Creating Something Personal
With his latest release, Shea Michael intends to encapsulate audiences entirely. Speaking about this new EP, Shea said that “These are some of my favourite songs I’ve ever made because there were no expectations or goals other than to create music that really resonated with both of us. Konrad’s unique production gave this project a sound of its own and inspired me to step outside the box as a writer as well.”
Calgary-based songwriter, vocalist, and mixing engineer Shea Michael is back, and has teamed up with producer Konrad OldMoney to deliver an EP that explores a dark landscape of Hip-Hop/R&B, with stories of difficult relationships and personal struggles. Titled “Break The Cycle“, this six-song project is a personal reflection of Shea’s life journey, with each track telling a different story of overcoming certain challenges.
Konrad OldMoney, the producer behind the EP, is no stranger to the music industry. He has worked with artists such as Pusha T, Yasiin Bey, and Curren$y, and his production skills bring a dark and moody vibe to the project. The combination of Shea Michael’s emotive vocals and Konrad OldMoney’s production creates a captivating sonic landscape that draws listeners in and keeps them engaged. With both individuals bringing a slew of musical expertise, “Break The Cycle” acts as more than just a collaborative effort between the two, but a culmination of their skills developed into a symphony of melancholic rapping at it’s finest.
The opening track, “COAST” creates a calming and catchy tone, whilst setting a personal ambience for the rest of the EP, with Shea’s vocals conveying the journey of finding himself and recognizing his own faults. Featuring fellow Canadian artist Isaac Zale, the pair craft a track that displays both their individual artistry and passion.
The second track, “DEEPER“, touches on the struggles of relationships and the need to break free from destructive emotional cycles. This song also has the second and only other feature on the EP, BAINS, another Canadian artist who brings an essence of melodic rap to the forefront.
“HALF AN OUNCE” is the third song of the project, with Shea’s soothing vocals expressing his desire to connect with a partner. The song’s rhythmic chorus and infectious beat make it a memorable addition to the project. “VIBE” is the fourth track, which serves as a key highlight of the EP. The entrancing production and Shea’s lyrics paint a vivid picture of his aspirations, mental health and the need to confront one’s own values.
When mentioning how the work between himself and Konrad came to be, Shea stated that they met at a mutual friend’s studio in Vancouver and after hearing some of Konrad’s music, he knew he wanted to start on some song ideas to pitch to him for collaboration. Explaining further that, “I sent him a couple of rough hook concepts which later developed into the songs “Deeper” and “Half An Ounce”. From there, we had an idea of how our styles meshed and decided it would be cool to do an EP together with this type of darker Hip-Hop/R&B mood. Most of the work was done remotely at our own home studios, bouncing ideas back and forth.”
The EP’s fifth track, “EMPTY“, is a moment of self-reflection for the Canadian recording artist, as it has Shea display his feelings with romantic difficulties and heartbreak in their lives. The hook provides a raw emotional statement delivered in an audience engaging way, which in retrospect, is the formula of the track’s entirety.
The final song and also the title track is “BREAK THE CYCLE“, a crowd enticing melody that concludes the EP. Shea brings an uplifting yet personal take on moving forward and living his life to his standards. With additional themes of perseverance, self-discovery and the outstanding production from Konrad OldMoney, the last song acts as the perfect outro to the project.
Although Shea Michael is known for his quick-witted rap styles and pop sounds, the singer-songwriter purposely aimed for a darker toned approach. Regarding his shift in genre, Shea elaborated that “I like to jump around in all sorts of genres and moods, which is maybe not great for branding, but it keeps me inspired. I’m definitely finding the value in prioritizing my own opinion of the music I’m making before thinking about any type of specific plan for the release of it or potential audiences. Being excited about the songs I’m working on is most important to me now. ”
“This project was written during a pretty low point in my life while being isolated in Vancouver away from my friends and family. I’m feeling much better now that I’m back in Calgary and taking care of my health, so although the difficult times will always be an important source to draw from, I’ve been enjoying writing some more uplifting and fun songs again lately.”
What’s Next For Shea?
“Break The Cycle” is a unique, powerful and introspective project that showcases Shea Michael’s growth as an artist. The EP is a testament to his ability to create music that is both personal and relatable, with themes that resonate with listeners from all walks of life. With “Break The Cycle”, Shea Michael has elevated his artistry to its peak, delivering some of his best work yet.
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