In the arena of popular music today, there is a prevalence of artists who over-emphasize sexuality and materialism. It could be girls in thongs that shake their jelly or guys with hot cars that are as oiled up as Texas. Either way, the audience gets tired of the same recycled trends and turns to something real – something that they can listen and relate to. Michelle Branch.
Michelle has decidedly chosen to focus on the quality of her craft and produce music that is appealing in its honesty. But has she ever felt the need to capitalize on the ‘sex sells’ ideal? “Never, actually. I’m really fortunate with the people I work with and I have creative control over everything I do. I always have the last say in what I do, and I definitely speak up if I don’t feel comfortable about something.” Such a clear-headed approach ensures that she stays true to herself, and doesn’t become a slave to marketing pressures.
In the whirlwind world of the music industry, her solace is her music. She vents and expresses herself through it. “If I wanna be alone, or if I’m having a bad day, I pick up my guitar. Music is my release,” she explains. Since embarking on this non-stop journey, she feels that she, as a person, has not changed although other things have, “My surroundings have definitely changed, and I’ve had to adapt to that – being away from home constantly,” which was strange to her at first. But she’s had a year of solid touring to practice being on her own – and tries to keep in contact with her closest friends and family as much as possible.
“All I do these days is work, so if I ever do need advice, it has to do with work,” she laughs. And the person that she turns to the most is her manager, “He’s kind of like a brother to me, he basically knows everything about me.”
With her skyrocketing success, she is still adjusting to her increasing popularity – and the fact that she isn’t able to have the typical teenage relationships. “It is difficult trying to make a relationship work, especially at my age because you’re still starting to get into it and you don’t really know what’s going on. Throw in traveling, and not being able to contact each other…so seeing a boyfriend isn’t really gonna happen that often,” she laughs.
Unencumbered by outside distractions, Michelle is free to work on her craft and dream up ideas. “In the past year, with everything that’s been going on – my songwriting has definitely changed more towards personal experiences that I’m going through or that other people are going through,” she explains of her development as an artist.
Michelle Branch is in charge. Staying focused on what’s important has ensured her success as she skillfully avoids the trials and tribulations of the pressures that surround her.