Originally posted on Music Insight:
“I’m new to this.”
An upcoming artist has never spoken truer words, but Melbourne-based Mike Waters is taking learning on the job all in his stride. The indie pop singer-songwriter is embarking on a lifelong dream of getting his music to the masses, after spending 10 years working in the corporate world only to realise he had a particular knack for songwriting. Since then he’s been flat out trying to balance his work life and music.
Much like a superhero keeping his identity a secret from friends and family, Waters kept this under wraps until he was ready to share.
“Writing songs can be a very personal experience, and it was just that I was honestly quite embarrassed, it’s not something I ever achieved before or talked about with anyone,” he said.
Much to his surprise, the feedback he received was overwhelmingly positive and gave him the confidence to create more songs.
“A lot of people were impressed that I was able to write a song,” he said jokingly.
“It’s not really the most common hobby to have outside of work.”
After months of collaborating with the likes of John Castle (Vance Joy, Megan Washington) and Craig Harnath (Jet, Motor Ace) Waters’ debut EP was brought into existence. Life is a small collection of catchy tunes and wonderfully heartfelt lyrics led by pleasant timbered vocals.
Having always been connected with deeply emotive songwriting ever since he was a teenager, it’s no wonder his own music strives for the same.
“When I first started producing it I didn’t know if it was going to be an EP or album,” Waters said.
“I’m particularly proud of Feels Like Home because that track came together differently to the other ones. As far as songwriting goes, Dreams really means something to me. It’s truly an account of my experiences.”
Though his music career is in its infancy, Waters has a great deal of people already willing to lend him a hand. Close friend Lisa Axiotis is responsible for the artwork on his EP, recreating Waters’ face in line work, watercolours and geometric shapes.
“I’m lucky that in Melbourne I’ve got a lot of creative friends and those people in various roles, not just in music, inspire me to be better,” Waters said.
The EP has only been out for a few weeks but you may have already seen the video for debut single, Gambling Man.
Working closely alongside friend and director Oli Sansom, the video is a simple yet visually stimulating performance. Waters’ is repeatedly smeared with various coloured paint only to be cleansed every time, showing he’s not afraid of getting a little dirty for creativity’s sake.
“We had no money and not a lot of time so the ideas that we came up with were simple and achievable,” he said.
“The video’s actually recorded at quarter speed. We slowed everything down to 25 per cent and we played the track really slowly in the background.”
The singer-songwriter will be hitting the road to launch Life in June, so be sure to catch him in Adelaide, Sydney or Melbourne. For dates and tix, visit mikewatersmusic.com.
Mike Waters’ debut EP Life is out now.
Words by Nizza Munoz