Based in Pennsylvannia, Erick Macek is an award-winning singer whose music has been featured in movies and television shows including 90210, Melrose Place, and Life Unexpected. The singer also appeared on the singing reality show “The Voice”.
Macek started his journey as an artist when he was just 3 years old. For him, music is an honest and soulful approach to the unending expressions of daily life. “I create, love, fail, learn, and love again.” This sentiment, along with Macek’s live performances caught the attention of Grammy Award winning producer, Mikal Blue (Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat) who has recorded many of Macek’s tracks.
The duo have come together once again for Macek’s new single “Miss Everybody’s Business”. The song offers his fans a chance to discover a new side to the singer both in terms of voice and style.
CelebMix got a chance to catch up with the artist to discuss about music, his association with Mikal Blue and his new single. Check out the full interview below:
Erick, we saw the video on your website that outlines your musical journey. The snippet from your childhood is quite intriguing. Can you please tell our viewers a bit more about your journey as a singer and how has it been so far?
Yea, I was a cute kid, huh?! Lol. It’s funny because I used to be embarrassed of my childhood music journey. I am the youngest of three, and I literally learned to play the accordion when I was about 3 years old. Our family created a folk band that basically covered ethnic Slovak music. I learned very quickly as a child to fill in what was needed in the band. I sang, danced and played the accordion, recorder, harmonica, a little piano, and eventually trumpet. I thought this was normal until about I was about 10 years old or so, when sports took over my focus, and the accordion wasn’t much of my priority anymore.
Ironically my last semester as a high school kid, I was pulled into doing a school musical called, “Crazy for You.” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I had stage fright, so initially I didn’t want to do it, but was quickly welcomed and learned that I actually had a singing voice. Music did come back full circle with the help of the Dave Matthews Band. I picked up the guitar my freshman year of college, and haven’t looked back ever since. I started writing songs around my sophomore year, and haven’t stopped. In 2005, I won “Overall Singer” in a worldwide competition and soon after moved to California in pursuit of fulfilling my rock-star dreams of being a professional musician, haha.
Every artist has his/her perception of art. We would like to know about your approach towards music. That is, how do you perceive your art?
Art comes in many forms, but one of the common threads that I try to tap into is the honesty of raw emotion. Yes, music moves us, and it can be fabricated for a particular need or purpose, but I like to push myself a step further. Music, to me, is an unending expression of daily life.
Many may not know, but I’ve been an Art Director in the corporate world. In business, there are guidelines, formalities and compromise. For me, art is freedom. It is an expression of oneself in a pure and honest form. So, music is my freedom, and to me, it is an extension of this honesty. It is my release, and my way of sharing a story, a memory, or a complete creation from my imagination.
You are an established singer/songwriter in the industry. Who do you look up to when it comes to singing and song writing?
I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with many big names, but the beautiful part of looking back on my influences, is that I’m constantly being influenced and looking up to others. I think that is an important part of growth as an artist.
More concretely, I’ve always been inspired by the pioneers of those who hustled and played live anywhere, anytime, like Dave Matthews, Zach Brown and Jason Mraz. I’ve also been in awe to those songwriters that can stand the test of time like Paul Simon, James Taylor and Johnny Cash. One memory that stands out to me was when I hung out and sang with Gavin DeGraw. He complimented me on my vocals, and yet, he was someone who I look up to in both singing and his song writing.
Please tell us a bit about your single “Miss Everybody’s Business”.
Miss Everybody’s Business is one of my first songs every written. I wrote this at a time when I couldn’t stop listening to bands like Dispatch, O.A.R. and Dave Matthews. At this point in my career, it was more important to “feel” the music than actually listen to it.
The song seems to be a satire on people who don’t mind giving their opinions about others, made evident from the title. So, what inspired you to create the track?
The inspiration behind this track was a constant barrage of gossip. I literally was dating this girl at the time, and somehow, it felt like it gave everyone the right to share their opinions with me. Anything she said or did became this “whisper down the alley” kind of story. Never really being certain of what to believe or not to believe anymore. This song was a fun tongue-and-cheek creation mimicking that situation.
Miss Everybody’s Business is not an unknown track. Instead, it’s a track that most of your fans might be knowing of, from the live shows. How is the single different from the live version?
This single is sort of a refresher. It’s taking something good and making it better. Yes, this is not a brand new song, per say, but this single is different for many reasons. Our live version has always been a fan favourite, but we have never properly captured that in the studio. This time, we teamed up with producer, Mikal Blue (Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, One Republic) and pushed ourselves to create and record that live feel with a kick. The other added bonus was pushing myself in writing a brand new rap. I remember, my first attempt went straight to the garbage because I just felt like it was so cheesy. I realized quickly that writing a rap is much less forgiving that writing a love song. I’m very pleased with the new rap I wrote, and we added that to the new released studio version of the song. To add a cherry on top, we are also in the process of creating a remix with my good friend, Ralph Real, who is the keyboardist for Oddisee. Ralph created a rap and added some more funk with his keyboard talent, so, yet another difference that we can’t wait to share with everyone.
What’s your favourite part from the track?
This is a tough question because this song has been with us for most of my career, so I feel like this answer changes and evolves. I will say that the new rap is my favourite part of this particular release. I just feel like it adds to the vibe, and it’s crazy to think that this song, which is over 15+ years old continues to evolve and still be relevant.
I also have to admit that from a behind the scenes perspective, my favourite part is having my friends and their talent on the track. We have close friends of mine that shared their talents on this track.
Bill Jones – guitars
Stephen Jones – Bass
Christian Hogan – percussion
Anne Seidler – keys
Mikal Blue – producer
Juliet Roberts – harmonies
Ralph (Real) Washington – rap/keys for the remix
In this track, fans will get a chance to hear you rap. How did the idea of including rap come about?
This truly started as an experiment. I always wanted to incorporate some of my early hip-hop influencers into my singer-songwriter music. My intention was to start rapping lyrics from the 80s-90s like Tribe Called Quest, Sir Mix-a-Lot, The Pharcyde, Biz Markie, and started by adding a rap by Young MC. It went over so well, that it became such a staple of the song, and felt like it couldn’t live without a rap. That’s why I mentioned earlier that this song has constantly evolved. From the instrumentation, to the rap, and now we are here, releasing my own rap to the very song I created.
Please tell us about your experience of working with Mikal Blue? How did the association come about?
Mikal is always great to work with. We have a great creative rapport and have now worked on multiple projects together. We originally met through mutual friends, and talked about working together. He came out to a few of my shows and expressed an interest in working with me. I couldn’t wait to collaborate with him, and the rest is history.
Now that you will be releasing the single, can we expect an album soon?
I’ve always been a fan of releasing albums, but my new goal is releasing singles, and I am happy to say that there are few more singles that will be coming out in the near future.
Would you like to tell our readers about your plans for 2018?
I am planning on releasing a few singles throughout the year, along with a brand new written song coming out in the summer. Some other plans is stepping up my music video game and releasing some new music videos in 2018 as well.
You can check out live version of Macek’s single below:
So, what do you think about the single? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.