Much like the city itself, the music inspired by New York is always changing, always evolving. Meet MICHELLE: Sofia D’Angelo, Julian Kaufman, Charlie Kilgore, Layla Ku, Emma Lee and Jamee Lockard. Six 21-year-olds raised across Manhattan and Brooklyn; six like-minded individuals who came together in an unlikely way.
The kernel of inspiration for what would eventually become MICHELLE started in the spring of 2018 when Julian and Charlie were both in their second semester at separate colleges, both wading through bad breakups and looking for something to pull them out of the mire. “We wanted to be doing something instead of proactively destroying ourselves,” explains Julian. “So we started FaceTiming all the time.” Both trained multi-instrumentalists with self-taught production chops, the pair had been orbiting one another since their mid-teens at house parties and onstage at all-age event spaces like 7eventytwo. So they came up with this: write and record a one-off, quasi-concept record about growing up in New York… and do it in two weeks.
Pulling in vocalists they’d befriended in high school (Layla), college (Jamee), and through the local music scene (Sofia + Emma), alongside additional New York musicians and singers, the pace was swift, the method unconventional. Using Julian’s keyboard-strewn bedroom as a studio – monitors under his lofted bed and a makeshift vocal booth sandwiched between shelves and some hanging clothes – the vocalists would come in pairs and write alongside Julian and Charlie, laying down two tracks a day.