Demi Michelle is a pop-country singer originally from Pittsburgh (USA). She kicked off her songwriting journey in 2019. Demi turns her life experiences into songs that touch the hearts of her listeners through captivating storytelling in her lyrics. After releasing several singles, she delivered her debut album ‘Dear Diary’, in October 2021. She received nominations for Pop Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year for ‘Dear Diary’.
After a life changing debut chapter, Demi is sharing a new five-track EP ‘It Is What It Is’ on 11th November. This project shimmers with self-empowerment and showcases Demi’s songwriting talent and passion for blending genres in her music. It gives a glimpse into what listeners can expect in the future, as Demi continues to write about meaningful and universal topics that are rooted in her life and personal experiences.
What does the album’s title reveal?
“The EP’s title ‘It Is What It Is’ reveals so much about the project’s overarching concept. This is a very popular phrase that I enjoyed coming at from various angles to create a lyrically-cohesive project. The message of the EP is saying that I have the power to take control over my mindset and change the things in my life that I can and accept the things that I can’t. This is a universal idea that I had a blast exploring during the writing process of the project.”
“First, “it is what it is” means that I have to come to terms with some harsh realities. There are a lot of things I wish I could change in my life and in the world, but the truth is, some things are simply out of my reach. Rather than wasting time and energy trying to change what I can’t, I’ve found ways of finding a sense of closure. It was all about shifting my mindset and looking at situations with a fresh perspective.”
“The other side of the title that comes through on the project is the meaning of “it is what it is” that basically says, “deal with it”. In this instance, I’ve made decisions to separate myself from people and situations where I felt mistreated, underappreciated, and in some ways, disrespected. I felt like my kind heart was being taken advantage of, and I let certain people get comfortable treating me in ways I didn’t deserve. So, I made the choice to set boundaries. I took back control of my life and self-worth, and despite what others thought, I stood by my decisions because I had to put my mental health and emotional well-being first.”
“I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect title for the EP because it captures the heart of the project in only five, small words. Each song points to the title in its own unique way, and I’m very proud of this collection of songs.”
“A fun fact is that I dropped the EP’s title in two of the songs. Listen for “it is what it is” in “Halfway Outta This Town” and “You Get What You Give”.”
Does the whole album fit into a particular musical genre, or does it borrow from multiple forms?
“The EP has multiple genre flavors mixed through it. Yet, my authenticity and unique voice as a songwriter makes it a very cohesive project lyrically. I feel that as an independent artist, I have the freedom to explore while I create my music. My two main genres are pop and country, so this project has songs that hit different areas of that spectrum. Some have hints of other styles blended in as well.”
“The first sing ‘Afterthought’ is an uptempo track with lots of sass and attitude. Primarily, it’s more of a pop-funk song that has country and rock undertones. This was one of the most fun songs I’ve ever recorded because my producer, guitarist, and I basically threw all genre rules out the window.”
‘The song ‘Halfway Outta This Town’ is a piano ballad with an ethereal quality. I really tapped into my music theory knowledge to choose chords that are complex, atmospheric, and delicate. The lyrics, melody, and gentle acoustic guitar give it a hint of country, and it’s one of the most emotional song’s I’ve ever written.”
“‘You Get What You Give’ is a fiery track that sits nicely between pop and country. A fun fact about this song is that even though it wasn’t the first I wrote for the EP, it’s the song that inspired the concept of the project.”
“The track ‘I Hope You Know You’re Lucky’ is a song I wrote in 2019 but fit the project perfectly. I’ve been wanting to release this song for so long, so I’m glad it found a home on the EP. This track has a traditional country sound with all live instrumentation. This is the first song I had pedal steel recorded on, and I love it so much.”
“Lastly, ‘Follow My Compass’ is such a fun closing track. Its calypso feel makes it a fantastic song to listen to when at the beach. The lyrics match the island-pop sound, and this song shimmers with inspiration and captures the mindset I’ve achieved through writing the EP.”
“So, as you can see, this project has many genre influences. I had a blast creating it, and I can’t wait to see which song everyone resonates with the most, since they’re all unique and special in their own ways.”
Is there a song on the album you’re nervous about releasing out to the world?
“I’d have to say I’m most nervous about releasing ‘Halfway Outta This Town’. This song underwent many rewrites because it was emotional for me to write and I struggled to say what I wanted to say at first. ‘Halfway Outta This Town’ is what ‘Will I Ever’ was to me on ‘Dear Diary’. It’s one of the most vulnerable songs I’ve written, and it’s also extremely personal and specific. Opening up in such a way is always scary, but I’m excited to share this one.”
“It is about moving on from a friendship where I felt like I wasn’t valued. It’s hard for me to cut people out of my life, so I tend to keep giving chance after chance. I tried to tell myself this person would change if I gave them more time. The truth is, some people never change. It got to the point where I was feeling so beatdown, and as hard as it was, I had to let go.”
“I wrote the song through the lens of escaping a town and leaving it behind. Lyrically, the town is a metaphor for the friendship, and writing the song this way allowed me to add extra layers of imagery and storytelling that make the song extremely vivid and immersive. Also, I spun the lyrics in such a way that they could be interpreted as speaking of a friendship or any other relationship. It was important to me to do this in order to open the door for my listeners to connect in the way that aligns with their own lives.”
“I loved recording this song, especially after crafting it for so long. I recorded the piano in one take, my guitarist, Luke, brought tears to my eyes with the delicate acoustic guitar, and the other instruments my producer, Bob, and I added contribute to the emotion. I also worked on this song for quite a while with my vocal coach, so I’m proud of my delivery as well.”
“Sometimes, the most vulnerable songs and the ones that take the longest to write and revise are the most special. ‘Halfway Outta This Town’ is one of those songs.”