Sound Lab Artist Profile: Michael Wavves
We're back with another edition of the Sound Lab, where we highlight local musicians. This month, a rapping teacher that we profiled previously in the pages of Lebanon Daily News and FlipSidePA.com reteurns, as Lancaster's Michael Wavves joined us in the studio this month.
Let's get Wavy with Michael and learn more about him.
Name: Jordan Bleyer
Musical talents: Rapping and singing, mostly.
Activities outside of music: "I’m an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Lebanon Middle School, which is a unique combo with rapping. I like to play sports and go hiking. Teaching is demanding, so that takes up most of my time."
When you got started: "I would say about 2010 was my first or second year in college. I wrote poetry in high school a little bit, but being surrounded by the culture in college made me give music a shot."
Musical influences: "My favorite artist is a guy by the name of Mike Posner. I’m also a big fan of Drake, Kanye West, OutKast and Madeon, who is an electronic artist."
Reason for your name change: "Nothing more than the fact that there were a lot of things out there that had JMB (Jordan Michael Bleyer). I wanted to be more accessible to fans or a new audience. If you Google Michael Wavves, I’m the only thing that came up. Michael is my middle name, and believe it or not, last summer I was working a random office job and I thought that Wavves was a nice, chill name, and I made it unique with extra V in there."
Favorite album: "I would say “808’s and Heartbreaks.” It’s very different than anything else at the time. It’s big for artists like me who can sing and rap."
Favorite song: "My favorite song is “Green Light” by Andre 3000 and John Legend."
Most meaningful song that you’ve written: "I’ve had a couple of songs in the past that were personal. There’s this song I’m working on now called “Far From Home” that I haven’t even finished yet. That’s my most personal song. I listen back to it, even though it isn’t finished, and it’s very emotional."
Claim to fame: "Definitely my first headlining show is a huge moment. I’ve opened for a handful of famous guys, but having a show for yourself is a moment. You know they are there for you and supporting you."
Favorite song to cover: "My remix to Drake’s “One Dance” was cool, because we took an acoustic approach to it."
Number of albums: “Right now, it’s just the singles. That’s the approach. I’m at the stage in my career where I’m building a fan base. I don’t have any albums, because I’ve watched a lot of artist interviews and one thing that I’ve taken from the interviews is that you put an album out for your fans and you put out singles to get fans.”
Where can people find your music: "You can Google Michael Wavves, MichaelWavves.com, Soundcloud.com/MichaelWavves or on Facebook and Twitter at MichaelWavves."
Biggest performance: "We headlined in Chameleon twice. That last one was February and that was the biggest for me in terms of progression."
Favorite performance: "The one at Chameleon in February, definitely."
Where do you see yourself in five years: "Five years from now, I can say that I can see myself being able to headline tours and put out albums that break the iTunes charts. I can see myself as much more of an in-your-face artist where I am established. I’m doing a four-city run this summer to help build a fan base. Hopefully I’ll have a project or two by that time."
Advice to aspiring musicians: "Stay patient and stay positive. Those are huge things. It’s discouraging when you start making music. You have to get past the hump of the people who think it’s a joke. Then you have to gain a following. In music, I’ve discovered that there are so many ups and downs. If you let that wear on you, that’s when people give up. You just need to be a really hard worker. You have to give it time."
Favorite part about performing: "The crowd’s energy. In terms of my feeding off of them and them feeding off of me. You can only find that up on stage. You can’t find that anywhere else."
What’s up next for you: "The next single we have coming up is the one with Sammy Adams, which will be out the end of this month or early July. It’s called “Bad.” There will be more singles all summer and covers all summer. I’m planning to have a new cover every two weeks. At the end of June, I have a four-city tour with Connecticut rapper On Cue at Virginia Beach, Rochester, N.Y., Stanhope, N.J. and Connecticut. I’m hoping for an end-of-the-summer show at the Chameleon Club, too."