TI Exclusive: Michael T. Deleasa On New Music And Being A Musician!

When I do interviews, I like to do research on the person I am interviewing before hand.  This way, I am not asking the same questions they always get asked, because that’s extremely boring, right?  Well, doing research on Michael T. Deleasa, was a lot harder than I though.  I sat in my office in Manhattan after everyone left, googling every thing I could think of that would get me information on the 26-year-old musician.  The only thing that came up, each and every time, were short video clips where he appeared on Married to Jonas.  Imagine my frustration.

Finally I gave up and watched some of these videos before listening to a song or two of his on YouTube.  Then I packed up and headed to the subway to navigate my way to Brooklyn.  When I got to the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, I was both shocked and proud that I had done it.  I beat the NYC Subway System!

I was there a lot earlier than expected so I waited around for Michael’s PR manager to get there so I could go back and start my interview with Michael.

When I finally got back there, Michael was sitting with one of the opening bands and was playing cards.  Everyone said hi to me as Michael stood to come sit with me out in the hallway so we could talk.

The first thing I told him was that I wasn’t going to ask anything about the Jonas Brothers, this was going to be all about him and his music.  I can imagine that he gets asked about Kevin, Danielle, Joe and Nick all the time;  I didn’t want to do that to him.

Next came trying to figure out the best way to get this interview recorded so that I could transcribe it and write this article.  It wasn’t loud, but it was not quiet.

“I’ll just hold it up to my mouth so you can hear it?” He asked, taking my phone.

“We can pass it back and forth like a microphone,” I laughed along with him.

But then it was finally time to get down to business, which didn’t feel like business at all with Michael.  He is so easy to talk to and so honest and in love with is music, it felt like sitting down with a friend.

When did you get into music?

Not going to say um! First got into music, really since I can remember. Always sparked my interested. Initially I had an infinity for drummers.  I remember going to church with my parents and I was young, and I would sit there and watch the drummer.  Mimic his hands and feet.  That kind of got me started with really listening and trying to understand.  And I would say once middle school came around I was pushing my parents, ‘I want a drum set, I want a drum set.’ Then they said, ‘If you take some guitar lessons and show us you’re serious with it then we’ll get you a drum set.’  Clearly they didn’t want all the noise in the house!  But, I took some guitar lessons, stuck with it, started to form my first band in middle school.  And from there it kept going and going and going.

Do you play drums now?

I have a solid understanding.  I don’t fancy myself as a drummer. But I can hold matter with them for sure.  Actually, maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. On “Heart of Stone”, I played drums on that track.  And on “Holiday Season,” that was the first time I felt comfortable enough to get behind a kit in a studio setting.

What other instruments do you play?

I have a good understanding of piano, bass, and those would be the two main ones.

When did it click that music was what you wanted to do?

It kind of took me by surprise. Like I always wanted to be a musician, an artist, a writer.  Like all of that, I love love doing it. But definitely there is a point where, ‘how realistic can this be?’ There are so many people going for it.  It wasn’t until when I was in college.  I was still playing in a band, I worked on a solo record on my downtime from that and being in school.  And once I finished that, long story short, it brought me out to being in LA.  And then from there it just turned this huge corner.  Where before I was balancing school and being in a band.  I just kind of told myself, with my families blessing as well, I’m going to do this full time and I’m just going to go for it.  And as time was progressing, like I said it kind of took me by surprise, I was kind of like ‘oh wow, holy s***, I’m a musician! This is my job!’

How do would you describe your music style?

I guess it tends to be a fusion at time? From the first EP I ever put out, I kind of blended a lot of styles.  So I guess you could call it like a pop fusion. There are big horn arrangements like in the vein of Chicago and then you would have some songs that are a little more like funk and soul driven.  So, so far I have kind of fallen in and out.  I always find myself going more towards more of a funk and soul feel.

What is your pet-peeve?

People that chew with there mouth open. That drives me..like when people smack there lips when they are chewing, yea it’s just a pet-peeve.  I just sit there like ‘oh, okay, agh, breathe!’

Do you have any weird habits?

sometimes when I get nervous I rub my hands a lot. It’s kind of a weird thing.

Do you have any pre or post-show traditions?

No, oddly enough not really. When I can I like to do vocal warm ups.  If I can get a few minutes just relax and to get warmed up that would be ideal.

No partying after, no nothing?

Sometimes when we can, we like to go out.  If we’re not too beat up!

What inspires your music and your lyrics?

As tacky as it might sound, everyday life. It’s all about experience.  You can take it from the end to playing a character. Writing as if you were that person. Even the song “Too Damn Beautiful,” it’s kind of about being really smooth.  I don’t really fancy myself as that, but if I try to channel my inner Al Greene, what would he say about this situation?

What is your favorite thing about performing?

It’s playing.  It’s really the best part. And getting the crowd into it and with you through it.  So really just playing and playing for people.  That’s the most rewarding thing about being a musician.

Is there any one show or experience that really sticks out?

The first time I headlined in New York, over at the studio at Webster Hall.  It was kind of an accumulation of things. One, it was really headlining.  The same promotion company that put out the show, it was a company that in high school we used to be the opening band that would sell tickets to the show.  We would be the people that were like “please let my band play, we sold as many tickets as we can!” And then you know, you sell a lot of tickets for them and they would put you on another show to open for a band and it was crazy that, seven years later they are doing my headlining show.  It was a really cool feeling and the show nearly sold out. It was just a really, really great experience.

How has anything changed in the last two years for your career?

Things have definitely kept going up, thankfully. Doing the TV show, Married to Jonas, and going to south america to tour with them.  I definitely had no plans on going and touring  in South America, so that was a huge market of people that I was opened up to .  That in itself was an amazing experience. And that was something I did not expect at this point.  But yea, things have kept progressing.

Is there anything coming out?

I just put a single out, “Heart of Stone.” And in August I have a new EP coming out, which is available at the show.  And that is some of the singles that have been put out and then a new piece called “Little Piece of Paradise.” That will be available in August and you can get the hard copy at shows. And I am planning for some more releases hopefully a new set of songs to come out at the start of October.  I kind of feel like things have been put out kind of sparsely, here and there.  So I am trying to be a little more focused with putting stuff out, a little more of a plan

Is there anything else you want to say?

Just keep listening and keep checking in.  Keep coming out to shows, I mean that is all for me.


After finishing up the article, Michael insisted on a hug, he is one of those people that is your best friend after a few short minutes.  Then, Michael and his manager asked if I was sticking around for the show.  At first I wasn’t going to because I still had to get back to Manhattan before midnight. But they were so kind and so excited, I simply couldn’t leave without seeing Michael perform!

You can check out some of the pictures I managed to get with my iPhone, and watch the video of Michael performing his new song, “Little Piece of Paradise” below!

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