Michael Grimm has always humbly described himself as “just a boy from Mississippi” who adores the grandparents who raised him, and who is blessed with a voice of passionate, old-time soul that has not been heard in years. He was up against likely the most innate, naturally gifted talent ever to find the stage in Jackie Evancho for this season 5, and the votes set records, too. She has a lifetime to forge an incredible career, as her recent talk show appearances will attest. Michael Grimm got the votes from millions who feel he’s got that indefinable but critical “It Factor”, though, and Epic Records agrees. Grimm has just finalized a deal that will have him releasing an album in March 2011.
Everything pours genuine from this man’s song and his heart, and his incredulous reaction to his win was a powerful moment onstage, and the emotion lasted for days, as he chose the Ellen DeGeneres Show to propose on bended knee to his girlfriend of three years, Lucy, before a swooning audience. You have to give it to Michael for making the most of the moment! He said only “She’s been there for me, once you find that good woman, you hang on to her!” His career success is about timing, too. Talent guru Kevin Cyka, who had a big part in spinning Katy Perry to the top, feels that the right single can buy at least a very big year for Grimm. A song that has a “singer-songwriter-y feel, along the lines of Maroon Five, Gavin DeGraw-a hit song heals all wounds” is what Cyka feels Michael needs to find quickly. Personally, I like DeGraw and Adam Levine fine, both are talented, but Michael’s life journey brings something worn and wonderful to his vocals that a great producer, ala T Bone Burnett or Seal’s latest producer, David Foster, could bring forth with ease. Cyka rightly cautions that Grimm’s fans are not the college crowd, so he needs to sing “nothing that requires weed to understand.” Grimm has a true sense of self, and has pledged never to abandon his authenticity for slickness. “I’m definitely staying me,” he promises.
Success is fragile and fleeting in any realm of talent, but Michael Grimm knows himself and knows he has an audience ready to listen. Let’s hope they are willing to spend on his album, too, and that his timing is pitched as perfectly as his soul-soaked singing.
Personal music knowledge.