Look Out by Fritz Michel (Botticelli Girl)
New York-based director, playwright and singer-songwriter Fritz Michel has just released his brand new single “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” and to celebrate, we’ve asked him to share the story behind the song. with us. Here is the story:
I think of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” as a reflection on those precious moments in our lives that remain in our memory. You want to hang on to these moments, but you have no choice but to go further and keep going. From renewal comes optimism and I hope the song speaks about it. I wanted this uplifting energy born from moving into an intense shared experience, whether painful or exhilarating. Tosh Sheridan, who produced the song, told me he thought the song sounded like Lou Reed crashing into The Band and he’s right about that. I’m from New York where we’re all together all the time on crowded streets, but I also drew on imagery of the open sky, ocean waves and timeless myths! We wanted to find a melodious groove that wouldn’t let those intimate urban moments go unnoticed on how to tell a bigger story.
My roots in New York run deep. My family has been here for generations and I have spent most of my adult life here. I came as an actor / director in the downtown theatrical scene. I once did a rock and roll version of “Fiddler on the Roof” which takes place in modern Montreal at La Mama ETC on 4th Street East. I then spent years in Los Angeles working in film and television. Although I have been a performer and have been comfortable performing on stage as a singer for quite some time, I only started playing in bands and doing concerts a few years ago. But once it all started, I knew I was on to something, and I was all in it. I remember the Coen Brothers film “Inside LLywelyn Davis” on the Bleecker Street folk music scene in the 1960s. New York City offers artists endless possibilities for connection.
For me a lot of music is a conversation between instruments and we gain a lot from listening. The bass guitar opened up the space between the notes for me. Playing jazz and learning all the standards from Stanley Turrentine to Dave Brubeck to Gershwin gave me the vocabulary I needed to find my voice as a singer / songwriter. And I draw from all kinds of influences. I love the instantly accessible style of David Bowie and the rolling melodies of Belle & Sebastian. I approach from the audience point of view so I try to write songs that I would like to hear!
I started to write songs almost out of necessity when the pandemic exploded and put the brakes on concerts. It was then that I met producer Tosh Sheridan through my teacher, jazz guitarist Tony Romano. Tosh is also an amazing guitarist (check out his slide on “Look Out”)! We recorded “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” at Tosh’s studio in Long Island City, so he has that New York energy. He then introduced me to Eric Halvorson who plays drums, Phil Palombi who added this jazzy bassline on “Look Out”, and Shelly Bhushan who sings the backing vocals.
Tosh and I also collaborated on my other albums “King of Corona”, “Stardust” and “Darker Now”, so I’m more than lucky for this collaboration which is part of my first EP which will be released this fall. Since these songs are all created during the pandemic, I can’t wait to start playing them live. For me, it’s at the heart of musical collaboration. The pandemic has been such a brutal time for performing artists. All of us really. I miss the hugs. I miss the handshakes. I also like the calm. In this way, the foreclosure has been a fertile creative time for me and it has been a beacon of hope for me. Looking outside I think we all wake up to a different world and that’s exciting for me. Simple things like the upcoming summer trips to see all my first cousins for the first time in almost two years take on a new resonance. We all have our stories to share.
To hear is to believe. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about Fritz. here
Distinguished: Look Out by Fritz Michel (Daughter Botticelli)
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