Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Shoshana Michel

After browsing Spotify playlists for a while; one name came up over and over again in almost every single playlist I saw. It was Shoshana. I listened to a few songs and decided to contact her. She has been very nice and helpful and have come with great advice for a small struggling artist as myself. And, I also want to brag a little bit. She said that my song 0334 was the inspiration for her Lullabies playlist on Spotify.

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from the United States, originally from California, and currently live in New York.

How long have you been playing the piano?
I started piano lessons at the age of seven.

Do you play other instruments as well? 
Yes, I play the accordion, which was the first instrument that I learned on. 

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
I started with regular music lessons, starting on the accordion first then adding the piano. When I was in high school, I discovered ragtime and got gigs playing in pizza parlors then landed a job at a very large amusement park where I played solo piano and in some of the shows there. 

How long have you been making piano music?
I have been making music since I got that first gig at the pizza parlor. Even though some of the songs that I played were not my own compositions many of them were my own arrangements.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself! 
I composed my first piano solo in 1991 but didn’t take that piece seriously and didn’t compose again until 2015. In those in-between years not only did I not compose, I couldn’t compose. After I released my first album, which were not my own compositions, I decided that I needed to compose. I sat down at my keyboard and after a few tries I started composing. That moment was surreal to say the least. I had totally convinced myself that I couldn’t compose so when I did, it just didn’t seem real.

Have you made music in other genres before?
Currently I’ve only composed in the contemporary solo piano genre. 

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
There are so many incredible pianists in the contemporary solo piano genre.  Some of the artists that have influenced me and have become my favorites include Thad Fiscella, David Lanz, Daniel Ketchum, Christine Brown, David Nevue, Robin Spielberg, Ryan Stewart, just to name a few.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s? 
Yes, “Finding Bliss” on my new album, Reflection, is a piece that I find myself playing over and over. For me, it’s just a “feel good” song. I named it “Finding Bliss” because very simply when I play it I feel deeply happy within. 

What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
I don’t think that there is just one song that inspires me the most when I’m composing. Depending on my mood, a certain composer’s style may inspire me.

Tell us something about you latest release.
My music reflects who I am. I found myself going through some dark moments as well as everyday challenges, and what I was feeling and experiencing came through my music. Several of the tracks reflect not only what I was going through, but what others may go through at times as well.

What’s happening next? New releases etc. 
I’m already composing for my next album. I’m also working on composing for sync licensing for film and transcribing music from my first album.

Thank you for this Shoshana! You can find more info on these social links:
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

And of course, you should head right over to Spotify to listen to Shoshanas music! 

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