A Chat with Michael Peloso (14.01.2022)

If you are a lover of genre-defying music, Michael Peloso is the artist you need to be listening to. His latest album Life’s Little Accidents explores the challenges we face in life, with tracks that swing from rock to RnB infused pop. While released under his name, this exploration of his feelings and thoughts is a truly collaborative effort with a range of featured musicians gracing the tracks with their sound. Each track brings powerful emotions and experiences to the soundscape, while connecting each moment of life together. We had the chance to talk to Michael Peloso about the album, translating personal experiences into music, rollercoaster emotions and much more.

OSR: Was there an experience or moment that made you realise you wanted to make music?

Peloso: I’ve told this story before. It was 1980 and I was eight years old. The first time I heard “Keep On Loving You” by Reo Speedwagon on the radio. I just loved the power chords, vocals and harmonies on that track. I begged my dad to take me to the record store and Hi-Infidelity was the first album I ever purchased with my own money. I played it until it turned to dust. Through the years as ways of listening to music changed, I made sure it was the first cassette, CD, and download I purchased. Of course, I then expanded my palette to other genres. So many artists influence me. That list is very long.

OSR: Your latest album Life’s Little Accidents is a culmination of personal experiences and challenges. What prompted you to release this album now?

Peloso: I just felt the time was right. Just like many, I’ve been through many ups and downs the last few years, and I had a lot to say. As you grow older you experience many things. Events happen to us. Some we can control and some we can’t. Life is a crazy ride. It’s never a straight road. These experiences help define you and make you who you are. We are always learning and growing. I just wanted to capture it. I couldn’t have told these stories in my twenties. I had to go through the good, as well as the bad, to tell these stories. I hope the album touches whoever listens to it. I know they can relate.

OSR: Do you find it hard to express these personal challenges and feelings in a relatable way?

Peloso: Actually I don’t find it difficult at all. This is truly how I express myself. I find it easier than talking at times (HAHA)! All kidding aside, I write about what I’ve experienced, or I’m feeling at that particular moment. It’s easy for me. Writing is my air. Not all my songs are autobiographical. That’s not to say that I don’t relate them to things going on in my life. We have all been graced with what life has to offer. Love, loss, success, failures, questions about life itself. All things relatable to pretty much everyone. My lyrics are honest and come from the heart. I’m very comfortable when I’m expressing them. I’ve been at this for a long time. With maturity comes less fear and more faith in your abilities as a writer. I’m at that point in my life.

OSR: While the album touches on personal experiences, there are many collaborations featured across the tracks. How did you connect with the other musicians featured on the album?

Peloso: When I sat down and started writing for this album, I had a few vocalists in mind that I’ve wanted to work with. Natalie Jean and I have worked together in the past. She was a no brainer. She lent her vocals to the current single, called “Rear View”. She is so versatile and has such a powerful voice. By the way, it’s her fault I’m doing this record! She’s been after me for years to do a record of my own. I ignored the idea for a very long time. Then one day I woke up and finally relented. Marisa Frantz, who I’ve also worked with on another song a few years back, called “Where Do You Go?”, was also an easy call. She sings on two songs, “Maybe Someday” and “Fly Away”. She has such a hauntingly beautiful voice. Gives me chills. Juliet Lyons, another exceptional and versatile vocalist who I’ve known for a few years now, was another no brainer. I met her in LA during Grammy week a few years ago and we hung out. I said when the time is right, I’d like to work together. She sings on three songs. Lead vocals on “Shed My Skin”. She also sings co-lead on “No You, No Me”, along with Erik Fredriksen, and she adds backing vocals to “Make a Wish”, with Vicu who sings lead. Juliet also suggested Nathan Nasby to me. He’s a great singer from Canada. He’s wonderful on “What You Do”. He has such a sensitive, caring sounding voice. He fits so well with that song. Erik Fredriksen also sings lead on the title track, “Life’s Little Accidents”. He was mixing another song on the album and we didn’t have vocals yet for this particular song. He asked if he could give it a try and it worked! He has a very strong voice. I love his voice on it. Art Auré, Nelly’s Echo, Vicu, were all suggestions by my co-producer, Matthew Shell. I had heard their work before and asked Matthew to reach out. He did and I’m so happy they were available and more importantly, believed in the songs. They are fantastic! I’m blessed to have them and everyone who lent their talents. They all brought their best. True professionals.

OSR: The album is rather genre-defying with the tracks moving from indie rock to pop and acoustic ballads. What was your creative process for creating such a sonically diverse album?

Peloso: I’ll be fifty in April. Yes, I’m old! Ha-ha! With that, I’ve been lucky enough to have so many decades of great music! I’ve been exposed to so many great genres of music. I love it all! From rock to adult pop, acoustic, jazz, dance, RnB, alternative. You name it. This album has it! My influences are all here. I wanted the album to reflect that. I didn’t set out to make a particular sounding record. I went where my heart was telling me. Streaming consciences. Wherever the music or the lyrics were taking me, I let it take me. Good music is good music. Doesn’t matter what genre it is. To me it’s all music. No categories.

OSR: While each track is powerful on its own, which one would you recommend that captures the overall feeling of the collection?

Peloso: That is a very good question! You are putting me on the spot! Each song is its own chapter in the overall story of the entire album. Each song brings with it a special meaning and tells a special tale. They all mean the world to me. But since you asked for one, I’d have to say it would be “Shed My Skin”. I say this simply because it’s the first song (lyrically) I wrote for the album. It’s the song that started me down this path. I wrote it back in 2017-2018 during my struggle with cancer. It’s what the song is about. It’s about going through such a tough time and just coming out of it better for it in some sort of bizarre way. How can it not change you for the better? I hate choosing between songs!

Michael Peloso
Photo Credit: Erin McGuirk

OSR: The album is a rollercoaster of emotions, but what is the one thing you would like people to feel after they have listened to it?

Peloso: I’d like them to feel that they aren’t alone. That none of us are alone. We are here for each other. I hope the album gives them hope that they can get through anything. Nothing can stop them. We all have a purpose. I hope that they believe. Believe in themselves. Have faith and not fear.

OSR: This album showcases your musical versatility, but what genre do you prefer and why?

Peloso: I have to say that I don’t have a specific genre. I love all styles of music and can listen to pretty much anything. I hate putting music into categories. Like I stated earlier, to me, good music is good music.

OSR: How different was it creating your first solo effort compared to writing and producing for others?

Peloso: When writing for others, it’s more of me coming up with ideas, laying them out and letting the artist make it their own. They have the final say for the most part. It’s their song. This time around, it was different in the sense that I was calling the shots. At the end of the day, it’s my name on it. I had the final say on everything. Being the “face” of the project is still something I’m coming to terms with. I’m still getting used to it.

OSR: What do you feel has the biggest impact on the music you make?

Peloso: Life and everything that comes with it. Being alive and experiencing it. It’s a wonderful gift we’ve been given. How can it not impact us?

OSR: What else can we expect from you in the coming year?

Peloso: I plan on releasing a few more songs from the album. Not sure which tracks yet. Hopefully in the Spring and late summer. I also have a few writing sessions with some other artists that will be happening this year as well. It will be a busy year. Thank you for having me. I hope you and your audience enjoy the album. Have a happy and safe new year.

Thanks to Michael Peloso for chatting with us! You can find more about him on his website, Facebook and Spotify.

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