Former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe revealed that he will release his first solo album in 2023.
“I’m working on a solo album, my first,” said Stipe. “I’m collaborating with a bunch of different musicians, and each of those songs, if I get my way—which I think I will because I’m paying for it— will be very different.”
Stipe, 62, added that he’s working on the album with no management or label. “For the first time in my adult life, I don’t have a contract with anyone except myself, so I get to do whatever I want,” shared Stipe. “There will be a visual representation for each of the songs, and it should come together next year. I’m hoping to build slowly.”
In 2019, Stipe released his first solo single “Your Capricious Soul,” followed by “Future if Future,” produced by Brian Eno, in early 2022. The latter single was released as the first commercially bioplastic vinyl. “Simply showing that this type of solution-based project is possible opens pathways to a brighter future,” said Stipe of the more sustainable release, which was produced in partnership with EarthPercent and Evolution Music.
Busy with multimedia projects, Stipe added that he’s also releasing a new book with Italian publisher Damiani, his fourth following the 2021 release of Michael Stipe, a collection of literal and figurative portraits of some of his favorite people. Stipe previously released the photo books Volume 1 and Our Interference Times: A Visual Record in 2018 and 2019, respectively, with the publisher.
Stipe is also putting together my first art show at the International Cultural Union in Milan, Italy. “I’m working on a bunch of sculpture pieces for that,” said Stipe. “There will be a lot of photo-based portraiture. So I have the record, the show, and then of course to further complicate it and make it difficult on myself, my next book with Damiani will come out as a loose program of the show.”
He added, “I’m doing something that I’m completely terrified of and not sure that I’m capable of. Actually, I know that I’m incapable, but I’ve started painting.”
Photo: Steven Ferdman / Getty Images