Michelle Kash is a Pop Singer-Songwriter and New York City transplant to the Los Angeles scene. Her latest single (now has three remixes) is a sexy take on the Depeche Mode classic ‘Personal Jesus’. Michelle’s smoldering vocals highlight the song and give it a fresh take. I chatted with her on the cover, the video shoot and what it’s like as a Los Angeles based artist.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Hi, Michelle thanks for chatting with me for The Reclusive Blogger. Can we start off by talking a bit on how you got started in this business?
MICHELLE KASH: Actually, I never expected to be in the music business, but my voice came to me after a meditation retreat. I was the furthest away from music completely, I grew up writing, and I also played guitar and piano, but it was just more of a hobby. And then, after retreat, I was completely in shock, I started putting my old poetry to music and I started rearranging songs and recording myself. I auditioned for gospel choir. I got in which was like shocking to me. A friend was like you have to come to LA, you have to do this. I came here and I met Aaron Kamen, who I was my producer who I co write with a o lot. I started performing all around L.A. like crazy and then I started releasing songs. It’s kind of whirlwind in that sense, like a complete unexpected turn of my life.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What would be the difference working in L.A. to New York?
MICHELLE KASH: I think that if It’s a little bit of difficult a question because I wasn’t where I am now, in my artistry. I was still having an identity crisis, that I had no kind of guidance. I didn’t really know anyone who was in the music business or how to what to do, I was just kind of going to open mics and then just trying to perform somewhere. And then here, you know, I had a little bit more, I guess, motivation and drive. To be, let me just try to perform in every place that I can. And you, Aaron came in who was part of the calling, with so much guidance. We’re such good friends and even a good mentor that he was great with, like, you know, strategy or whatever, so coming to LA, It felt like a team.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You covered Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’. Why did you choose to cover that song and artist? How did it all come together?
MICHELLE KASH: It was interesting. It kinda just got in my head one day. It’s always been a favorite song of mine. The Johnny Cash version is just great, but it just got in my head the original and that was just it was stuck there. Oh, maybe put this in the Live Set and came up with an arrangement and put it in the live set. It was just like the band was amazing. The energy from the song was great you know? Let’s lay this down and let’s put this out and see what happens.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was it like filming the music video for the Depeche Mode cover? How did you come up with the concept?
MICHELLE KASH: It was always just kind of like an after hours party. Which is the way I felt for it and you know a savior that you can look for in someone. So I brought those ideas to Tyler, Tyler my director and he kind of came back with a flushed concept more, you know? The cast and I just kind of came together like that. And honestly, it was an amazing experience like working with him. I just was so at ease and so comfortable and I just trusted him and like the dynamic of the cast is great like whatever we created together was just amazing to me. I can’t wait to work with him again, honestly.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, I think the music video really kind of suits the vibe that you have.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: When you are writing and creating songs where do you typically draw inspiration from?
MICHELLE KASH: It could be both. But mostly it’s my own experience and particularly my relationships. And I find that like, writing helps process those experiences, so usually most of my writing is kind of capturing that like one moment or this one moment.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Like, a catharsis?
MICHELLE KASH: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you had to describe your cover of ‘Personal Jesus’ in three words how would you describe it?
MICHELLE KASH: I would say… Sultry, Smoky, and maybe a little bit seedy.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What lyric from ‘Personal Jesus’ do you most identify with?
MICHELLE KASH: I would say ‘feeling unknown, and you’re all alone.’ I think those lyrics I really relate to, as I’m sure a lot of people can. And also, ‘I’ll make you a believer, because it’s kind of a step into my web kind of saying’, and it’s interesting both of those extremes I kind of relate to.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What is one important skill that you think every person should have in order to do well in the music industry?
MICHELLE KASH: I think the most important skill would be self-care and knowing how to take care of yourself. You know, artists, at least for me, I’m so so sensitive and in my most vulnerable moments, that’s the thing that valuable to me and most challenging is to like, really take care of myself. I wouldn’t say like a thick skin because I think that capability takes a person down. For me, it’s like navigating those movements of real self care.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
MICHELLE KASH: I would say anything From Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ or ‘Nevermind’. Any song.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been listening to?
MICHELLE KASH: I’m actually going through a breakup right now. Everything is pretty bad or down. I’m listening to these kind of old French songs. They’re about loss, like particularly, there’s a song ‘Ne me quitte pas’. Lauryn Hill actually covers it. It is so tragic and amazing. And I’ve also been listening to Aretha Franklin’s album, The Delta. I can go pretty deep on Spotify. I found this playlist last night actually, and it’s literally called ‘Classics For Crying’. It’s extreme but you know, I’ve been kind of in that. I also set up a playlist on my Spotify page with everything that was in my head lately.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you had the chance to write a song based off your favorite book. What book would that be and why?
MICHELLE KASH: The Time Travelers Wife. And I just like, loved it because it’s a love across time space and try to be together kind of like the societal challenges and emotional challenges of that. So I love that kind of love story but also fantasy. And the other one would be really like any Haruki Murakami books, he’s my favorite author. Most of his themes his schemes are metaphysical and about nothingness. Like that be pretty hard to write a song about actually. I think that would be my second one.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: That would be a great challenge. The second one for sure would be of more of a challenge.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I wanted to do a quick lightning round of questions before we end…
MICHELLE KASH: Yeah, I’m up for that.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Museum or movie theater?
MICHELLE KASH: Movie Theatre.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Coffee or Tea?
MICHELLE KASH: Tea unfortunately I love coffee but I cannot have caffeine.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Twizzlers or Red Vines?
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I’m a tea girl too.
MICHELLE KASH: Twizzlers.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Instagram or Twitter?
MICHELLE KASH: Instagram.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Podcast or Playlist?
MICHELLE KASH: Playlists.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And what’s next for you, Michelle? Thank you for your time! 🙂
MICHELLE KASH: I’m excited put out more songs and play more shows, just grow as an artist as a performer.
Michelle Kash released three new singles today, remixes of her ‘Personal Jesus’ cover which you view listen to below.
Danny Verde Remix Video: https://youtu.be/A8iOulewLrU
Dirty Disco Remix Video: https://youtu.be/pDsvYHjqV1Q
Joe Maz Remix Video: https://youtu.be/97g7j5V-Jyc