“I’m trying to bring real music back,” said Rion Michael (pronounced Ree-ohn), 24 year old singer/songwriter. “I know a lot of artists say that, but I want to bring music back to the feeling it gave you. It made you feel alive. I don’t get that in the music today.” He added, “Artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston spoke from the heart, and that’s what I do.”
Rion was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in Winter Garden, Florida. As a child, he imagined becoming a detective but his fascination with music overtook that dream. “I loved the way it made me feel; I loved watching videos.” A relative discovered his musical talent. “I was just singing one day and my Aunt Stephanie heard me and said ‘Oh my God you can sing!’ Then she just brought me in front of everybody to sing.” Rion’s mother was a powerful source of encouragement. “My mom being a single parent made me want to take it on and do it professionally. I wanted to take care of my family, ya know?”
At age 14, Rion began performing. “I was on Nickelodeon’s All That tour. That was my first tour.” Since then he has continued refining his skills. “I’m 24/7 music. I’m always practicing in my own time. Even if it isn’t in the studio I’m always being consistent with my writing, ya know?” In addition to singing and performing, he has built a strong reputation as a songwriter. “I’ve written for a lot of people, Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx, Jojo, and I have my own artist that I’m working with as well and developing.”
Now, Rion is putting the final touches on his upcoming album titled The Power of Love. “Always” is the first single, and he filmed the video last week. In January, he will be filming a horror movie, yet that won’t be his first movie appearance. Rion appeared in Bring It On and 2006’s Stomp The Yard. He plans to continue acting and developing other artists through his label. “I feel like there’s a lot of talent out there that needs to be found and heard.”
He also has an ep titled RED that will debut before his album on October 27. Rion said that he wanted to drop an ep with five “bangers” that represented 90’s R&B to build anticipation for The Power of Love. The first single from his ep is “No More,”and it has a close connection to his past. “One of the best relationships I’ve ever been in [serves as the song’s inspiration]. It didn’t end right; it still bothers me. I still find myself thinking about the situation. I figured this was my therapy, [and] I think this is my most personal song to date with that topic.”
Although his journey to stardom may seem easy, Rion explained that he has faced rejection. “Yeah, I’ve faced a lot of that. I take my down time to sulk and figure out why, and I come to the conclusion that it wasn’t meant to happen for that particular situation. I put my best foot forward and never gave up. I’ve come to realize that I may get a thousand no’s, but I’ll also get one yes if I just keep going.”
Near the interview’s close, Rion emphasized the importance of persistence for aspiring entertainers. “Keep your eyes on the prize no matter how the situation looks. Tell yourself that you’re going to make it. You have to speak that into existence.” He continued, “I think it’s important for themselves (singers/entertainers). They are capable and they are worth the life that’s been given to them.” According to Rion, chasing one’s dream shows he can reach whatever goal he sets his mind to, and that is worth any struggle that arises.
He recommended All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Ninth Edition for any aspiring musician. “It has a lot of insight into the industry, what the artist can expect, what they should be expecting, and how to get their music out the way that they want. And knowing the business.” He also recommended Tony Mercedes’ Reversing the Game. He’s done a lot including A&R work with TLC and Toni Braxton. He’s also worked at LaFace Records and even brought LA Reid ‘No Scrubs’ for TLC’s comeback album. Hearing those kind of tutorials from someone who’s actually been there is very inspirational.”
Check out Rion’s single “No More” below. He also wanted to issue a big thank you to R.Kelly along with a special shout out to Cassandra and Charisse from Changing Faces for allowing him to use the “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.” instrumental!
Website: Rion Michael
Photo credit: Dreamer Loop