Michael Peterson, the 2008 recipient of the distinguished Bob Hope “Spirit Of Hope” award for his service to the nation and the servicemen and women of the Armed Forces, is loved for such million selling country music chart toppers as “Drink Swear Steal & Lie” and “From Here To Eternity”. The multiple Grammy and CMA award nominee has moved audiences all over the globe for over a decade.
Recognized by Billboard magazine as the top selling new male artist and top new airplay artist in 1997 -1998 in country music, he burst on the scene with 5 consecutive Billboard and R & R top 20 hits between 1997 and 2001. Three top five singles and three number one CMT music videos including “From Here To Eternity” were recently chosen as one of G.A.C’s top 100 greatest love song videos of all time.
“In Black”, the album released in 2009, reveals Michael’s powerful, moving artistry prompting Country music’s preeminent music critic Robert K. Oermann to remark: “Michael Peterson is back with the album of his career.”
In fact over the past four years Michael has created six new CD’s filled with his signature up tempo songs full of lyrical surprises and those “straight to the heart” ballads which have caused more than a million people to add his music to their favorites play list.
A proven hit songwriter with multiple #1 songs in gospel and country, both in the U.S and Europe, Michael’s songs have been recorded by Grammy winning superstars like Travis Tritt, Timothy B. Shmit (The Eagles), The Classic Imperials, Ty Herndon, John Berry and Deniece “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” Williams.
His commitment to “moving people” has caused organizations as diverse Special Olympics, Selective Service, Ronald McDonald House, the USO, St Jude Children’s research hospital, the American Legion and most recently the New Holland Corporation and the U.S Army to seek him out as a voice for messages that matter.
From 2008-2010 Michael has brought the MY REAL LIFE TOUR sponsored by Sea-Ray Boats, The American Legion, New Holland Tractors and his presenting sponsor, the U.S. Army, to over 150,000 people. This marks the first time the U.S. Army has backed an innovative tour by a civilian artist. The success and powerful messaging he created for young people has been a goldmine of Social–Emotional learning for Educators, school administrators and students and is now rated as one of the top ten high school Assembly programs in the nation.
For nearly 25 years Michael Peterson has consistently created, inspired and entertained millions of people. 2010/2011 will be no exception. Michael has a reality TV series in the final stages of development and an extraordinary new CD project produced by Country music legends Bob Montgomery and Kenny Mims.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing songs around my 18th birthday.
Tell us about the first song you wrote and what inspired you to start writing?
Who are your biggest influences?
As a writer I have been deeply influenced by the compositions and artistry of Johnny Mercer, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, James Taylor and Bob Bennett to name a few.
What was your first big break?
First BIG Break came in 1986-1987 when I was signed to a publishing/record deal by Deniece Williams. Her smash “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” had just been the biggest record in pop music. I was fortunate to have her record 3 songs I had a hand in writing during those few years including the follow up single to “Let’s Her It For The Boy”… a song called “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”
How long did it take to get your first publishing deal and how did you get it?
I played college football with a guy who had married Deniece and had also produced my first album. She heard my music and signed me. It all seemed pretty easy. It lasted about 2 years and then it was nearly another 10 years before I had another deal. That was at Warner-Chappell in Nashville.
Do you believe you need a publishing deal to get a major cut?
No – But it doesn’t hurt and if you get a cut without a major deal it will open the door to that if that is what you desire.
Is it true that after you get your first cut it is easier to get other cuts?
When a writer gets “on a roll” it seems the listening “shifts”.
What is one of your greatest moments in your career?
In 2008 I was chosen to be the USO and U.S. Army’s recipient of the Bob Hope “Spirit Of Hope” award for service to our nation.
What do you think of writers nights, and do you think they benefit the writers? In what ways?
Writers nights were fundamental for me. The people I met, the songs I heard, the chance to play my songs for others…so many may benefits.
Do you co-write with other writers and how do you choose who you write with?
I think it is good to know what your strengths are. If you are a prolific creator of melodies and grooves you might find it very productive to selct co-writers who are prolific lyricists. Writing with someone who has a similar set of strengths can lead to a lot of co-staring instead of co-writing.
Do you co-write with aspiring writers?
I sure do. I respect talent wherever it shows up!
Do you think you need to have a fully produced demo of your song to be able to pitch it, or can you use a work tape tape (guitar-vocal)?
Some songs don’t need to have a demo that sounds like a Hit record – But it never hurts. You do the best you can with what you have where you are and grow.
What “tips” do you have for writers when they are going to a meeting with a publisher or someone in the business?
Don’t show em what you can’t do. Bring jaw dropping greatness and then you will have more interest.
Is there anything else you would like to say to aspiring writers that you feel will help them?
READ – READ – READ and WRITE –WRITE – WRITE!