Romance. Most of us solely understand it as this feeling between two people. But what if it was about the everyday experience? What if you could find the romance in being by yourself on your bed, sad, (and maybe hung over), while the rain pitter-patters against your window? That sounds pretty damn romantic, and that’s the perspective local R&B singer, Michael Brock, used to create his buzzed-about, soon-to-be-released EP Scorpio.
The six-song project will be released worldwide on the 25th – the first single “Green & Black” dropped last month along with a mini-mix teaser of all six songs. It’s a soulful, dark and very sexy debut from the 25-year-old actor-turned singer. “The album is about love, but I’m much more interested in the complexities of the heart than the normalcies of love,” Michael tells me while we sip beers on his bed. The EP is being released by local label, Hybridity Music (Humans, Ladyfrnd), and has started to garner attention from various media and fans alike.
As we discuss these stages in his career, he recounts how this came to be, and it turns out the story is as romantic as the album itself.
“There’s a little bit of a hippy in me, being from Fernie,” Michael says with a shy, proud smile. “It’s a beautiful place. Every time I go home, it’s such a vacation to go to this postcard oasis.”
Michael credits growing up in the small town for influencing his feel for nature – something that reoccurs in imagery throughout the record. He didn’t always think of himself as a singer, though. He had a successful career as a young actor (even has an IMDb profile), and moved to Vancouver after high school to pursue an acting career. It wasn’t until he found himself in a rut career-wise, when he took matters into his own hands and actively decided to become a singer.
“Things petered out and I found myself in that terrible state that no artist wants to be in; not making any art, and you’re waiting around for phone calls for people to tell you that you can. I decided this was fucked up and I need to start writing music.”
And write he did – in fact it took him all the way to Berlin, Germany, in 2012, where he started fresh, introducing himself as a singer and finding his way around an entirely new scene. He says in a way, Berlin brought out the wildness within him.
“At parties in Berlin, I felt like everyone was an animal, and this really inspired me as a performer. It wasn’t a question of male, female, gay, straight, drunk, high, clothed, or naked. It was a question of being an evolved human and looking beyond all of that.”
After returning to Vancouver last year, he signed with Hybridity and has opened up for Humans and Aaron Carter at Fortune Sound Club. Michael wrote the songs, but tells me it was a collaborative effort with producers from London, Berlin, as well as Vancouver. Needless to say, the EP says a lot about his vision.
“I want poetic words with a message, I want a heavy bass line. I want rich pretty harmonies and I want to be able to sing it with soul.” To ensure the harmonies, he got two of his close friends, and local performers, Jenny Moase and Veronika Sztopa, to be the “pretty ghosts” on the record.
Michael says there will be something on the EP for everyone, and whether you’re in a relationship or not – it all comes down to the romance of it all.
“I love to give people love, I love to receive tons of love. I also love to be totally by myself, and get weird. And get dark. I think there’s power in solitude.”
For more information on how to get down to “Green & Black” and the upcoming EP release party – visit hybriditymusic.com.
By Katharine Sawchuck