Soulful and resonant, Mike Dignam’s new single Under The Influence marks a confident return to the music scene for the Manchester-based artist.
Moving into a new role as producer, Dignam’s husky vocals glide effortlessly above punchy bass lines, moody piano chords and oscillating percussion.
I had a chat to Mike to find out more about why he decided to start self-producing, how that affected his writing process and why he can’t wait to get back out playing live shows…
Hey Mike! How does it feel coming back to music after a break?
It feels so good! The reaction to the first single has been great and it feels like my fans are in full support of my new music! We’re almost ready to drop the next single, which is exciting!
Congrats on your new single Under The Influence, which I see you totally self-produced. Can you give us some insight into that process?
Thanks. Initially, the reason I started producing myself is that I felt I was wasting time and money working with others and never really getting the sound I wanted.
I’d be working with producers and if they had to go do something for a week or whatever, I’d just be stuck and feeling and my whole project would be on pause till they came back so I just thought, I’m gonna do it myself. I’ll learn production and spend all my hours ’til it’s done. That’s what I did and I couldn’t be more proud of this record.
Were there any particular challenges you had to overcome?
The main this was just making stupid mistakes early on, often going the long way round. Once I was four or five months into it, I found my flow and things started working.
It was a pretty intense year, to be honest, I’d just work morning till night, writing the songs then recording them. I sort of wrote the album as I produced it. In the past, I’d always write the songs before going into the studio but this was a completely different process.
I love the accompanying music video. What was the inspiration behind it?
I worked with Jay from Untitled Studios in Manchester for this video. He and his team are complete pros, but they understand that an independent artist just doesn’t have the capacity to make a £20k vid, so we worked with what we had.
The concept was simple really – just tie the lyrical theme and visual together. I’m excited about the next video we’re about to work on, the idea is pretty weird, haha.
You’ve got a headline tour coming up in November. Are there any venues you’re particularly excited to play?
Yeah! I can’t wait to just get back out and play, I’m gonna be buzzing for them all but the Manchester show is my hometown show so that’s going to be a big one!
If you could recommend one album for our readers to listen to, what would it be and why?
Ahhh man! That’s such a hard question. It so mood dependent but one of my favourite albums for production and just general vibes is I Love You by The Neighbourhood.