(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #126: Michael Blume

By on Tuesday, 25th April 2017 at 11:00 am

On the Friday morning of SXSW 2017, Mary and I were invited to attend the BMI / AT&T Fiber Acoustic Brunch on the lawn of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin. “Progressive r&b” singer Michael Blume was the change-up pitch in the middle of the Acoustic Brunch lineup, shaking things up after a pair of performances by country artists Devin Dawson and Caitlyn Smith, and setting the stage for pop-centric acts Brayton Bowman and Morgxn.

Following Blume’s intense, riveting set on the otherwise mellow Acoustic Brunch, we asked him to answer a post-festival version of our (SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions via e-mail. Read his replies below to find out about his SXSW experience, his plans for the immediate future, and the academic background that makes Michael Blume unique among his fellow SXSW 2017 showcasing acts.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Progressive, soulful, honest.

Was this your first time at SXSW? Were you nervous / excited / anxious about it? Did the festival live up to your expectations?
This was my first time!  I was excited to check it out after hearing so much – it was cool and definitely was something I could not understand until I experienced it firsthand!

Name something you had packed in your suitcase for the trip to Austin that we might find weird or unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Two steamers – one for my voice and one for my clothing.

What were some of the fun tourist/sight-seeing things you did in Austin during SXSW?
After we finished all the gigs, I stayed to hang for a day with a friend of mine who lives in Austin. He took me to this beautiful creek, and we swam and laid out in the sun. It was a very Mark Twain moment, and I lived.

Did you get the chance to see any other bands or artists play during SXSW? Who were your favourites?
I actually didn’t get to see as much music as I would have liked – I was pretty wiped by the end of the day.  But I did catch a part of the Chloe x Halle set at The Fader Fort and those girls can singggggg.

If we had run into you in a downtown Austin bar, we’d have offered to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I’m not a big drinker!  Maybe a little champagne, but I’m tipsy after 1 or 2 sips.

What was your favourite album from the last year and why?
Definitely have more than one – one that comes to mind right now is James Blake ‘The Colour in Anything’.  I love his use of minimal lyric with complex textures.

What are your post-SXSW plans? Any touring, recording, other activities on the horizon?
I am working on my debut full length album!!! I am in the studio all day, everyday these days and I am running there right now actually.  Album comes out this summer and I am playing Governor’s Ball, Firefly, and Lollapalooza festivals! [You can find a list of Blume’s upcoming live dates on his official Web site. – CC]

Now, onto our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
1st grade choir!!

What was your favourite song as a child?
‘As’ by Stevie Wonder.

What song makes you laugh?
‘Work it’ by Missy Elliot.

What song makes you cry?
‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ by Harry Chapin.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)

I’ve never fallen in love.  Check my upcoming album for more details on that one. [If that doesn’t pique your curiosity, nothing will! – CC]

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Aretha Franklin ‘Amazing Grace’. The whole album is my go-to find myself, calm down, have a moment with the universe album.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
HA!  This is a funny question.  I mean . . . probably Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Definitely can’t narrow this to one . . . James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Cultural Studies professor. [This is no joke; I’ve read that Blume studied at Yale. – CC]

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
Aretha Franklin, ‘Amazing Grace Live’.

Special thanks to Jodie for arranging this e-mail q&a. You can read our archive of Quickfire Questions and their answers, including a load of them with artists who showcased at SXSW 2017, through this link.

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