Mich Straaw‘s hip, transcendent piece titled Ready is a melody that embodies sensuality and authenticity in its rawest form. It explores intimacy and self identification in the most romantic way, building a connection between two lovers on an exciting ride. Ready is hypnotising, as it draws its listeners into a world of passion, whilst helping the listener develop a new appreciation and admiration for the smaller, more intimate things in life. Straaw’s soft vocals awaken a spark of curiosity and the adoption of ecstasy through musical phrases and tender stanzas.
To mark the song’s debut and his fast-rising career, we had a conversation with Mich about his music, inspiration and Ready.
(A Nasty Boy): Can you talk us through your journey to music?
(Michael Straaw): That’s an interesting question. Music was never the plan. So my journey to this point has been somewhat interesting looking back.
(ANB): What was the initial plan?
(M.S.): Get a degree, masters, work for an oil company. The stereotype really. But life happened and, to be honest, looking back…where I am now [it appears that] God had his plan for me and I couldn’t change this course I’m currently on.
(ANB): If you could, how would you describe your genre of music?
(M.S.): …I don’t know, I’d ask you to listen and tell me what you think. I’ve heard neo-soul, I’ve heard trap-soul, I’ve heard RnB and afro soul [from different people]. So yeah, I [can’t] really [categorise] my genre, I just write about my experiences my opinions and the music is about how I feel.
(ANB): What are some of the opinions you have expressed through your music?
(M.S.): Love that question. In my music, I [can] express frustration in a song [through] the verses and [come] to terms with it. [Through] the way I sing the chorus, [I can express different emotions. For example, I convey] emptiness in YS and anger in Fallen. [I try to] own these emotions, [and while I’m] not afraid to [express these emotions, I am careful enough to be] respectful. I think it’s important to be respectful.
(ANB): Do you feel a responsibility to pass a message through your music or is it just about good sounds that people will dance to?
(M.S.): I don’t believe in half measures [and] all the music is fun. I think there’s a groove when there’s a groove like in Ready, for instance. I’ve got songs that’ll come out and there’ll be a feel [to it]. To be honest, I’ll never chat shit in my songs. I no sabi lambs.
(M.S.): [Just] saying things because they rhyme [and] it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make any sense, as [long] as [sounds good].
(ANB): Are there any social issues that are important to you as an individual and an artist?
(M.S.): I think we struggle with our insecurities and I talk about mine in my songs [and] being vulnerable.
(ANB): Growing up as a Nigerian man, did you feel you were necessarily encouraged to speak of emotions and be vulnerable?
(M.S.): In many ways that’s the root of many social issues [as well as] ignorance, especially in these parts. I’m not a feminist but that’s something I’d say I have strong feelings about. My father was chill, super chill. I think I only experienced my father show[-ing] vulnerability once, maybe twice, but my mother brought me up with certain key values. To be honest, I learnt that showing your emotions doesn’t mean you’re weak, there’s strength in being vulnerable. [If] my music does anything for the dudes it would be [to show] how honest and vulnerable I am [by] speaking about my experiences my emotions.
(ANB): Tell us a bit about your new track?
(M.S.): [It was influenced mainly by] Sade’s Sweetest Taboo, and I was in a situation where I felt like I had no [option] but to be patient with [a girl]. For the hook, I wanted it to paint a movie with the introduction and the frantic end.