My Journey to Becoming the Newest Signed Featured Artist with Heart of Indie Radio

When I discovered Heart of Indie Radio at the beginning of the year, I was instantly touched by all that they do to support independent artists and spread awareness for mental health and music education. I love listening to their shows and keeping up with all of the exciting events they put together to spotlight incredible music. Heart of Indie Radio has a featured artist program, and after I discovered this, I told myself that I’d try as hard as I could to become a featured artist one day. That day came on October 8, 2021.

Before I talk about getting signed, I want to start from the beginning. My journey with Heart of Indie Radio has been magical so far, so I can’t wait to reflect back and remember all the special moments.

My First Heart of Indie Radio Interview on the Eddie & Emme Show

My first interview with Heart of Indie Radio aired on the Eddie & Emme Show on May 15. It was so special kicking things off the weekend before “Will I Ever” was released. This was such a fun interview. 

After Eddie’s intro, I share how I got into songwriting and talk about my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction degree. Next, Eddie asks me if I love piano or guitar more. I definitely love piano more. I’m drawn to pieces with beautiful melodies, and I draw on my piano abilities while songwriting. 

Then, Eddie asks me about my debut single, “Into Focus.” I share the inspiration behind the song and how it’s the song that led me to pursue songwriting. Speaking of songs, Eddie definitely did his research and found out I have a song called “Perfectly Imperfect” on my debut album, Dear Diary. This took me by surprise, and I share the story behind the song, which is one of my favorites on the album. 

Next, Eddie asks me to share my songwriting process. I always enjoy talking about my process because it’s different for every writer and there isn’t only one way to write a song. After this, I share that Julia Michaels is the artist I’d love to collaborate with one day. She’s so inspiring, and I’ll never forget the day I met her. It was one of the most special experiences of my life. 

Next, Eddie asks me if I have a song that affected me on a personal level and changed my perspective on life. I definitely do, and it’s “Homecoming Queen” by Kelsea Ballerini. I love that song so much. The message means so much to me, and “Homecoming Queen” is the song that made me fall in love with country music. I can’t wait to release my own version early next year. 

Finally, Eddie throws me a major curveball when he brings up my interaction with Justin Timberlake. I share the story of how my mom won front row tickets to *NSYNC’s last Pittsburgh show when I was very young. During “This I Promise You,” which is my favorite *NSYNC song, Justin came up to me and gave me a high five. That’s still one of my coolest memories.

So, that’s pretty much my first interview. It was a total blast. You can listen to it on Spotify and all other podcast platforms.

My Second Interview on the Memphis Show for “Will I Ever” and the Woodstock Series

The next weekend, I was invited back for another interview on May 21. This time, it was on the Memphis Show. This was such a special interview because it aired on “Will I Ever” release day and it was part of the Woodstock series. It was truly an honor being part of the Woodstock series. I’m still not over it.

First, Eddie and I laugh about a nickname a listener gave me, “the California Dreaming Chick.” How fantastic is this? Literally, I’m still laughing about it. 

After I share what I’ve been up to, Eddie asks me about the inspiration behind “Will I Ever.” It’s definitely my favorite single I’ve released. Even though this is a super vulnerable song, I’ve grown to realize that songwriting is my way of processing my thoughts and feelings, and “Will I Ever” is one of the most special songs I’ve written so far.

Since my interview aired during the first part of the Woodstock series, Eddie asks me how I would feel about performing during Woodstock if I was a young artist who got tapped to get on stage back in 1969. I would definitely be nervous, but Woodstock was so iconic. If I would’ve gotten that opportunity, the focus wouldn’t necessarily be on myself and my fear of performing. It’d be on the whole experience and the fact that hundreds of thousands of people came to celebrate music and have a fantastic time. So, getting up on that stage would be super fun.

Next, Eddie asks me about my most exciting and most scary performance moments. My most exciting experience was working on “LA Will Wait for Me” and seeing all of the incredible collaboration happening. The studio session was such a blast working with my producer, Bob McCutcheon, and guitarist, Luke Wood. Also, I had my co-writer, Madison Young, on Facetime, so she could contribute. I think collaboration is so special, and I’m blessed I was able to create this song with Madison, Bob, Luke, and my drummer, Sophia Elliott. On the other hand, the most scary experience I had was recording “Find Love.” That’s such a vulnerable song, and it’s the first song Luke and I did together. Because I didn’t know Luke well at the time, it was scary working on that song with him, but now, we’re great friends and have done so many songs together.

Finally, Eddie asks me if I’ll be playing any live shows soon. Since this interview, I’ve played quite a few in Kirksville, Missouri, which was lots of fun.

Those are the highlights from my interview on the Memphis Show. You can listen to it on Spotify and all other podcast platforms.

My Video for Mental Health Awareness Month in May

Heart of Indie Radio does so much to spread awareness for mental health. During May, artists were invited to share videos for mental health awareness month. I shared one talking about “Into Focus” and how that song helped me through a difficult time. 

Demi Michelle talks about “Into Focus” for Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s so important to open up about challenges because we all go through them. I hope “Into Focus” reminds listeners that they’re not alone and that there’s light coming after the darkness.

My Third Interview on the Nashville Show for “Find Love”

It was such an honor being invited back to do an interview on the Nashville Show on August 14. Also, Heart of Indie Radio did the exclusive drop of “Find Love.” I’m still not over how fun this whole experience was.

Demi Michelle’s motion graphic for the Nashville Show

I wrote a blog post for this special opportunity. Click here to read all the highlights and listen to my interview.

My Fourth Interview and Performance of “Since I Met You” for International Indie Summer 2021

On Labor Day weekend, Heart of Indie Radio organized a very special event to celebrate independent music from all around the world. It was a two-day event on YouTube and MixCloud, and it was an honor being part of it.

I did an interview and performance for International Indie Summer 2021. First, Eddie kicks off the interview by asking what I’ve been up to. I share details about Dear Diary and my plan to release back to back singles into the beginning of 2022. Next, Eddie asks where my music is headed. I definitely think my music is going more country. My songwriting style is very story driven, and I’ve been connecting with a lot more country music lately. International Indie Summer 2021 has a focus on music as a therapy tool, so I share how I find music as being therapeutic as both an artist and a listener. First, I talk about my experiences when I was a Music Therapy major in undergrad before I changed my music. I truly witnessed the healing power of music, and even though I didn’t see myself pursuing a clinical career, I discovered that I can do the same through songwriting. I find healing through songwriting, and also, as a listener, I’ve turned to music many, many times to find comfort. So, I definitely believe that music is so powerful and therapeutic.

Next, Eddie asks me about the tiara I’m wearing during the interview. This majorly took me off guard, and I just straight up said that I’m a princess. Okay, but let’s be real, I am a princess.

Before I perform “Since I Met You,” I share why this experience is so special. There have been so many virtual events where mainstream artists came together, but there haven’t been any for independent artists. It’s so special being part of an incredible event that celebrates independent music, and I’m lucky I got to join other artists for this event.

Demi Michelle’s interview and performance of “Since I Met You” for International Indie Summer 2021

Doing an interview and performing “Since I Met You” for International Indie Summer 2021 was the best way to wrap up summer. 

The Day I Officially Got Signed as a Featured Artist

The moment has come! After months of interviews and being involved with all of Heart of Indie Radio’s projects, I finally got signed as the newest featured artist on October 8. I’ve worked so hard over the past year, and it paid off. I can’t put into words how I felt when I signed my contract. This is the first contract of my music career, and I’m still at a loss for words.

Demi Michelle with Her Heart of Indie Radio Featured Artist Agreement

I’m so blessed to be part of the Heart of Indie family and do my part to inspire and encourage other artists to get out there and chase their dreams. I’ve been taking a lot of time to reflect on the past two years. I released “Into Focus” in November 2019, and I never could’ve known then where I’d be now. Music is truly my passion, and I love my Heart of Indie family so much for believing in me and giving me a chance. I’m so excited to see what the future holds.

My Fifth Interview on the European Show for Dear Diary and Getting Signed

I loved getting the opportunity to do an interview for the European Show on October 17. Nothing beats celebrating Dear Diary and being signed with my special friend, Captain Eddie!

Every interview I do for Heart of Indie Radio is so unique and fun. I can’t get over the fact that I’ve been on all four shows. The European Show has always been a fun one, so I’m so honored I got to be on during Dear Diary release weekend.

In the interview, Eddie asks me about the inspiration behind Dear Diary and my favorite song on the album. Dear Diary was definitely inspired by many of my thoughts, feelings, and insecurities. This album is a project I had to write for myself, and I’m so glad it’s out. Also, it’s hard to choose a favorite song because I love them all. I feel like my overall favorite is “Will I Ever,” but “Perfectly Imperfect” is my favorite album song.

Releasing Dear Diary was a major learning curve, and I say that I’m grateful for all of the ups and downs because I’ve learned and grown so much. Eddie was definitely there for much of the journey, and I’m so lucky I had him in my corner the whole time. 

Next, Eddie asks me about Write on Track. I love doing my podcast because I get to chat with so many incredible guests on the show. We dive into topics related to songwriting and the music business, and I’ve loved every minute of this whole journey.

Finally, Eddie straight up makes me cry when he officially invites me to be a signed featured artist on the air. His words mean the world to me, and I’ll never, ever forget this moment. I’ve been so touch by all that Heart of Indie Radio does, and even though I cried on the air, it was special capturing my genuine reaction to being signed.

Demi Michelle’s interview on the European Show

My heart is so full. Looking back on all my special memories with Heart of Indie Radio has made me realize that dreams really do come true. When I started songwriting, I lacked confidence and struggled to find belief in myself. I felt like I didn’t have a clear sense of direction, and I wasn’t very educated in the music industry. I feel like a lot changed for me in 2021 because I made the choice to learn and grow as much as I could. Once I found Heart of Indie Radio, I instantly felt like I’ve finally found where I belong. Eddie has become one of my best friends and a special mentor. Everyone else on the team has hearts of gold, and it’s been so incredible to meet other independent artists. The community that Heart of Indie Radio has created is one of a kind, and every day, I remind myself how grateful and lucky I am to be part of the family.