afraid of…
not being at my best. I want to always be at my best at whatever I may attempt to do. Whether it be writing this article or singing a song. I want to always put my best forward. You never know who your affecting or in what way. Someone will read this article and it will change the way they are thinking. I want that change to be for the good or affect them in a positive way. So yes, I’m most afraid of not being at my best.
My personal definition of success is…
finishing strong and completing my task set before me. There is such a calm that comes over me when I finish something. In today’s world people start many things and never get back to them for whatever reason. If it doesn’t look like things are going to be good, they pitch it or walk away from it. How does one know the reward if they don’t finish? Example, I mentioned before one of my hobby’s is building street and strip cars . When I receive this shell of a car, all beat up, nothing really there to even start with, I take a picture of what I’m starting with. Then the process of bringing what I see in my mind to life began. Time goes by and the project reaches a point midway through where what you saw in your mind starts to take shape. This inspires me to keep going. Then the day finally comes when you finish and pull it out of the garage. You shine it up. People come and gather around and admire it. My reward is I now have something I did that has value! Usually many times more value than when I started. It’s the same way with music.
My overall goal for my life and career is…
to be comfortable and to provide a legacy for my children and grandchildren. This legacy will come from music. To convey that when you have nothing else you have God and music. Music goes where words can’t. It is the universal language. It can calm a savage beast. It has surpassed time and circumstances. It speaks to a place in the heart that is only reserved for it and your higher power whatever it may be. It changes outcomes. It can talk and not say a word. It can mold lives and shape thoughts. It can bring people together or tear them apart. It’s realness convinces a person to change. It’s all I have. It’s all anyone really has. Strip everything away from a person, they can yet hum a song. It’s Music for the body. Music from the Soul and Music of the heart.
Three ways I challenge myself…
towards completion of my goals is
1) I set lofty goals. I press myself and make myself look up to the goal I have set. I try to never look down. You can’t see where you’re going if you do this.
2) I prepare. I try to plan for success. I get things in order. Do my research. Talk to people. Investigate. Create opportunities where and when I can. Get the tools I may need to complete what it is that I’m doing.
3) I work toward organization. Confusion is the worst thing to have in a project. It causes wasted time, resources and motion. I try to surround myself with competent people, resources and experience that has like minded thoughts and also believe in what I’m doing like I believe in what I’m doing. After all no one man is an island.
My start in music…
and my inspiration can be attributed to his childhood and being raised by his grandfather, a fiery Gospel preacher from the south and former ” Honkie Tonk” musician himself during the 30’s and 40’s playing in the juke joints around Chicago. Then there was my Mother who was a Gospel organist playing around town at area churches. My Aunt was a well known Gospel singer who sang in a women’s group. She has been compared to the likes of Pastor Shirley Ceasar, the great Gladys Knight, and the powerful Ms. Patti Labelle. My aunt’s powerful voice can yet be heard around town through the sanctuaries of the different churches who yet call from near and far. Though her voice is not as strong as it once was, it’s yet clear enough to put on wax. My Mother also playing the organ for this family singing group while her and my aunt headed up the church choir at my Grandfather’schurch. These are the people who shaped my music abilities very early in my life.
Behind These Walls featuring Bob Esterle…
My inspiration for this song comes from watch couples and their relationships and trying understand why some are ruined from the start. When one takes baggage into a new relationship from the past relationship, the new interest will suffer the consequences that former relationship because the door was left cracked open instead of closed.
During the recording of this song, once again magic was happening. This song is the first song I have had produced by both producers at the same time and shared in the writing of the music with my Atlanta, GA producer, Mr. Samuel Haygood. When he heard the raw tracks it just did something to him. He said, “I feel this song Mike!” He then went at it with what he has done for many other music industry stars in the past like, Toni Braxton, Charelle, The Goodie Mob, Mr. Alexander Oneiel, and many more, He went to work! He arranged the tracks in such a way that was masterful.
What came to life was a beautiful piece that really fit in with the lyrics and what I was trying to convey in song. Adult Music that speaks to situations that happens everyday to many involved in lingering relationships. Baggage being carried on to the next relationship and that interest paying the price for someone else. With this song the vocal tracks had to be laid here in Akron, Ohio. So the music was forwarded to my capable producer here, Mr. Wes McCraw . What was funny with this project is we needed a sax player for the lead instrumental parts and Wes had a suggestion of this musician from Cleveland, Ohio. I’ll never forget, Wes said, “Mike give him a chance. Don’t be fooled by his appearance!” I said, “OK”. So the day of the tracking seesion we were all there, the background singers Wes and I, then this man walked in. He looked like a science professor. I look at Wes and he just gave a nod and a wave as to say, don’t worry, just wait. So this man introduced himself as Bob Esterle and that he would be playing the sax. He was such a nice man. He sat his cases down and took out his instrument and prepared to play all while he was saying how grateful he was to be playing on the track. The background singers and I are yet wondering what was to come. Then Bob went into the sound room and began warming up. OMG we heard the Jazz runs he was doing and everyone but Wes sat up. Wes began to smile. Now it’s his turn to be tracked! OMG when he got done everyone in that room was in smiles and the hair stood up on our backs. As it turns out, Bob his not only one of the top saxophonist in the are, he also plays with the Cleveland Orchestra and quite a few Jazz bands throughout Cleveland, Ohio. As you’ll hear in the song, Bob smashed it!!!! To say the least! Wes then sat and molded everything together. He likes spontaneity. He believes in capturing that first essence of a song. The background singers, Paula Depree Smith and Ginger Pittman Vinson applied their year of Gospel singing experience to Wes instructions and it was done! It was shipped back to Samuel for his approval and there you have it.
My new project is…
a throw back almost to a time when music described the times and /or what was going on in that moment. The days of Marven Gaye, Donny Hathaway, The Temptations, The Four Tops, the days of Chess Records and that great stable of singers, and so so many more of this time. Music was mostly live. The songs were different. I wanted to have this flavor on some of the songs just to give it more feel and and create a certain listening atmosphere.
At the same time I wanted to do an earlier project over. So why not apply everything to this one. I just didn’t feel like That’s Alright ! had delivered what I needed it too. After listening over and over to this project, I began to hear things. A new freshness. So I began doing everything new with this project. New producers, all new tracks, all new arrangements, add things, taking things away and what is starting to develop, is something special just like I wanted it and it’s starting to seem like just what my fans needed. The first cut from this project, Pop “Rewound” is on radio and XM, and has been received quite well by the listening public. The next two songs to release, I have already done a blind test on with a hot area DJ and they have been received well.
This independent project deals with a little of everything and has something for everyone. Because it was one of my earlier releases, I wanted to just share what was in me. There was a lot going on in my life at the time and I emptied it all in a song during the times things were happening in my life. That’s why some songs deal with relationships, other are just an expression of music and even others deal with life on a personal level. Behind These Walls was a song where I wanted to give the listener even more. This is why it’s listed as a bonus track. To show my appreciation and give even more of myself.
I not only wish to accomplish making this project what I had imagined it to be in it’s first inception but I also want to share a little of me once more in a different way. This is how this will be also marketed, me doing my best to make something better then presenting it to my fans and supporters.
The music scene where I live in Akron, Ohio…
has really seen it’s glory days of the old bands and Bands and stage acts. Acts like White Heat the band James Ingram came from, Howard Huette’s band, who’s name escapes me at this moment, that was another thing. Band names changed frequently. Now a day bands, like the Black Keys and many other past and bands of today. Part of it was due to the tearing down of places where people used to go to hear these acts. The city revitalization projects have really changed the downtown area of Akron, Ohio to a more modern medical type of atmosphere. Recreational spot like places to play haven’t really kept up with this urbanization. Small Jazz clubs are popping up around town though. Akron is trying to come back by opening more places that play live music. Being that this is not a music hub or music area, musicians are usually playing for multiple bands and are hard to come by with the experienced and loyalty needed to perform at this level. One would have to go 25 to 35 miles north to Cleveland, Ohio to find a more variety of music types and places to hear your top music stars play live, also to talk with and secure hungry musicians looking to make the own mark in the music industry. These were the reasons for me moving my music home to Atlanta, GA and frequently commuting there to work with my producer there, Mr. Samuel Haygood. I also have had the pleasure of performing there in festivals and clubs. Atlanta is a music hub of the industry. It’s there where I learn to be “Industry Correct” and tap into the music industry at large. I then bring it back to Akron and share where I can. Being out of the major loop per say, can cause one to gain a false perception of how things should be done to break into the industry. There for closing the door before it even gets open.
Outside of music my thing is race cars. I love street and strip cars. Building them relaxes my mind and is a great distraction. I yet also play for my home church! Yes, I yet sit on the Hammond B3 when I’m home and not performing. I make all the choir rehearsals and participate in the teaching of songs to the choir. Gospel is what I’m from. It’s in my DNA. It was put there by God and my Grand Father. This is one promise I made to myself in the very beginning of my musical journey and that was to never forget the church and what and where I came from. Other than cars I like to fish and being a little more mature, I love my grandkids and deposit my experiences and knowledge into their lives like my grandparents did into mine. Family is important to me. Even though I was a bit of a loner and still am somewhat of a recluse, family is the solid foundation I believe life should be built on. Some called me an old soul as a younger man and this characteristic has stayed with me throughout life. My book is planned for release in 2016 where I’ll talk more about this and some of the things that has shaped my life up until now.