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Getting To Know: Carmichael

From the vibrant cityscape of Glasgow to the musical haven of Leeds, the electronic artist known as Carmichael, an alias of the talented Harry Wright, unfolds a captivating journey of blissful electronica that defies boundaries. Born and bred in Scotland, Carmichael has found his artistic home in the pulsating heart of Leeds, where he's etched out a distinctive space in the music scene.

Carmichael's sonic canvas is a delicate fusion of dreamy melancholy and euphoria, intertwining soulful vocals through ambient and organic soundscapes. His music offers an intimate yet danceable experience, where each note resonates with profound emotional connections. Rooted in the underground and leftfield, with nods to garage, breaks, and techno, Carmichael creates a captivating synthesis that engages the senses, guiding listeners through ethereal landscapes.

Establishing a prominent presence in the Leeds music scene, Carmichael has left an indelible mark on various gigs with his unique sound. In 2023, he achieved a significant milestone in his musical journey with the release of his debut EP, showcasing not only his creative prowess but also his unwavering dedication to his craft.

Beyond official releases, Carmichael explores the realm of bootlegs, showcasing his versatility and willingness to experiment with different musical elements. As a musician, songwriter, and producer, Harry Wright, operating under the alias Carmichael, continues to enchant audiences with his signature blend of blissful electronica. It's a testament to his commitment to pushing the boundaries of sound and emotion, making him a captivating force in the ever-evolving landscape of electronic music.

1. Your musical journey has taken you from Glasgow to Leeds, each city with its own unique music scene. How has this geographical shift influenced your sound, and what elements from both cities do you incorporate into your blissful electronica?

So before I moved to Leeds I was going through a bit of a post-rock phase believe it or not (I was playing in bands at the time and my brother had this immense music collection which I would just dig through) but the electronic music I was into back then was the likes of Aphex Twin, Burial and Four Tet and I’d say they probably all come through massively in my writing and production. In terms of Glasgow’s electronic music scene though - I didn’t actually get into it properly until I’d moved away but would always try to check out what was going on with Glasgow Underground or who was on at Sub Club or SWG3 and catch some events any time I came back up to visit. Moving to Leeds opened up my musical palette massively as I was studying music and playing jazz/neo-soul/hip-hop and everything else 24/7 pretty much and being constantly surrounded by amazing musicians with different backgrounds opened up so many doors. I think the Leeds, for me, the electronic scene really brought light to particularly UKG and DnB/Jungle/Dub music which also now are mainstay in my influences. 

2. Your sonic tapestry is described as a delicate fusion of dreamy melancholy and euphoria, with nods to garage, breaks, and techno. How do you navigate this diverse range of influences to create a cohesive and immersive musical experience for your listeners?

I guess I really always connected with music that made me feel something on an emotional level and to create something that was truly ‘me’ I needed to ensure that I was expressing that. In the flip side I absolutely love bass music and big sounding drums and complex percussive rhythms so by combing the two I felt I wanted to create something that could be intimate and vulnerable on an emotional level but also super danceable. 

3. 2023 was a significant year for you, marked by the release of your debut EP. Can you share the inspiration behind this project, and how do you feel it represents your creative prowess and dedication to your craft?

This project was developed under the radar really over the space of around 6 months - before I had even announced its existence - and I decided I wanted to really have something to point at as my first release so rather than slowly start dropping singles I thought it’d be cool to just say “Alright? I’m CARMICHAEL and here’s a 5 track EP”. I’d say the writing inspiration was just trying to navigate through life with all its challenges at the time - but with a sense of hope at the end of it all. Lyrically (although minimal) I sort of touch on family, mental health, relationships and love I suppose. Sonically I explore a spectrum of Organic House/Breakbeats/Melodic Techno on this record which really represents me as a person and as an artist in the sense that I couldn’t make an EP that was all just in one box or genre - I don’t think my brain would allow me to do that! 

4. In addition to your official releases, you've ventured into the realm of bootlegs, showcasing your versatility and willingness to experiment. How do these unofficial releases contribute to your artistic growth, and do they influence the direction of your more formal projects?

My bootleg series was a bit of an experiment on a couple levels - firstly to test my production past genre boundaries - to see if I could make tracks that were more outside of my comfort zone and / or general sonic lane. I wanted each one to be completely different (so there’s a LoFi Dub, a Jungle edit, a UKG one etc). I also challenged myself to produce and release one every week for six weeks and also try create content for each one as the way of the world right now content is everything for growth as an artist. I love doing bootlegs and remixes as I can explore different areas of the industry like Hip-Hop & Folk & Soul etc and have a bit of fun. It’s definitely opened a can of worms in terms of my new original material as I think I may just be inclined to dip my toes into some further depths stylistically. 

5. Being championed by BBC Introducing and recognized as "One to Watch in 24" following your esteemed guest mix for the Best of 2023 show is a notable achievement. How does this recognition impact your approach to your music, and what can we expect from CARMICHAEL in 2024 with multiple tracks already signed for release?

I’m so grateful for the support for the project so far, especially from BBC Introducing. It really gives me an enormous sense of self worth considering the hours and hours I’ve piled into this project so far - to know that what I’m creating is connecting with people means everything to me. Mentally it really gives me focus and confidence to go all out this year and try make some serious moves. I’m sitting on a tonne of music and am constantly writing new tracks  - I’ve got a couple signed so far which I’m really excited about which will drop in the summer; I’m going to be self releasing a few tracks early in the year to keep things ticking over until then; I’ve lined up an official remix to drop later in the year; and I’m working some amazing collaborations at the minute so hopefully something special will be coming from them!  


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