I'm John Michaelson. I'm a singer/songwriter in Spokane, WA. I've been playing instruments, singing, and writing songs for several years until one day it occurred to me that music is my passion, and I want to live my life surrounded by it! My parents bought me my first guitar when I was thirteen years old, the same year that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was a Greg Bennet steel-string acoustic, which I still have and play to this day. After one lesson from my dad, who grew up singing, playing guitar, upright bass, bass guitar, and some piano, I set out to learn this beautiful instrument all on my own. My very first influences in playing guitar were punk rock bands such as Blink-182, Boxcar Racer, Sum 41, and Motion City Soundtrack. As time went by and I matured more, my music preference became much more widespread, delving into artists like Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Interpol, The Strokes, and others. My greatest influences for my first few years playing guitar became Jack Johnson and John Mayer, both fantastic songwriters and performers.
My performing experience began at a place called Gales Creek Camp for Diabetic Children. I brought my acoustic guitar with me my second year attending and worked up the courage to perform "Letters to God" by Boxcar Racer in front of the whole camp on my first night. A few nights later, another camper, a counselor, and I performed "The Sweater Song/Undone" by Weezer. After that camp I auditioned to play in a high school music event called Apollos Unplugged. Little did I know that this show would open the door to the rest of my life as a performer, songwriter, and music lover. I performed songs such as "Everlong" and "My Hero" by Foo Fighters, "Wonderwall" by Oasis, as well as many songs I had written myself. I credit my wonderful choir and music theory teacher Mr. Rust for teaching me and helping me so much in unlocking my gifts for songwriting and performing. During my senior year of high school I was one of the managers of Apollos Unplugged, and it was one of the greatest things in my entire life to be a part of.
I received my first ukulele when I was a senior. It was a tiny soprano ukulele that was too small for my fingers and too different from guitar, the instrument I was by far most comfortable with. Since then I've given that ukulele to a friend.
After graduating, I spent a few semesters at Brigham Young University - Idaho studying general ed and a few communications classes. I performed every now and then there at student music events, and I also organized an acoustic show during which I opened for The Climbing, a band attending the college as well. I came home after my fourth semester at school, out of money and craving a vacation from studies. After a few months at home, one day I picked up my ukulele I'd bought the summer before and started playing it again. It was a beautiful Epiphone Les Paul ukulele, concert-sized and much easier to play than my old soprano uke. I started to rethink my views on the music industry, no longer interested in signing a record deal and hoping to have my music heard by millions of people. I guess I still wanted to have my music heard by the world, but not through a record label. If I was going to be an artist then I wanted to do things my way. I spontaneously bought the book, "I Don't Need A Record Deal!" by Daylle Denna Schwartz while shopping at a local Goodwill in Beaverton with one of my friends. The book inspired me and solidified my desire to do things my way, not through a record label. I practiced my ukulele more and more, writing tons of new songs and changing old ones so I could play them on it. I chose a few songs by popular artists to cover, picked out some of my favorite originals, and now I'm in the process of recording my very first EP.
If you're a fan of ukulele, awesome soulful songs, and independent artists, then I guarantee you'll love me. Thank you for reading.