An activist, an artist and now an ambassador. This past month, Michael Blume was appointed as ambassador of the Stonewall Inn (a historic landmark that was the setting for the riots that would push forth the LGBT movement in America.) Michael has been an active voice for the LGBT community for several years, using his platform as a musician to share his stories, as well as others. His music oozes his passion for social justice and pride and lives by the notion that everyone, no matter who they love, deserves equal rights.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Michael… we talk in depth about his sound, work, and the causes we need to pay more attention to.
Describe your sound in three words…
Progressive, questioning, soul
Tell us how your EP, cynicism & sincerity came together…
I had a bunch of songs between late 2016 and 2017 that I wrote. Some of them started as demos at the piano, others started in the studio with a beat. I worked closely with a great NYC producer Dan Edinberg and also featured a lot of my band on the songs. I wanted the songs to capture the energy of my live show but also still have a studio production vibe. Most of the songs ask questions about constructs of love, peace, and justice. The songs ask questions and I try to look at things through many lenses at once. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. I try to investigate these complexities while remaining in a pop music format and context.
Tell us how it felt to be named the Ambassador of Stonewall Inn.
I first learned about Stonewall as a high schooler and later got more into the history in a course I took in college. It’s such an iconic part of queer history and the work that the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative is doing now is so, so important and helps some of the most marginalized folks in our community. So to be an Ambassador for them indefinitely a great honour.
Why is it important for artists like yourself to fight for equality?
I’m not sure what else we would be doing… I think good people have a conscience and can see that the world is supremely unfair and hateful. If you aren’t out here trying to understand the history of what got us to where we are and strategizing on how to make it better, what are you doing?
Is there a cause you feel needs to be talked about more?
This is an interesting question and it’s one I have struggled with because there are infinite causes that need to be talked about more. Literally infinite. Here are ten that come quickly to mind. Black Lives Matter. The Syrian Refugee Crisis. White Supremacy on the Rise in America. The Rohingya Genocide. Trump’s Existential Threat to Democracy. Climate Change. Homelessness in New York City. The Rising Murder Rates of Trans Women of Color. Immigrant Children Stolen from their Parents.
What does Pride mean to you?
To be proud of who you are is to love yourself and understand that no one else can be who you are or do what you do.
What was it like to work with Shea Coulee and Peppermint from Rupaul’s Drag Race?
They are both dope-ass artists who know who they are and are so generous with their confident senses of self. It was really cool to get to collaborate with artists with backgrounds in different mediums.
What tracks have you been listening to on repeat recently?
The Clark Sisters – Livin’ (Live)
Who’s an artist you feel is underrated, and needs more attention?
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m on a magic carpet flying through the greatest cities in the world. Behind me — on trailing carpets — is my entire band. We do a whole international tour from the carpets and play flying all over these cities so everyone can hear the music. As we fly by neighbourhoods, people come onto the streets to dance and sing with us. We fly over war and the people hear the sounds and put their swords down. We fly over hunger and the music fills the stomachs of those in need.
Listen to Michael’s recent EP cynicism & sincerity: