Artists Name: Sergio Michel
Music Genre: Rock
Websites or Social Media Pages
Sergio Michel is an American hard rock musician; a national level headliner known world-wide for his unique style of guitar playing & lively/aggressive performances. Sergio starts 2021 with the release of a new double album, “Tropical Depression” on the Cold War Relic label. The release news is covered in outlets like Brave Words, New Noise, Concert Crap & The Surf radio network. Previously, in 2020 Sergio went on a national tour with Soulfly & Toxic Holocaust. He also appeared on Vice News & Telemundo nightly news in 2020. Sergio has headlined iconic venues like The Whisky A Go Go, The Rainbow Bar & Grill, The Viper Room & The Canyon regularly since 2015. In 2019, Sergio’s autographed photo was added to the walls of the prestigious Sunset Strip landmark, Rainbow Bar & Grill; on the wall of the world famous Whisky A Go Go’s headliner dressing room; & the celebrity wall of Nick’s Cafe in Beverly Hills. At the same time, NBC’s The Voice featured a segment where The Whisky’s famous marquee boasted Sergio Michel as headliner. In 2018, Sergio re-issued “Uplifting ‘Depressing’ Music”, “Cry Out” & breakthrough single “Hey Eyes” . Sergio’s 2013 release “Marry Me, Cindy” went viral with single ‘I Close My Eyes’; reaching over 189,000 viral plays & also verified as trending twice. It’s 2nd single ‘Bow Down’, verified as trending ten times. ‘Boldly’ from “Cry Out” officially went trending in 2020, two years after initial release. As an actor, Sergio has appeared as a principal on several top rated dramatic series, like Telmundo’s #1 rated “Corazon Valiente”; “El Rostro de la Venganza” & American TV shows like MMA themed drama, “Kingdom”; while also featured on MTV, Fox News & TMZ. As a celebrity, in 2016, Sergio Michel ranked as the #22 most famous American of Hispanic heritage according to Famous Fix; while Top-On-Social calculated Sergio Michel as the #4 most searched for musician on Facebook! Klout rated Sergio Michel’s Twitter handle in the Top 12% of influential users. No surprise, Sergio gained the #1 spot on the charts for Metal in the Miami market on ReverbNation in November 2014 & held it into 2017, before transitioning to Hollywood, CA; immediately claiming the #1 spot there & holding it throughout 2020 as well. USA & European tour coming for 2021.
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
My music falls in the vein of true rock and roll. That is, my performances, presentation and attitude are full on pure entertainment all the time. As far as sound is concerned, the musical genres I touch range from metal, hard rock, punk and alternative to power pop and folk; but it still remains clearly “Sergio Michel” ‘s style. My new 19 song double album “Tropical Depression” even has electronic and dance elements on some songs, and they fit in perfectly with the rest.
My goal is to provide excellent performances for any audience and leave them amazed at what they just saw.
I have an ability to remain true to form, but widely appealing at the same time. Not many of my contemporaries can do that.
Bang for your musical buck is definitely the goal.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
My name “Sergio Michel” is my birth name. I am named after my father, as he was named after his.
I made my mark in music in a very old school brick and mortar way. When I was a teen, I founded a metal band in my native New Jersey and dominated the local scene. A few years into college, I moved on and founded a new band, operating under an alias and got international recognition in the extreme metal underground. I started to appear in fanzines and websites all over the world.
I then signed a deal with a major label (names omitted for privacy reasons). At this time, I got a great non-binding one album deal with a huge non-recoupable advance. Almost unheard of in music. Basically I would owe nothing to the label and they would do all their heavy lifting. This happened because I showed the executives and money men, that I was a level headed and drama free artist who did’nt care about the excesses of fame, but just wanted to work. That went a long way in the early 2000s. Around this time, though my music was very metal, I started getting involved in the world of main stream celebrity notoriety. I even helped and advised smaller labels under the parent company with talents outside of rock, like Hip Hop because I had a way of helping other artists stay focused and the label liked that. However, because of factors outside my control ( a label exec was arrested and did not meet contractual obligations to my band) , my contract with the major was cancelled, but I got to keep all my music, masters, logos, names, copyrights, publishing rights and the full major label release that was mixed and mastered. I never released that album though, because at that point I saw I wanted to change musical direction.
So, I started working under my name “Sergio Michel” for the 1st time and released one radio friendly pop song named “Hey Eyes” that was on a hit with French streaming radio. Around that time, I started song writing with the Joe Lynn Turner, a legendary singer from bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow. I took a few years off from music and went to acting. I did a lot of soap opera acting and had recurring roles on quite a few. I got involved with Celebrity Boxing and had quite a few public celebrity feuds as well. During that time, I released “Marry Me, Cindy” which was well received. The songs trended and went viral many times, and had high ratings on internet charts. I stayed #1 on Reverbnation for years for instance while still focusing on acting and being a celebrity.
However, I felt that I had unfinished business in the music industry and knew what level I belonged at in music and set out to prove it. So, I packed up all my things from one day to another in 2016; moved to Hollywood, CA and immediately only headlined legendary venues like the Whisky A Go Go (12 times); The Rainbow (10 times); The Viper Room; The Canyon Club (2 times) and even appeared high in the bill at big events like Party In The Parking Lot through 2019. In the matter of 3 years, I went to the most difficult market in the USA and dominated; either I headlined or was on a big festival bill with bigger bands as special guest/direct support. That was my goal. Go big or not at all. In that time I re-released a reworked version of “Hey Eyes” and both “”Cry Out and “Uplifting Depressing Music” Then, in 2020, I went on a national tour with Soulfly which ended the day before lock downs happened.
In 2021, I released my 19 song double album Tropical Depression on Cold War Relic record to much critical acclaim; and now looking forward forward to getting back on tour in the States and abroad. The press and interest has been huge, so things look exciting. The 1st single “Subhuman” has done very, very well with critics and listeners a like, even though it is one of the more heavy and fast tracks on the album. That in a nutshell is the tale.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
My 1st musical influences were the very 1st weird MTV videos. I was 3 years old, but I clearly remember the first year of broadcast music videos. That’s where I saw Van Halen of course and decided at 4 years old, that I would very much like to do what David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen were doing. As a small child, I was around urban music and lots of merengue; but I liked pop and some mainstream rock more. My teenage years were spent at CBGB and all the great NY/NJ concert venues; and I saw everyone who was anyone in rock, punk, metal which is what I like most. I then really got into Japanese rock and metal; but these days I listen to many kinds of music.
I’m more influenced by concepts in music as opposed to just one artist or genre.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
Right now I am working on the promotion of my new album, “Tropical Depression”.
Also, lining up live appearances and such. Working on releasing new music videos for the remainder of the singles, etc.
I also am very proactive to get the next release in the can as soon as possible. I see this era as my most prolific writing stage in my career.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
My goal has always been to be a legend and I have reached that level. That included gaining respect for my musical ability and reaching a level of notoriety that has zero inflation from hype. I have headlined legendary venues and done enough in the world of celebrity hooplah to make the history books; and have held major endorsements with the likes of Prince and Eddie Van Halen so my name is in the mix when people look back to my generation of musicians in the future. I never wanted to be just another musician, and I believe I reached that status in my own era.
The goal now is to reach bigger audiences and entertain more people. I really love my fans and take their enjoyment of what I am doing very seriously. I don’t do this for clout or for self aggrandizement; I just set lofty goals and meet them all with the desire to entertain more people.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
My new favorite track to perform live is “Abysmal”, track one of “Tropical Depression”. Lots of really rocking pyrotechnics there. It’s the new opening track for my set. I got to perform it at the “Tropical Depression” album release the 1st week of March for the 1st time in front of a live audience and it was awesome.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
American audiences are far too distracted with too much media. 98% of that media is not good at all. Lots of acts that have no business performing, let alone going viral or earning your hard earned cash. Since I am a serious artist who does not want to lie or deceive my fans with marketing tricks; hype or stupid stunts etc; it becomes more difficult to grab new potential fans’ attention being all about the music. However, I still do well in that department, but that’s the only thing I can say has deteriorated is American music consumption’s standards.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
I write from anecdotal experience. So, I tend to observe a situation that actually happened and then embellish the subject matter until a story unfolds. I am a big fan of the concept album format, so writing a whole story spanning over the entire release is where I do very well.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
It has’nt. I don’t put much importance on social media. I use it as it was originally intended, to advertise things that actually happened in the real-world. In other words, just sharing news or facts about my band. “We’re playing here”; “Here’s me with such and such”; “Tropical Depression is covered in this and that publication”, like that. I only focus on real world accomplishments.
Here’s why. In the dawn of social media, I noticed that many people exploded from obscurity to lucrative popularity with Myspace. When Myspace was sold and it tanked, those people disappeared, could’nt get a gig and seemed like they vanished from reality. I quickly learned it’s far better to be something than to pretend on the internet. No one can take your accomplishments from you; but if a person has built a fantasy life on the net and their profile is deleted or lost for some reason, they wind up with nothing. Though I have high follow counts and encourage my fans to follow my sites, I personally do not rely on social media to build me up. I’d rather meet my fans and entertain them in person. The memories and experiences can’t be erased, but pictures and videos can.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
Before I reached great success in music, I did high level IT for many large corporations.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Don’t live on social media. Go out there and become a real musician and use social media as a tool.
Don’t listen to others and don’t ask anyone who is not successful for advice. Research things for yourself.
Set both reachable and high goals, and work on getting them accomplished.
It takes years of hard work and possibly horrible struggle to be a real musician.
Be honest with yourself and be who you are. You won’t get anywhere trying to be someone else.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
Eliminate the middle men. Too many failed musicians, clout seekers and people without the vision needed to make the industry grow again at the media, show host, booking, rep, management, executive level. Bitter people who hate that others can succeed are the last people you need around. The industry is full of them and it’s killing the organic rise of artists that can truly make a mark.
Too much favoritism and gatekeeping is a horrible mix for art to thrive in.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
It’s a must. People should be able to guess your influences when they hear your music; but if you dress or try to sound exactly like someone before, it’s a waste of time. That person already made it and made their statement. You’ll never be them, and their is no need for their statement to be made. Why try?
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
I would like to say thank you for the interview. I would encourage music fans who liked what they read to check out “Tropical Depression” wherever they stream or download music. Also, to visit SergioMichelMusic on IG/FB/YT for any announcements for tours etc. Thanks again!