If you’ve ever watched CTV’s popular reality music competition show ‘The Launch,’ then you’re probably familiar with Michelle Treacy, who was crowned the winner for the show’s second season in early 2019.
The Ottawa-native impressed Canadians from all around with her unique vocals, and received praise from the show’s judge, some of which included Scott Borchetta, Marie-Mai, and guest mentor Bebe Rexha. Following the success of her win on the show as well as the release of her single “Emotional,” Treacy is continuing her journey as a rising star and has big plans for the new year.
Let’s talk a bit about your background; how did it all start?
My name is Michelle Treacy, I’ve been singing since I popped out of the womb. When I was 17, I sang with Lady Gaga and that’s kinda how I got my start into the actual music industry. Then I got signed with Sony and had a Top 10 Record in Canada called “Armageddon,” and then I went on to win The Launch season 2. And now I’m here.
What inspired you to sing and why?
My brother was always very supportive of me, and he kinda introduced me to the greats like Madonna, Paula Abdul, and Spice Girls when I was little, so I grew up listening to those big female empowering artists and it just kind of happened for me. I was born into it.
What was your experience like during your time on The Launch, and what was the competition like? How did you view the other artists?
My experience on The Launch was amazing. It made me feel very empowered and grateful and everyone was so kind and uplifting and I really felt like it was my coming out party because I could be myself and like it was a new beginning to a new chapter in my life. And now we feel like family. Everybody is still friends.
What were some challenges you faced in the past? Are there any challenges you’re currently facing?
I think a big challenge that we all face is feeling loved and good about ourselves and that’s something I really struggled with and I used to want to make people happy but in return, I didn’t make myself happy. I’m being selfish and putting myself first by starting to make music that feels good to me and makes me happy.
What struggles do you face as a Canadian artist?
The cool thing is right now that I got to curate a Spotify playlist with Spotify and Tic Tac and they really support new Canadian talent. It’s amazing to have such support from such big brands. And really the biggest issue is getting that reach in Canada, and getting people to listen and hear you. Thanks to Tic Tac, we’re able to do that.
What difference do you see between the music industry in the US compared to Canada?
I think that the music industry in the States just reaches a bigger audience. I think Canadian talent is just as good, if not, even better. If we had the same reach as Americans did, it’d be amazing.
What advice would you give to local talent who want to gain more recognition in the industry?
My advice would be to play every single show you can, write with every person you can, when you’re out and about, say hi to everyone, ask them what they do, ask them what they’re into, and take every opportunity that you can and put yourself out on every platform that you can. Exhaust every option. Singing on the street? Do it. You’ll never know who will walk past you.
Do you ever get stage fright? How do you prepare before a performance?
Stage fright is an interesting thing because I think it’s important to get stage fright because it means you care. If you’re not nervous, maybe you don’t care as much. I like to meditate and just feel good and listen to my favourite records.
What inspired your recent album, and how did it all come together? How long was the process?
I’m actually working on new music right now, and I’ve been working on it since August. I went to Hawaii and was trying to decide ‘Do I still wanna do music, and if I do, how do I wanna do it’ and it kind of opened my mind completely. The music I’m creating now, I’m just letting my brain speak. I’m not judging it, I’m just writing it. It feels good. It sounds very different because it’s fully me now, so it’s very exciting.
You’ve collaborated with Lady Gaga; if you could choose, who would you want to collaborate with next?
Finneas. Finneas would be the dream to work with. The work that he does and the way he hears music has taught me so much. The way he layers vocals and the ambient sounds he puts behind music. He goes so deep into music. It’s not just ‘Here I am playing synth.’ It’s like if you deep dive into it, it’s really cool. It tells a story. He’s so good.
Do you see yourself doing anything else in the future or is singing your main focus in the long run?
I plan to sell out a world tour. I would like to do stadiums one day.
When you’re not in the studio, what do you do in your free time?
I eat. Good food, not bad food. I’m trying to go vegan. I’m trying to be good. I want to feel better and live a better life. It’s been great. I go to the gym and I think about what I’m gonna write next. You fit time; when you want it bad, you do it. If you care, you’ll make it time, just like relationships.
If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Trust your gut. Learn your business. And prove everybody wrong.
What are you looking forward to in the new year?
Looking forward to putting out new music and starting this new life of authenticity, diving deeper into who I am and figuring that out so that I can give a positive message to my fans saying ‘I wrote this music for me, about me, because that’s how I was feeling but I hope it gets you through what you’re going through too.’
A message you’d like to share to the world, fans, or aspiring artists?
I like giving advice to young artists. I was just talking the other day about quality over quantity. Put yourself in rooms with good people. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. If someone is a great writer or producer but not a good person, don’t even bother putting yourself in that situation. Learn your business so that you can protect yourself. And just have fun! Stop trying to write a hit. Just go in and write music that makes you feel good, because if it makes you feel good, then chances are, it will make everyone else feel something. If you have haters, it means that you’re doing something that they’re always seeing because you’re always popping up, and they hate seeing you. All the jealous people, just let them go. Best advice I can give is ‘Go quiet or stay quiet and just make your stuff really good before you say anything is coming.’
With all of the accomplishments she’s achieved so far, it looks like nothing is slowing down Treacy anytime soon. She continues to inspire and “Wow” fans all across Canada with her voice and impeccable talent, proving that she is up for any challenge coming for her. The new year is just getting started, so be ready for the “Emotional” singer and all that she has to offer in 2020!
Check out Michelle’s exclusive Spotify playlist, where she collaborated with Tic Tac Canada to curate all her favourite Canadian hits. Stay tuned for her latest upcoming album, including exclusive single JOSIE!
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