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Music Review: Mike Watson

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Watson before his Coffee House Session at Nottingham Trent’s ‘The Landing’ this week. Mike performed a variety of originals and covers, actively engaging his crowd with quirkiness and undeniable charm.

His original songs unveiled his ability to write truthful and honest music that a huge variety of people could relate to. “Burnt By The Sun” was soulful and had a youthful undertone. His covers were amazing, from a cover of the favourite “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5, who Mike had previously supported a couple of years ago, to an incredible medley which consisted of “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, “New Rules”, “Havana” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger”. Mike has an incredible vocal range which allowed for him to sound great covering such a variety of tunes.

His last track was his original ‘Lying For Love’ and I couldn’t help but sing along to this one as I’d listened to it a few times before interviewing Mike. The lyrics are super catchy and the meaning behind the song really resonates with me and I’m sure with other people too.

  • If you briefly had to summarise what your music is, how would you summarise it?

That’s a very good question. I’d say it is commercial pop but with a little bit of a darker twist to it. I don’t know if you have heard the single lying for love, it is a very “upbeat banger” so to speak in the chorus but in the verse, there is that bit of tension there. I think it is nice to balance the two because if it is all up tempo, people might get a little bit of a pop overload.

  • Who are your biggest musical influences?

My biggest musical influences, being from Manchester, would have to be Oasis. But there’s a band called One Republic who I really love. The lead singer, Ryan Tedder he is one of the best songwriters in the world. He is my idol cause I write as well for other bands so definitely him.

  • How did you find the transition of being in a band to being a solo artist?

I get asked that often, it’s a good question. Firstly, I prefer it. Now when im not with the band, I can make my own decisions, I can write what I want to write, I can dress how I want to dress and I can talk how I want to talk. When I’m travelling, having four boys with you is like having four brothers, when I’m feeling down, I’ve always got someone to bounce off which is so important. I haven’t had any massive problems on my own so far, I’m enjoying it.

  • Can you tell me a bit about the background to ‘Lying For Love’?

Sure. I wrote it with an amazing producer called Toby Scott, he has worked with some huge people. We were down in Brighton and we’d been writing for a few months. This day we decided to go to the studio. He just started playing these piano chords and I was like right, oh my god, okay, get me in the vocal booth. So, I went into the vocal booth and I’m really weird, I like them to turn the lights off so that no one can see me. Then I just sand the melody and the line ‘lying for love’ in about 5 minutes. Those melodies we’ve kept till now and we’ve put a few lyrics on top of them. The meaning of the song, obviously it is personal to me but it is something everyone can relate to. Everyone has fallen in love with the wrong person at some time, whatever the reason may be which I think is nice because I wrote the song but everyone can relate to it.

  • Your YouTube covers are between a minute and a minute a half long, why don’t you cover the full song?

Because I find that when I go on YouTube – and this is God’s honest truth – when I go on YouTube and watch covers of people similar to me, I do 30 seconds and I get bored. I’m like ‘right I’ve heard the verse and the chorus and it’s going to just be the same throughout’. If I like it I’ll play it again. I don’t want to just keep hearing the same thing. I literally hear the song when it comes out on new music Friday on Spotify. I listen to it and I learn it and go to the studio and it is out within four hours of me waking up. If I had to learn a whole song, it might be a little bit difficult but don’t tell anyone…

Check out ‘Lying For Love’ here


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1 – Writer’s Own

19. History Undergraduate at UoN. Lover of live music.
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