Nottingham based singer songwriter Mid November provides an extremely welcome addition to the worlds of Pop, Soul & R&B music.
Cutting his teeth on the UK's independent scene from a young age, his commitment to music and to God has given him the driving force to craft his own distinguishable sound and style.
We caught up with the young artist, real name Michael Newcombe, to find out more...
So why the name Mid November?
Mid November represents a time in my life where I first started my journey as a solo artist. I had previously played in a band, and at the time of us splitting up I found it quite strange adapting back to ‘normal life’. Writing and singing has always been a way I love to express myself, so in ‘Mid November’ 2015, it was the first time I had really delved deeply into my personal story and journey, through the (mostly sad) music I began to make!
In just one sentence, explain your sound...
Chilled Pop bops led by soulful vocals holding lyrical weight!
You’d achieved some pretty awesome things as a music artist before even creating Mid November...how does Mid November compare/differ to previous music projects?
Being in a band was awesome, and there’s so much camaraderie and fun that comes with being in a group, especially on tour. Creatively, the music in my band was a result of a mixture of influences: at the time I was really into Rap and Hip hop, Isaac our guitarist was into Rock, and my brother Daniel (drums) brought influences from Gospel and Pop.
We were all inspired by the theatrical ‘wow factor’ of arena shows, and although we never played an arena, this really spilled over into our set when performing. We loved to take small rooms and create a world of atmosphere, really entertain the crowd and take them to another place.
As a solo artist I have free reign on all creative fronts; the music, lyrics, artwork, videos are all in my hands! This is really liberating for me, as my music comes from such a personal place, I can tell my story and present myself in a way that feels right.
You recently released your latest single ‘All The Desires’. What was the writing/demo/recording process for this like?
I wrote this song in a VERY small hotel room in London. I was staying there for a few days and I was in a season of writing lots of songs, and I often write quite quickly. I always trust my instincts and feelings and whatever comes to mind, I will go with. I try not to overthink!
The chorus came first, and I instantly knew I liked it. I record my own vocals (always sat down!) and this song only took a day. I redid each line one by one, until it felt right.
Check out the video for ‘All the Desires’ below...
Your faith has always been very important to you, how has this inspired your music?
I’ve grown up in church, and was introduced to music through playing in the band on Sundays. Through the years, as I became more involved in the music industry, especially the Pop world, I was fascinated to see the artist often wears a mask, and upholds an image or a character. It’s very easy for an artist to fall into this trap - I guess it’s an insecurity thing, the idea that your true self isn’t exciting or interesting enough to be of any worth to an audience.
It was actually during a short time I spent in Amsterdam last year it became very clear to me: that being truly honest about what I believe, and speaking from an authentic place was the only way to go. I think when you’re open and true to yourself, that connects with people in a real place!
Take ‘All the Desires’; lyrically, this song is inspired by talks about having high hopes and huge dreams, but realising that my desperate thirst for fulfilment can only be quenched by my relationship with God. I love to package my music in a way that’s accessible to anyone, no matter what you believe. Pop music can be enjoyed by every age and culture, which is why it’s such a great vessel to share my story!
What can we expect from a Mid November live show?
I’ve played a handful of shows an experimented with different setups, instruments, and session musicians. I love playing guitar and bass, but my favourite thing to do is sing.
This also frees me to jump around the stage and bring these songs to life visually, there’s a whole new realm of expression that can be only displayed through body language - I think you really get to know how much these songs mean to me when I perform them.
As an R&B fan, I love to throw in a few extra vocal trills that you wouldn’t hear on the records!
If you could support any band/artist, who would it be and why?
Justin Bieber is a huge influence to me musically, and I love how he is also so open about who he is. His music is great, catchy and easily accessible. His shows are mind boggling - the smoke, lights, pyrotechnics, staging. I would love to share the (very big) stage with him someday!
The music industry can be an incredibly difficult place - what has your journey been like so far and what are some of the ‘unknown realities’ that people may not realise create challenges for upcoming artists?
Wow - big question! My journey in the music industry has been full of exhilarating highs, and dark, cold lows. Freedom came from a place of realising that my worth is not found in other people opinions of me or my music.
I’d encourage any artist to focus on being gratefulness for the things you do have control over (creating music, playing music, writing) and not stress over the things you can’t control (how many people like you, how many followers you have, how big your shows are).
Popularity can come and go like the wind, so it’s not wise to fall in love with your successes. I have played shows in front of thousands of people, and been working at a call centre months later. You have to be in this industry because you love music, or the mechanical bull of the industry will frustrate you to the point of despair every time it throws you off.
Who are 3 other bands/music artists that we should all go and check out?
Fast Car to Florence - my old band mate Isaac rocking out with another great friend of mine, Chris!
NaMo - incredible vocalist and writer. R&B/Trap.
Jerub - anthemic dark pop with a raw acoustic fl air.. A good friend of mine working closely with my brother Daniel, who now produces music and plays drums for a range of artists.
What’s next for Mid November?
More singles and videos! I have a collection of music ready to go, it’s just about spacing it out and allowing each track to breathe. I can’t wait to get back on stage again and perform, tell stories about my songs and have fun. Anything could happen when you give me and mic and the opportunity to speak to people!
And so concludes our interview! A massive thank you to Michael - we cannot wait to see what's next for Mid November!
You can listen to more from Mid November by visiting his Spotify page!