Blessed Beyond Measure is the best way to describe my life. I made a decision a while ago, to not sign with a major promotion agency because it would mean being gone every weekend, and away from my wife and ministry.
I sensed God wanted me to focus on writing new songs here at GODSONGS recording studio(godsongsusa.com), and to also help other Christian singer/songwriters produce and record their music. That decision has proven to be exactly where God wanted me to be at this time in my life... I'm now working with 2 awesome artists, Chad Jenner, and Benjamin Thomas. Their music is incredible and I'm sure you'll be hearing their names very soon if you haven't heard of them already.
My wife and I started a ministry in 2009 - Light in the Dark Ministries, that connects with other Christian ministries all over the earth. (lightinthedarkministries.com) We are here to encourage, and to ask people to pray and support them as God directs. We are now involved in Jail/Prison/Detention ministry and also take the gospel to homeless men & women in our area.
I'm currently assisting with praise & worship at our home church The Bridge, and occasionally lead worship on invitation at events/churches where we live. My wife and I are the Executive Directors of : His Children Ministries in India; which cares for hundreds of orphans and widows. (Hischildrenministries.com)
I also manage an International English Company/L.D.S. -Language Development Systems that is currently teaching Koreans English -via the internet. It is high tech instruction geared mainly towards those who are part of the corporate business community in South Korea. Oh, and did I mention that I'm also a father, with two sons -Joel & Scott, and soon to be a grandfather to a little girl named Josie. My life isn't perfect - but it's close to it - I have to wait until I leave this earth to find out what perfection is really like.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
Rock with a Christian perspective... my music & songs are a fusion of many bands and artists that I've listened to over the years - both secular and Christian. Hard rock, folk rock, pop, acoustic ballads, blues, metal, rap, praise - worship; can be heard on my albums. I love variety and experimenting with new and old sounds in the studio. I never know where a song I've started will end up - that's the exciting part of being a songwriter; just letting a song go where things take me.
Being predictable or writing just to "sell your music to the mainstream" media that plays that (this will sell sound 24/7) - has no attraction to me as an independent singer/songwriter. I hope my songs remind people of an artist or band they love! If I'm bored with my songs - I know others will be too - so my goal is to make songs and music that inspire, provoke, and take listeners to new places; or make them think about things in ways they've never considered... I am not afraid to write songs that hit hard and step on toes - tell it like it is but with love to all.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
I use my birth name - Michael D'Aigle - but my stage name or a.k.a. is: fool4christ 1 CO.4:10 I was a fool for the devil before becoming a Christian, and acted and behaved in ways that now I know were foolish and selfish. After giving my life and music to God, I decided to become a "fool for Christ" and not worry about how my life looked to the world or unbelievers. Worshiping an invisible God, believing in a man name Jesus Christ who is no longer here in the flesh, or in miracles - is "foolish" to many these days - but I choose to believe. When I die, if my birth name is forgotten that would be fine, but I do hope they remember a guy who was a reckless fool for Christ!
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
So many - thousands! The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, John Cougar/Mellancamp, Bob Dylan, PETRA, B.B.King, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, D.C.Talk, Third Day, The Newsboys, Casting Crowns, MercyMe, King David, Journey, Chicago, David Crowder Band, HIllsong United, Building 429, Lacrae, Jesus Culture, Resurrection Band, Whitecorss, Stryper, Phil Keggy, Rich Mullins, Andra Crouch, Sidewalk Prophets, Daniel Amos, Matthew Ward, Servant, Elvis, The Beach Boys, Metallica, Whitney Houston, Janice Joplin, just to name a few...
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I'm currently working on my 10th album/RUN TO THE LIGHT. This will feature all my new songs that run from soft acoustic ballads to hard rock jams - all with a positive message. That should be out sometime this year/2020. I'm also collaborating with a songwriter/Chad Jenner on a song called: America Is Great Again. We will be presenting that song to agencies and producers/companies that are looking for a pro-American song with great lyrics...
I'm also working on 2 other recording projects. The first, is a praise & worship album that will feature softer songs that I like to do when I'm not writing or performing the harder songs I lean towards. At heart I'm a worshiper - so I love to write songs that honor God and allow people to draw closer to Him. I hope to have Volume one /LOVE SONGS FOR JESUS - released soon this year/2020. Finally, I've been working on a Christmas album of songs/music that celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world - Jesus Christ. That's going slow - but I'm about 1/2 way there with the songs for that.
I also hope to have my 2nd book published this year/2020 - OUT OF THE DARKNESS. This will be a book about my life hitch-hiking across the U.S. as a teenager, and my time touring the East & West coast and meeting and being backstage with some of the biggest stars in the secular rock world. This book will also tell how I became involved with Scientology as a staff member living in Detroit; and how I manged to escape that cult of deception. Part of the book will be about my conversion to Christianity. I share my story of a young man drifting through life - and one day hearing the Good News about Jesus dying for me - and raising from the dead. My life since surrendering myself to Christ - has never been the same. My life now is just a simple prayer - a life of gratitude to the One Who gave everything for us. Now I have to admit - I'm an addict. I'm addicted to God.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
That's simple - to reach as many people on earth with the music, songs, and ideas God has given me. I'm doing that now, and more and more people are listening to my songs everyday. I'm not planning on doing a lot of touring - actually I've turned down 3 offers to do that in the last 3-4 years. My wife and I are very active working with the homeless in our area, and we also minister to those in jail and to teens in detention here in Michigan. We do prison ministry though lately we haven't been doing much of that. My focus is on going to those least among us with the message of the cross... those society has deemed outcasts or untouchables. They are the lepers of our age; but I know they need to know God loves them and can transform their lives. I know because I was once one of them.
My goal is to play/perform occasionally, but to continue writing new songs to finish the projects I've started. I own GODSONGS recording studio here in Michigan, and my focus has not been on doing live performances; but rather creating new songs that will live on long after I'm gone. I've learned that recordings of my songs will live on long after I've departed - so my focus has been on songwriting. Being on the road touring is fun, and exciting; bu it makes if very difficult to write songs compared to being in your own studio where I can write a new song at the drop of a hat.
I'm signed with SESAC, and recently signed with TAXI, and my music is now being featured on most of the large music sites, like Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Number One Music, Youtube; and is available to purchase at most digital stores around the world. My plan of action is to connect with as many viable and legitimate music entities as possible, and work with them to promote more of my songs to as many people as possible. That is happening as I write this.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
NO STRANGER TO PAIN - a bluesy, southern rock jam that people love to hear; and see the video playing as I'm singing the lyrics which makes the song even more powerful. The song is a story song - that is slow and heavy on guitar and passion. The song is about the suffering of Jesus, the mock trial, the insults, mock trial - scourging; and finally his being nailed to the cross. Not a fun song - but definitely a song that captivates an audience with it's raw energy and dynamics... I love telling the story of Jesus dying for us; and that probably comes across when I'm singing that song.
Another song is BLOOD IN THE STREET, which is just a high energy song that decries the violence against the unborn and in our streets - it's a song that let's people know - God hates evil and He still gets very angry at what we are doing to each other down here on planet earth.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Balancing my musical ambitions and desires with the other parts of my life here on earth - has been undoubtedly a constant tension that I'm always mindful of. Right now, I think my life is well balanced and my music career, is moving along as God wants it to. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow, or next week, or next year? Who does really. That being said, my life as a singer/songwriter is full now and getting better all the time. God is in control of my destiny - so at this time I'm trying to focus on being a Christian first, who just happens to be a musician/singer-songwriter.
Finding the time to be a husband and father, brother and friend to those nearest to me. I've seen so many musicians and bands so focused on their musical careers that they often damaged their marriages or relationships with those they love the most! That realization has kept me from becoming obsessed or overly focused on being "busy with the business side" of the music machine we have to deal with. I know I could be much further than I am as far as being busy or more active - but I learned along time ago that being truly successful is not measured in how busy we are - or how popular we are; or even how financially successful we may become.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
These days, I just go into my studio here at GODSONGS, and I'll pray and just begin to play around with some of my instruments. I may start strumming on my acoustic guitar, or I may use a drum machine and find a drum beat/sound I like - and find a tempo to work with and begin there... I may feel like writing something fast and heavy with the electric guitar. That is pure fun and may take me on some winding twists and turns before I settle down and find a riff or groove that really clicks!
I will usually lay down a decent drum track at that point, and use that as the foundation to build a song with. I'll then lay down a basic rhythm guitar track, and listen to it. I'll refine that, or change it - tweak it on the fly. That means I'm multi-tasking like a maniac. I'm running back and forth grabbing a guitar, then a bass, then going to the keyboards - and then to the microphone to lay down some "scratch vocal" tracks. So, the typical jam or song just moves along - with me not knowing where it's going - really! One day I may make a video of me creating a song, which will show me jumping around the studio from guitar to bass to the keyboard to the drums to the microphone, and all the while running the mixing console and other sound equipment - all with the lofty goal of creating the next big hit!
A song that starts as an acoustic ballad, morphs into a rock ballad, or in the process of writing ends up being a fast moving song with guitars blazing and synths added for good measure. I like using harmonizers and special effects, as well as old school instruments like the harmonica or classical guitar/mandolin. I sometimes sit down and use my midi/synthesizer to inspire me with some strange sounds or vibrations that can only come from those amazing devices.
I don't like quitting on a song, but I've learned that not every idea is grand or worthy of our devotion or sacrifice - especially hours and hours of our time. When I sense a song isn't right or is falling short in some ways - whether in the sound/mix department - or in terms of being original or creative - I walk away. That was a problem as a new songwriter - I felt a sense of betrayal; like I was a quitter or failure of sorts for not finishing a song. As I wrote more and more songs, I realized - some songs will never see the light of day - or should I say - the ears of anyone outside my studio. ha ha.
Finally, on the matter of songwriting let me say that for me it's pure fun and something I will do whether I make a penny doing it - it's just in my DNA to write music - hey I'll sing to the four walls if need be - and I must confess - I've done more than my share of that. Writing songs is part of who I am, and knowing that a great song will outlive a good person - motivates me to keep writing songs with the hope of "adding" to someone's life - and very possibly someone I'll never meet face to face.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Wow! Totally changed my focus from trying to be busy doing live gigs or being gone every weekend with a band, which is something I know a lot about. I'm reaching 10 times as many people with my songs as I did hitting the road and it's not as hard as being gone and calling my wife from a hotel or motel room. That gets old really fast - unless you are really crazy about doing live performances (which can be very addictive).
Doing real live shows or presentations are very gratifying - what I like to call (Instant gratification), and that can be very exciting and feed a person's ego, especially if the band or artists is very popular at the moment. The downside is that it can also be exhausting, frustrate your relationships with your spouse and children, and keep you away from the very thing you love doing - namely music. I found that being busy with a band and being gone constantly meant less time not only with my family, but also kept me from writing and recording new music. If your a musician who doesn't write or compose songs - that's fine; but if you are addicted to songwriting - being off gigging can actually be very frustrating.
Having the internet has leveled the playing field for thousands of independent artists & bands, and that's a very good thing. Now a great song with little money behind it can actually reach thousands, even millions of people without leaving your home or city. Amazing! I have a friend who is awesome with live gigs - a natural communicator - funny - witty and entertaining. The only problem is - he isn't using the web to reach more people. His audience is limited to the places he goes to with his guitar and by choice he's not reaching millions of people who would love his songs and music. To not use the Social Media at our disposal as a singer/musician/songwriter may not be criminal - it certainly isn't a wise thing to do if you want people to hear your songs... it's really a no-brainer.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
At this time - I'm not using playlists... Just too busy! I do listen to bands and artists online - I'll just click on a band or artist I like and usually hit one or two of their songs. Right now I like listening to a lot of bands & artists on Reverb or N1M or Soundcloud,etc to hear what artists and bands are doing musically. Truth be told, with my busy schedule - I usually have to choose between my job, my wife/family, or my passion for writing a new song; that leaves little time for just sitting around listening to music. When I do have free time - I'm usually in the studio working on clients' songs or staring a new song of my own.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
Before I started playing in bands, I would just listen to the radio and sing along with the songs. I was a rebel as a teenager and I was one of the boys mothers would warn their daughters to stay away from. I was wild and hung out with the misfits and experimented with drugs more than I like to admit - I did things in excess and was definitely living on the edge. I was drawn to music because it just resonated with my personality and for me it was something I could escape to - hide in, bury myself in. I was good at playing chess, was the number one player in my school on the chess team. I spent a lot of my time wasting time - which is what a lot of my friends and I did on a regular basis.
After coming to Jesus Christ, music became something I could use to worship God with, and also reach people with - sharing the truths found in the Bible in a way that people who don't go to church can relate to. Music had been an obsession - an idol in my life before I became a Christian, but that all changed after gave God everything - including my music.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Don't stop! Keep playing your instrument or instruments you enjoy - keep practicing - keep learning. Keep singing, and push yourself if you are a lead vocalist; don't become complacent and settle for the "same o same o" just because your comfortable with it or are good at that. Try new vocal styles, and stretch yourself - you can do more than you think if you're will to try. Never give up on your dream, but that may mean changing lanes along the way. You might be a good guitarist -but much better at playing the drums! Or you may be a lead vocalist playing the piano in the background; just be willing to let go of something if it's not working for you.
Listen to criticism from others when they offer you unsolicited advice or comments about your musical gifts or songs, whatever. But - be careful not to let others opinions break you or steal your love or joy for music or songwriting. I've found that most criticism is negative and not very helpful, so be very careful about basing who you are as a singer or musician/songwriter by the opinions of others. Remember - nobody wanted the Beatle's when they began their careers - they were rejected by many record companies before they finally succeeded. Only one company(E.M.I. which also owned Capital Records) saw something in them that others didn't. Decca Records auditioned The Beatles and turned them down saying "Guitar music is on it's way out." The rest as they say is "history." So - believe in yourself, and keep reaching for your dream of being the best singer, musician, or songwriter you can possibly be. Just don't quit.
I would close by saying, don't leave God out of your plans - your dreams. If you include God in your plans and partner with Him you will still have bad days, and disappointments; but you'll also have the knowledge that no matter what happens with your musical career along the journey - God is with you every step of the way. That's priceless! You may find success going it alone, but in the end your reward down here will be all you have - I challenge any aspiring musician or singer/songwriter to let God direct your musical decisions and ask for His help along the way. At the end of your musical journey you will find great satisfaction knowing God was part of your musical legacy.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I would allow more new artists/bands into the mainstream instead of simply marketing songs that are "what sell", but I'm convinced that is not going to happen as long as the bottom line is making more money. Personally, the only thing that can change the mindset of the majority of execs who make the big decisions about who and what gets played on the mainstream stations is DEMAND. If the demand is there for music that is not bland and predictable(that's not saying it's bad - it isn't usually), is when the majority of listeners stop listening. So far - that's not happening on a grand scale around the world.
From what I have seen and continue to see - are new entrepreneurs and visionaries taking music to the world by using the web in creative and unique ways. The good news is there is a lot of money to be made when listeners are given more choices; so this is a great time for independent artists/bands and songwriters - as well as others involved with the music industry. What a great time to be an independent artist indeed!
Well not exactly, it seems there are enough venues and places for independent bands and artists to not only be present, but to thrive and attract large numbers of loyal listeners and fans. The hunger for music outside the boundaries found within the confines of most mainstream radio stations,etc is humongous - really staggering. So, instead of changing - the reality is smart and savvy music execs are just starting up new sites and venues on the web and even the analog radio still around with music formats that people want. There's room for everyone - and both audiences and musical approaches can and do exist and work.
So in the end it's not "changing things" but just offering other alternatives like you at the Underground Radio are doing... Congrats on taking different artists and bands to people who may long for more than they can find on their local mainstream radio stations. You a
How Do You Feel About Originality?
While it's true there's nothing new under the sun; hearing a song or music that has something that stands out - that catches your ear is still the name of the game when it comes to appealing to a person's musical tastes. It could be cool guitar riff you've never heard, or a drum sound or beat that just hooks the listener. Whatever it is - it has to be there if a song is to stand out among the others out there. There was a song years ago by a band called Question Mark and the Mysterians. They had a song called 96 TEARS, which went on to be a big big mega-hit. The key was a simple riff played on a cheap keyboard - but it sounded so cool. They were a "One Hit Wonder" as they like to say, but that one song will always be remembered for it's original sound - it was just so cool and different.
Settling for okay or good, is usually not good enough when it comes to a song -"mediocre" is just not going to get much attention these days. A song doesn't have to be so different that it's sounds weird or from another planet - but it should have some things that distinguish it from most songs. Maybe it's the lead vocalist style that elevates and otherwise average song, or it might be a harmonica or fiddle that brings the song to life. Little things can make a big difference - and another tool that might make a song stand out is the use of midi- synthesizers which offer a whole range of incredible sounds that may make a typical song bigger and more dynamic. The synthesizer sounds can often provide a "curtain or wall of sound" that blows listeners away. When they hear it - they say- hmm - that's nice - that sounds really nice and big!
The bottom line is simple - if a song is so-so, or uninspiring to the person creating the song - it's no surprise to find that other people aren't impressed either. I live by a simple rule - a song has to be a certain quality before I'll publish it to the public or say it is finished. I don't know why some songs click with people and some don't - no one really does. The song Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, was just a last minute filler song for a Christmas album by Gene Autry, and put in reluctantly to finish the album. As we all know there was something special about that song that has stood the test of time... That magic or originality is what every great songwriter hopes to find - but that's easier said than done, and it's not an exact science... We don't always know what it is - but when it happens with a song - it will manifest - it will be a song people want to hear again and again.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
My regular job is managing an International English Company/Language Development System. We tutor Korea executives and other Koreans. I do public speaking(motivational and inspirational) where I often will share my testimony and sometimes do some of my songs. I love people. My friends are from all over the world - India, Rwanda, Cameroon, Pakistan... Having relationships with people from other cultures helps me keep a good perspective on reality, and appreciate the freedom and blessings I have here in America. I love reading the Bible and other inspiring books that challenge me to grow as a person, and that challenge me to leave this world a better place for having been here. My personal philosophy is simple: Take one day at a time. Jesus left us these words to live by, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.Mt.6:34/TLB