We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Blakey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
With every decision there is risk. Some small, and some very large. For me, risks are exciting. In my opinion, risk taking is something you need in order to grow. I have taken many risks in my life and they all seem to work themselves out one way or another. As long as you stay true to yourself and your heart, you will be fine. Once you stray from you values and what you truly believe in, things can get a little hectic. I moved across the world to a brand new country after visiting it just once. I quit my job and travelled around the US with only a small bit of money to my name. I quit a corporate career and started my own creative business with a client list that totaled zero. The last one was the most risky, but it is working out, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
The risky decisions I have made in life have made me who I am today. They hav boosted my confidence and allowed me to grow. I can’t wait to see the risks I take in the future, and what opportunities they will create for me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
All music is unique. Every song has it’s own story in regards to how it was born. My songs are inspired by personal experiences that have helped me grow as a person. My goal is that the listener will have a smile on their face and a mentality full of good vibes after listening to my songs. My motto is smile while you’re livin’
I got to where I am today by continuing to write and by constantly challenging myself. I have had different vocal coaches and guitar instructors that have helped me grow. It has not been an easy journey. There have been days where I just want to give up. Those days still happen, but I know in my heart that I never will. I’ve overcame these feelings by practicing positive affirmation. This has helped me believe in myself more and more. Millions of people can believe in you, but you first have to believe in yourself to succeed.
The most important lesson I have learned is that you have to focus on a few things and do them very well. You can’t focus 10 things and do them half-assed. You must focus on the 3 or so things that you can do really well and that make you happy. Once you perfect those, money will follow. I owe this mentality shift to the team at Artist Collective. Their mottos is do less better, and they couldn’t be more right.
I want the world to know that the smallest acts of kindness and a smile can change the world. They can’t solve the worlds problems, but they can make people happy, and happy people inspired by kindness can’t be bad for the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have only been in Nyack, NY for a short time, but first we would start the day at Boxer Donut. You have to have the maple bacon donut. It’s amazing (if you love bacon). We’d then take our coffees and enjoy a couple mile stroll down to Nyack Beach State Park. There is a nice little trail that walk along the Hudson river, its gorgeous. The hiking and nature are my favorite parts about living in the Hudson Valley.
Now that we took a little walk, we’re probably craving some food, so let’s head back in to Nyack Downtown and grab a bite to eat at Bari. Great place to munch with plenty of healthy vegan options and smoothies. Or if you are craving a beer and it’s 3pm, you can head on over to the local for half priced drafts for happy hour! Great local craft beers. If you are in the mood for brunch, then you have to eat at Strawberry Place!
Enough food for now. For the hiking folks who like to hike I would bring them to Anthony’s Nose. Anthony’s Nose is a hike in the Hudson valley that offers stunning views of the Hudson River both at Sunrise and Sunset. The lookout spot is nestled off of the Appalachian Trail. If my visitor is an avid hiker and wants to work for an amazing view, I would take them to hike to the peak of Algonquin which is located near lake placid in the Adirondacks.
For Dinner in Nyack, I would bring you to OVI (Old Village Inne) on the first night to experience their warm oven baked pot pies. The pot pies are heavenly and make you feel like you are a kid at grandmas house again. If you are in the mood for some live music and Mexican tunes, we’re heading to Casa Del Sol to hang out with the greatest bar tender in the world, Josh. He pours amazing drinks and has an incredible attitude.
On Thursday I would bring you to the local farmers market to hear some great live music and to experience delicious local foods. Eating food that is grown locally and organically will help save this world. If everyone could slow down a bit and remember how to operate within your own community, we would see change and growth.
For my indian food lovers, we are heading to mumbai dreams to drink the best old fashioned in the world. They serve the old fashioned on a piece of charred and smoked oak. You get the sweet and slightly bitter taste from the beverage with the savory smell of smoke. Its the best of both worlds.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s sometimes very difficult to look in the mirror and see how much you have grown. If it weren’t for my future wife Lucy, I may not have truly slowed down and said to myself “look how much you have grown in the past 5 years.” In the music world you can always get better, and that is what makes it so difficult to recognize your success. There is always something more to learn, but you have to take note of where you came from in order to understand where you are going. Lucy helps me recognize my improvements on a daily basis and I am beyond thankful for her support.
Samantha Finch Photography https://photographybysamanthafinch.com/