Mikhael Paskalev was suggested to me via Spotify based on my listen history over a year ago. I do give most of these suggestions a listen but it's rare I find a favorite. Upon first listen to “My Spy”, I added it to a favorite list and listened to daily. I wasn't the only one paying attention to the artist from Norway...
Mikhael Paskalev makes pop music with a twist and roots in indie and alternative country rock, inspired by names such as Paul Simon, The Shins, Edward Sharpe, The Mamas and the Papas and The Everly Brothers. His songs are recognized by the instrumentation, unusual structures and strong melodies. At times they are shamelessly catchy, but never leave the lovely and raw soundscape in which he and producer wonderkid Joe Wills choses to operate.
Give us some background on Mikhael Paskalev…
I am a 27 year old boy from Norway who likes to write songs.
What changed for you after the blowup of the “I Spy” video?
I got more friends and less time. I get to tour most places I can think of, which is well... cool for a boy who would most likely be working at a gas station if music didn't work out. Not that there is anything wrong with gas stations. But it is not as cool as playing in a band.
Does touring in the states differ from other countries? Any crazy / fun experiences so far?
Yeah it is quite different. There are american flags everywhere, and I feel like I am a motion picture. Even the backwoods or even the police here look like a Hollywood production. I know that can sound insulting, but it is not meant to be. I guess for someone who grew up in such a different place and watched a lot of movies and listens to a lot of music from the U.S., it makes it even clearer that I am just a tourist over here. I am on a set and I love it. In all sincerity I do love it.
I have read you are a movie buff…how does the cinema influence your songwriting?
When I come home from tour I usually spend two days stretched out on the floor eating pizza and watching movies. I'll have my notebook and take notes of any ideas I get during all the hard work. Then usually something from real life gets mixed in with something filmic. I wrote a song called “Sayonara Saigon”, the title-track of my new American EP, after watching "The Deerhunter", and a song called “Jailhouse Talk" from watching the series "OZ" and the movie "Paris, Texas". Movies are good. You can't not be inspired by them.
What is next for Mikhael Paskalev?
To finally watch the movie “Nightcrawler" and finish album #2. It will most likely be titled “Nightballer”.