A Pittsfield native, Michael’s musical journey has taken him from his birth place in the rural Berkshire Hills of Western MA to Nashville, TN. He has worked the last 6 years in Nashville with many of the city’s most successful songwriters with a focus on country music. He is currently working on his new record which has a more personal touch and new stylings, and he is booking shows across the country starting in 2013. Michael will join Rock On at the Colonial Theatre October 19, 2012 for Play It Forward, an anniversary concert to benefit the Rock On Scholarship fund.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael recently and it was truly an inspiring conversation!
“With so much more to be accomplished and so many more people to reach, take a chance, listen to my story. ” Michael Fabrizio
RO: So Michael, Tell me about Nashville..
MJF: I love it. It is a very creative place full of overwhelming talent. Even the Karaoke is great! This is where you will find the next generation of songwriters. The area is very eclectic. It is in the South, but there are people here from all over. There is so much culture, all kinds of music; the rich country history, the rock scene and blues, hip hop, and also the Nashville Symphony. It’s not just music but all culture is becoming stronger here. There are also a lot of good people trying to help artists. They say if you put in 10 years in Nashville you can make it. I have been here 6 years now. A group of us are coming up together and it’s a real community of people helping each other.
RO: How did you get started in music?
MJF: My Mom was very influential. She was very insistent that I study classical piano. I am so glad now that I did, though I didn’t always love practicing at the time. That background is so important.
RO: Which performers were you influenced by?
MJF: For piano it was Billy Joel and Elton John, and classical, also Willie Nelson, John Hyatt and the Eagles for their harmonies. I also listened to Nirvana, Bush, less rap but some because of the lyrics. The lyrics are what sells the song and represents you. Also Johnny Cash, his music is cross-genre. People labeled him country but he was so much more.
RO: How do songs come to you?
MJF: I can write, but I do all of it, write, play sing. It’s very personal and doesn’t always relate to the crowd. There are 3 hooks that make a good song; the lyrics, the rhythm – it has to grab you, and it has to be melodically interesting. I started out with country which was inspired by my grandfather and my childhood. It wasn’t really who I was. The new music is more ‘Americana’ and is getting a good response. It is more from the heart, I went back to the roots with this.
RO: What is your connection to Rock On?
MJF: Countryfest is the connection and it is so important to bring music to the kids. It is such an outlet and a passion, the most wonderful thing to give someone. If someone can express himself through song, it is a great thing. It’s important, wherever the music goes. It’s like Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’. Sometimes production makes it ‘too perfect’. Every time I sing a song, I sing it a little differently.
RO: We are looking forward to having you perform at the Colonial for Rock On’s ‘Play It Forward’. What else do you have on the horizon in the coming months?
MJF: There is much to come in 2013, new music, touring…
RO: Great! Keep us posted, we would love to write about your upcoming news in this blog.
MJF: The best way to keep in touch is on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michaeljosephfabrizio
RO: Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview. In closing, what advice would you give young musicians?
MJF: Believe in yourself – 100%. It can be ruthless out there, but keep going!