MICHAEL RHODES - IN THE NIGHT EP & BIO
Michael Rhodes, 25 year old singer songwriter based in London by way of Lagos, Nigeria have been singing since he was about six/seven but only started putting out music within the last 2 years. Michael has dropped his new EP entitled "In The Night" which explains him and where he is at that stage in life. Read his story and his each song of his EP.
Growing up I listened to a lot of soul and R’n’B. Artists like Whitney, Mariah, Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child were the formation of my interest in music. Then as I grew up I began to expand my tastes listening to and being influenced by Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Fun., Florence and the Machine, Prince, to name a few. My biggest musical and vocal influence is Aretha Franklin. The fire and conviction of her vocals and soulfulness of her lyrics and music is an unparalleled combination that I haven’t seen surpassed since I fell in love with her.
As a teenager, I went to a secondary boarding school back in Lagos, Nigeria and I would consistently sing a range of Mariah Carey songs, everything from well-known cuts like “Vision of Love” to deeper cuts like “So Blessed” mostly in the shower and in my room. But this was how I discovered my voice and discovered that music was what I wanted to purse.
Aside from music I am very influenced by Oprah Winfrey because of her ability to access and use her vulnerability to connect with others and her work passing on the message of developing yourself as a spiritual being. She and a couple of other people who so this kind of work (Iyanla Vanzant) have been big influences on me.
The music that I make now and has the foundational intention to connect with others through vulnerability, honesty and openness. By nature I am a person who thrives of connecting with others (I am a Leo), because it brings to a clarity, the awareness that we are more alike than we are different.
This EP I am putting out now (Titled “In The Night”) really captures that and me as I am at this stage of my life. It is the first professional project I have done with a team I assembled myself and invested in. Prior to this I released mostly self-created songs and demos via soundcloud. It is called “In The Night” because the songs document thoughts and experiences I have gone through uncountable times are night, in bed, alone and in my own head.
The EP deals with the theme of desire. In my second year of uni I feel in love with someone who couldn’t reciprocate the feelings I exuded and it turned out to be a very dark and difficult year and a half for me. Dealing with rejection and unrequited love really hit me hard and opened a lot of creative doors within myself I didn’t know I had. I recorded 10 songs in that experience which documented the level of sadness and isolation I was dealing with and had carried hopes of making an album of it but ended up putting it out as demos on soundcloud instead.
After that experience subsided, as time tends to help with. It occurred to me that I have never experienced desire before. I am someone who enjoys sex a lot. But there’s a difference between having sex with someone and being desired by them. When I would look around my friends, acquaintances, couples on the street etc and see how they were energetically linked and how they treated each other and wanted each other it was very very apparent that I had never experienced that and talking to other people in my life or who I came in contact with it seemed I wasn’t alone. So I decided to make an EP of 4 songs about that experience.
The EP is on the base level a fantasy and an experience that is happening in your/my head. It starts off with “Last Night” which is the first song on the EP and the first single off the project. This song talks about lust. It’s about so intensely wanting someone who isn’t there with you and perhaps someone who you maybe can’t even have. So you imagine/experience the pleasure they could bring you through your own company and the lyrics document a dialogue of saying to them, i.e. “last night I felt this was about you and this is what I did”.
It then goes into the second song which is called “Pink”. Which is about imagining that this person who you are desiring/wanting, kind of also wants you too. And even though there’s still some apprehension there. They are effectively saying to you. I kind of want to see where this would go. I want to touch your heart and I want to have sex with you. I want your pink (the heart and the inside of a person are pink). I kind of want to let this feeling in me lead me, so lets do this.
Then it goes into “Wet” which is one of my most favourite things I’ve ever written. In the story of EP this is the point in it where you are imagining that this person who you have been desiring is throwing all inhibition and fear out the window and wants to be with you. Wants to be seen with you, wants to have sex with you, wants it all. It’s about freedom. Letting go of inhibition, of judgment, of fear and letting yourself be free to explore your desires, sexually. As human beings we get really caught up in what we can feel or can’t feel and who we can be with or can’t be with and this song is saying “fuck all that I want you”. You make me wet (you stimulate me). In all the ways a person can be stimulated.
Then it ends on “Hold Me! Love Me!”. This song is the perfect end to this project because if the three songs prior are experiences you are going through in your head. After the euphoric come down of imagining the object of your desire wanting you so intensely. There’s the inevitable realisation that you are going through all this alone and you really just want to be held and loved in a real way. Not in your fucking head. This is a place I have been at so many times. After the come down of ecstasy and your own imagination. When you are someone who isn’t unfamiliar with rejection there’s a sense of “yes this all sucks and I need someone/something real”. In another sense it could be seen as the object of your desires getting fearful after the comedown of fiery passion and running away and this song is a cry out to be held and loved. This song I wrote during the period of rejection I talked about earlier and it ended up being by favorite song from that period because it captured the experience so simply and completely.
With this EP I really wanted to be straight to the point and expose myself in as many ways as I could so others can see themselves in me and the songs. I really didn’t want to use too many metaphors or coat things up, because I felt it wouldn’t pierce as sharply.
Last Night should be coming out between the 30th of May -2nd of June I am unsure of the date at the moment, as the song is still in the mastering stage. But will keep you informed.