Acclaimed songwriter Karl Michael wants to spill the British beans on the inspiration behind his debut single “Beautiful Creature.”
But the newly crowned solo artist just can’t do it.
Well, at least not yet.
“I really want to tell you what it’s all about,” begins Michael, his British accent standing out amongst the Nashville landscape he has called home for the past ten months. “But its one of those songs that has a much, much, much deeper meaning than what you can hear on the surface. But its not up to me yet. I just need to have respect for the other person and make sure she is ok with it. (Laughs.) She cried. She was so happy when she heard it.”
He pauses for a moment, adding to the mystery of it all.
“All I can say is that its about unconditional love.”
And in a world that continues to crumble from the pressures of a pandemic, a song about unconditional love certainly sounds good right about now. Produced by Jon Levine (Drake, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, Alessia Cara) and Scott Spock (Rihanna, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne), “Beautiful Creature” tells a story about the power of love and the magic of youth, delivered by a man who seems to be able to lay down his soul within a page of lyrics with ease.
It’s not always easy.
“I literally changed the lyrics of ‘Beautiful Creature’ the day before I recorded it,” recalls Michael, who recently signed with Nashville based Riser House Records. “It didn’t feel complete. It didn’t feel personal enough to me. I had to take it down and build it back up again, you know?”
The song and his attitude toward it is a testament to the man who has never given up on his dreams. Conjuring up understandable comparisons to the Sam Smith’s and Maroon 5’s of the pop world, Michael looks poised to shine in the spotlight from now on.
Granted, it wasn’t always that way.
In fact, Michael, who appeared on The Voice UK back in 2013, is quick to reminisce about his days working in construction back in London, left to listen to a spattering of songs that he had written blare from the worksite’s speakers.
But he wanted more.
And he got it.
Michael went on to pen a myriad of songs earning more than 100million total streams on Spotify, including hits like “Can We Dance,” which he wrote with Bruno Mars for The Vamps and “Beautiful Me” for Dappy. And then last year, when he came across the pond to make Nashville his permanent residence, Michael stayed for two nights with fellow songwriter Johnny Black.
And “Beautiful Creature” was born.
“I had the lyrics and (Black) had the piano part and we were messing around with the melodies when he went to the garage to smoke a cigarette,” recalls Michael. “I don’t write lyrics with a pen and paper. I subconsciously have the lyric in my head. And when he was in the garage, I got the melodies right and the lyrics came together and we knew that was it.”
A full record of songs is soon to come from Michael, who says that the creation of the album has felt like 15 years of pent up emotions falling out on the page. Emotions about love and determination…and Music City.
“Last night we had a photo shoot and we were outside one of the first bars I ever went to in Nashville,” recalls Michael, who deems himself a huge Johnny Cash fan. “I mean, I would sit in that place before I got my record deal or had written songs for the new record and I would say to myself, ‘I would do anything to live here. And now I do. I’m waiting for someone to say this isn’t real.”
But it is very, very real.
And you ain’t going nowhere, if you ask us.