Michelle Chandler: Singer & Songwriter
Michelle Chandler

Michelle Chandler shares openness and honesty in her life, wisdom, and a refreshing point of view on everything musical.

The content of her music stretches over the deepest of emotions to the most captivating sounds imaginable. Michelle has a down-to-earth personality and lives a creative life visible in everything she does. She knows what she wants in her music and works tirelessly with a freedom of expression that is rare to find. I sat down with Michelle recently and explored a world of sound, silence, improvisation and setting melody to words.

We spoke of her humble beginnings as a musician, and she said,

“My Dad was a whistler, and my mother played the piano. My brothers played the guitar, my sister played the piano, and none continued with music. I was the only one who kept playing. My siblings listened to Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Frank Zappa (…). I had these great songwriters influencing me and always being around musicians. At family gatherings, the guitars come out (…), and the legacy continues.

I started playing when I was fifteen, and I have always written.  The catalyst for serious writing was when one of my brothers was killed in a car crash when he was eighteen, which had a considerable impact (…). Songwriting was a great way to express what I was feeling (at the time).”

Her music is a culmination of folk, jazz, blues, sound, silence, improvisation and classical sounds, which cannot be labelled into one genre, making her music unique. She is self-taught, and her skills on the guitar display classical ways of thinking and a simplicity that falls nicely on the listening ear. Michelle spoke about her approach to sound and said,

“I generally hear the instruments. I hear the horn parts and the bass line; even though I can’t play them, I can hear what I want. When I am writing a song, I can hear the big sound, my voice, and the guitar.”

Her approach to writing new music has evolved, and she explains that she loves instrumental music.

“Early on, it was being inspired by something, and you’d write a song. These days I am more realistic in terms of how I approach songs. What is the best point of view for the song to sit in (…) (in terms of) styles, phrasing, and internal rhythm (…)? The lyrics follow the melodic road map. I do write instrumentals; I love writing instrumentals. On my new album, there are two instrumentals.”

We briefly spoke about living a creative life and creating new music based on emotional and environmental influences, and Michelle said,

“If I couldn’t play or express myself in that (emotional) way, I am not sure how I would have been able to do that (otherwise).”

Michelle is an incredible musician who shares her life experiences in her music and is actively living a creative life true to her beliefs and essential self. Her new album Unravelling is due to come out soon, and I would highly recommend buying the album and delving into the musical world of Michelle Chandler.