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Michigander is "OK" with Detroit, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2021

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Jason Singer's nom de music, Michigander, is certainly appropriate.

The singer and songwriter was born in Grand Rapids and spent most of his life in Midland after being adopted at three weeks old. He spent the past few years in Kalamazoo before moving to Detroit in early February, where he celebrated the release of his third EP, "Everything Will Be OK Eventually."

Released March 19, the six-song set has generated a buzz with singles such as "Let Down" and "OK," putting Michigander on the map from Spotify to SiriusXM and adding to the 12 million streams generated by his previous releases -- 2018's "Midland" and 2019's "Where Do We Go From Here." "Everything..." is the next step in a journey that's taken Singer, 28, around the state and now, he hopes, beyond the Mitten...

Singer made the move to Detroit when his roommate in Kalamazoo got married. "I always wanted to live in Detroit. There was a cool living situation available here -- nice and affordable with a friend who owned a house, so I moved. And I don't have to change the performing name like if I moved to L.A. or New York."

Recorded with longtime producer Jake Rye, the "Everything..." EP benefitted from "the longest time I ever had to work on something," according to Singer -- mostly due to restrictions instituted by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Everything was recorded in 2020. I started some of it before, like in January or February, then kind of took a break and tweaked what we had already done. Once the restrictions were lifted a little, we did some recording again in the studio. Living in a pandemic really gave us a lot more time to do things."

Early on in the process, however, Singer says he and Rye knew "we were making something we were both proud of, something we took to another level than we did before. This time I wanted every song to be a little different and have their own unique quality. We challenged ourselves to use a lot of new sounds and textures. Normally we try to get it all in one or two mixes, but this time we did a lot more than that and kept revisiting everything until we were really happy with what we had."

While most of the EP's songs were started before the pandemic, Singer acknowledges that the theme of "Everything Is Going to Be OK Eventually" is particularly resonant in its wake. "Back in March (of 2020) we had a while big year planned, all these festivals and tours, a dream year. We were supposed to put music out last summer. I remember texting my friends -- 'OK, that tour got canceled.' Everything will be OK eventually...' I remember saying that all the time. I hope people listen to this music five, 10 years from now and hear it as the soundtrack to our return to normal and associate it with that."

Singer is continuing to take advantage of forced time off the road and is already working on his next Michigander release. "We've got a bunch of new songs. I don't know what it's gonna be like yet but we're excited. I just want to take what we did with this (EP) and keep exploring."

Michigander performs with Mt. Joy on Friday, May 7, at the Crofoot Festival Grounds on municipal parking lot No. 9, Pike and Saginaw streets, Pontiac. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $175 for pods of 4-6 people via thecrofoot.com. Tickets sold for the River Station Detroit venue will be honored.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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