Recommended if You Like
Alabama Shakes Ari Hest Bruno Mars, Ari Hest

Genres You Will Love
Pop: Folky Pop Pop: Today's Top 40 Moods: Solo Male Artist Moods: Out-and-Proud Country: Alt-Country

By Location
United States - Maryland United States - United States


Michael West

Strong vocal performances, diverse songwriting ability & universal appeal easily identify Michael West as a serious talent. On stage his high-octane style uses no formula at all, instead he offers a blend of abilities, styles & enthusiasms uniquely adapted to himself. He is an artist who creates a unique musical blend of melodic pop with a rich mixture of classic blues, rock & roll, & soul

Michael West is a child of the Rocky Mountains, born and raised in a sleepy little country suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, that according to Michael, “was a great place to grow up. It was a small town and a family town, and it’s part of the reason I developed my love for music at such a young age.” Michael discovered his love and interest in music early on; and much of that love came from time spent with his mother listening to old records. “She loved to sing and she had a very diverse collection of everything from R&B to old classic country albums, she had it all. I fell very deep into that collection; I would totally immerse myself in the music. I would just sit for hours with artist like Pasty Cline, The Judd’s, Dollly Parton, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. I would sing along with them into the speakers while studying every note and every lyric. Every artist I listened to and sang along with became my vocal heroes and all their styles became part of me”

When Michael was 12 he went to a Judd’s concert and from that day on the need to perform on stage began staking its claim deep in his soul. “It was all I thought about, I would sit in class and underneath my homework I'd be lifting up the paper trying to turn my early poetry into a song. I never wanted to be like anybody else.” Later Michael began singing in choirs, school musicals, retirement homes and county fairs. “It was really cool to perform at that age and have folks tell me you’re going to make it someday kid, everyone was always shocked by the maturity of my voice.” Michael wrote his first song at age 15 and always seemed to have a gift for putting the right words together with heart. During his teens and twenties he silently amassed a small song catalog and thought it was about time that he used his talent and record one of them, however he had no place to start.

Then he met, Bryant Keith while living in South Florida. Bryant being a multi-talented musician and writer became the his musical catalyst for the next few years. They began to write feverishly and formed a duo named Keith & West which was backed by a seasoned and very talented seven piece band. They paid their dues in local clubs and also took home several awards from The Florida County Music Association; such as "Entertainers of the Year" and the “Best Country Duo Award." Then in 2002 Keith & West decided to record a debut album of original material titled "a Long Stretch of Highway" which was released independently right before Michael decided to make his pilgrimage to Nashville, TN. The release was well received among his peers, but never had any commercial success.

However, during his first two years living as a singer/songwriter in Music City he was commissioned to co-write a song titled "My Love Will Reach You (Ashton's Song)” for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Annual charity event, which was held at RCA Records. He called on his friend the Grammy winning producer Joe Hogue to co-write the song, which was later re-mixed by Freddy Freeman into a dance track. He also obtained three single song contracts, two with VanWatkins Music LLC, and one with The Sundance Channel, which was included in a four-part series called "Keeping Time: New Music From America's Roots." In 2004 he formed a new band called Ursa Major and joined a touring group of male musicians called Bearapalooza, which led him to play shows all across the United States. While he gigged he worked on the material for his next album. Then in 2008 he co-produced a full east coast tour with Bearpalooza with shows in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C. and Raleigh, NC. Then in 2009 he took a hiatus from music and performing for birth of his son Zephyr, which he is raising with his partner of 17 years.

Presently he is being featured in the upcoming Fox Searchlight documentary "Bear World the Movie" which will be at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. He also very is excited to finally release his second album. The new album represents his entire musical self and it ignores genre restraints to impart on an inspiring journey full of exhilarating music that feels like an interpretive mix-tape. The album which is titled "Shine" consist of nine original songs written by West and two covers and is slated for release March 30th, 2012.