We all know that person pursuing music, and in most cases, these folks are genuinely talented and musically gifted. Those that are smart will wait to break into the scene once they’ve honed their craft, because confidence in your own music is like adding fuel to a fire. It’s a constant cycle of mental angguish in a sense, the feeling of not knowing what platform will get them to the next level. Here in Nashville, you see it all the time. Truly talented artists can’t land a record deal, or any deals for that matter. Yet at the same time, Johnny Noname’s single is released to radio and he becomes an overnight sensation out of nowhere. From what I hear, it’s a defeating job at times, but one that can pay off if you play your cards right. And that’s been the case for a MN based musician by the name of Michael Shynes, so read on.
Shynes has been quite the fixture in the Midwest for several years, making a solid living by songwriting, merch/music sales, and always keeping a full calendar of paying gigs. His keen ability to embrace a creative project and execute quickly makes him easy to work with, and uniquely sustainable in an industry that moves like a roller-coaster. So, it came as no surprise when fellow Minnesota singer-songwriter Maygen Lacey, a Spotify sensation in her own right, contacted Shynes about a vocal collaboration, suggesting they put a new spin on the pop favorite “We Found Love” by Rihanna. The revisited interpretation worked well as a duet, with chilling vocals from both artists, as the male severs as the lead vocal on this track.
After it’s August Spotify release, the single became an all-around hit, receiving positive praise from fans, fellow artists and media outlets. It was a highlight in Michael’s career. But he had no idea what was about to happen next.
Approximately six months ago, Michael received an inquiry from a foreign production company, in regards to lending his vocals on an instrumental track that had already been prepared. The request came via Komodo, a Polish production trio signed with Sony. Shynes recalled “There seemed to be a lot of secrecy surrounding the project at first”, and that was for good reason.
Michael was just one of at least seven different singers selected to record a vocal rendition of the classic so he had some competition surrounding the project that he wasn’t made aware of. “I’m actually glad that I wasn’t given much detail or I might have started overthinking it a bit. Given my lack of knowledge, it just felt natural to put my own spin on this song because it was a track that I already loved”.
When asking Komodo about the purpose of this single, they stated “the objective was to add a fresh take on vocals to a modern rendition of the classic hit, and then push the final version to radio” Well, along with Michael’s help, the production team did just that, and currently the single sits at #5 overall, and #1 on RMF FM. It seems to be a hit with YouTuber’s as well, racking up an impressive 22 million views since first published on the popular site in June.
But the glory does not end there. The single’s success created an even greater opportunity: an invitation to perform overseas in front of one of Europe’s largest music festivals, translated as “Summer, Music, Fun”, which is a multi-day event, wrapping up this Friday, August 31st, which happens to be the night Michael takes the stage, the largest stage he’s step foot on, for tens of thousands of concert-goers. It’s extremely rare for an independent artist to be invited to perform in front of thousands of people overseas, but as if this story can get any sweeter, it does. The performance will be televised and broadcasted live, with viewers anticipated in the millions. A rep for Komodo stated “the objective was to add polished vocals to a modern rendition of the classic hit, and then push the final version to radio”
As Michael boarded the plan to Poland on Tuesday night, he remained as humble and appreciative as can be, commenting “nobody owes you anything in the music business, so when something like this comes along, it’s a great reminder that you never know what avenue success will come from. It reiterates the importance of exploring every opportunity”.
Since the announcement, Sony/Komodo and Shynes have agreed to terms related to upcoming collaborations and the possibility of taking one of his original tunes into the production realm for a future release. “I’m grateful for the experience of flying half way across the world and meeting these beautiful folks who took a chance on me. I want to reward their faith by delivering the best possible performance.”
Take a listen to Michael’s cover of “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8OI9FllKfg
For more music from Michael Shynes, visit : www.michaelshynes.com