Michael Blume on Self-Care, Acceptance and His New EP, "cynicism & sincerity": "You Got to Love Yourself First"
Michael Blume's latest EP, cynicism & sincerity is filled to the brim with messages and stories of self-acceptance, empathy and love. A strong advocate for self-love, equality and LGBTQ+ rights, Blume doesn't hold back on this release, and it shows. His passion for others and desire to change the world for the better is palpable, and just one listen to cynicism & sincerity solidifies that. Although the journey isn't always easy, he promises listeners within those seven songs that it is, in fact, possible - and if you don't believe him just yet, all you need to do is listen.
With cynicism & sincerity out now, it comes as no surprise that Michael's sights are already set on the future for both himself and the world. With high hopes and a desire to spark a change, Michael Blume's voice is one that you don't want to sleep on. Listen to cynicism & sincerity and get to know him a bit better below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for anyone who might be hearing you for the first time?
Hi! My name is Michael Blume and I am a recording artist based here in New York City. I make r&b/pop/soul/interactive/personal/Queer/Jewish/New York/millennial/American music. I make music because I believe in its power to bring folks together and create unity and empathy, which we need more than ever right now!
You just celebrated the release of your new EP, cynicism & sincerity. Now that it has been out for a few weeks, what are some of your favorite things about the EP? What are you most excited for fans to hear?
Honestly I am super proud of every single record on the EP. These songs are a series of questions about love, life, and how we come to understand who we are. I want my fans to hear the way I have come to understand myself as worthy of writing my own story, and from the music understand that each one of us has the right and the ability to be exactly who we want to be.
What goals did you have in mind when you first started working on the EP? What did you want to accomplish with these songs?
I think of my musical work as having two central prongs -- my records and my live show. I am very proud of both and I think of them as separate but related projects. Making studio records and making a bangin’ live show are two different things and I approach them as such. That said, one of the goals with this EP was to capture some of the live energy of my show and my band. You'll hear a lot of live playing -- drums, horns, singing, bass, everything -- all over these records. I am thrilled to get to include my amazing community of musicians and friends on this EP. Another goal was to do collabs with artists from other genres -- getting to work with Drag Race stars Shea Coulee and Peppermint was really fun and special. I want to continue to build and expand in that way -- I am super interested in artists of diverse mediums working together.
There are a lot of themes of self-love and acceptance on the EP as well. With it releasing during Pride Month, what do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
You got to love yourself first. We talk so much about doing things for others and that is indeed SO important. But I think real change, justice, and peace come when we actually take the time to honor how unique and special we each are and feed ourselves the way WE need to be fed. Only you know what you need. When you love yourself in that way only you can love yourself you give yourself the strength and space to love others, too.
Did you run into any challenges while writing and recording cynicism & sincerity? If so, how did you overcome them?
It was a wonderful process. It took time - a lot of trial and error. Some of these songs went through revision after revision. The production would change, lyrics would swap out, and we would change the forms, but this was less a challenge and more a beautiful part of the process.
What was the most rewarding thing about working on the EP?
Seeing these songs come to full fruition. I worked very closely with a dear friend, Dan Edinberg, who executive produced the EP. My relationship with Dan is very special and we are close collaborators. I felt very seen by him and I felt validated by his artistry in his helping my vision become realized.
If you could say anything or give advice with anyone struggling with self-acceptance or their identity, what would it be?
No one else can be you better than you can. Only you know what you need, how you like to sleep, how you brush your teeth, what soap you need, how much to wash your hair, how much time to spend alone vs with friends. We are all so different and that is so exciting to me. And we are allowed to change. We are contradiction; each one of us contains multitude. I'm man and I'm woman. I'm cynical and I'm sincere. I'm happy and I'm sad. All at once. And you know better than anyone who you are. So be you! And encourage others to be them.
With your Bonnaroo performance behind you and cynicism & sincerity out now, do you have any other big plans coming up?
I am getting ready to take over the world. MANY big plans. Stay tuned @mblumemusic
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
VOTE!!!!!!!!!!! Trump and his crew are trying to turn America into a fascist regime that steals kids from parents, blocks Muslims from coming here, kicks transpeople out of the army, and rolls back women's rights as well as environmental protection. The Dream of America is a beautiful one that I support -- this idea that we can all come here to be ourselves and attain wealth and freedom -- I love it. But right now that Dream is under fire from greedy, selfish, evil folks who want to rip it apart and take everything for themselves. It has never been more important to put party-affiliation aside, come out and bring down the Trump regime... we need every vote this November so we can take our country back.