Alex Duke caught up with singer and TikTok sensation Michael Aldag to discuss how he got into the music industry and the platform TikTok has given him and his music.
It was a quiet, overcast Friday morning when Michael Aldag, a singer and TikTok personality, joined me for a chat over Zoom. Having been a fan of both his music and his social media content, it was initially strange seeing the face that appeared so often on my for you page speaking directly to me. Yet, the witty and energetic character that one sees regularly on TikTok came across immediately, and very soon it became a casual conversation.
Being a journalist from Nottingham, my first question was about Michael’s upcoming appearance at the Meadowlands Festival, where Michael will take the stage alongside the likes of Gerry Cinnamon, The Kooks and Black Honey at the Victoria Embankment. “I love Nottingham, I’ve done a couple of gigs there now and it’s got a really fond place in my heart. It’s not too dissimilar to Liverpool.”
After getting slightly sidetracked by the benefits of the Nottingham Tram, I asked Michael about how he got into music and his own personal history. “I started singing when I was 7, I auditioned for a solo in the Christmas Nativity and I sang silent night. From there I was in the school choir and then joined the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir until I was about 14. I got sick of Benjamin Britten songs and decided I wanted to write my own music. So, I started writing on an acoustic guitar and gigging around Liverpool, and its surrounding areas. I was on Levi’s music project and that really helped me develop and find my own sound, I started producing then as well. I love music, it is my passion.”
We moved on to one of Michael’s most successful singles, Teenage Drama. I asked him about how the song came to fruition, and the motivations behind writing it. “I wrote (Teenage Drama) last summer, and it does was it says on the tin; there was a little bit of drama in my life. Some of the people that I’d met, things were flaring up. It’s kind of interesting but it’s also kind of damaging, to be involved with people like that who kind of thrive off any sort of gossip. But by the same token, I thought it was well worth writing the song about. I was speaking to my sister and she introduced me to the term and genre ‘male manipulator music’, which is just like twisted morals, your ethical compass is a bit skewed and you write from that perspective. I’d like to think I’m not like that in real life but when you put it in a song it always seems to slap quite hard. That’s what I think I was going for with that song.”
TikTok came second and has really helped with my music
Although Michael started out as a musician, TikTok has been a major part of his public status. With 692,000 followers and the all-important blue tick, Aldag is one of the most recognisable faces in British TikTok. Often promoting his own music alongside making comedy videos, Aldag still insists that his music comes first. “It’s a weird one. It’s a dilemma that a lot more people are having these days. I think what’s most important for me to tell people is that I have been doing music for as a long as I can remember, it is my passion. I’ve wanted to tour the world and write songs and make music. It can often get misconstrued that just because I found a sizeable platform that I wanted to make music for some ulterior motive. TikTok came second and has really helped with my music and giving me a platform, but music is definitely my darling.”
With a lot of my TikTok’s it’s all tongue in cheek
However, one TikTok stands out to Michael. “I did one which did quite well numerically. It was about people who don’t have Instagram and it talked about how some people who don’t have Instagram think they’re quite quirky. A couple of people misconstrued it and had a go at me for saying that everybody needs social media, which wasn’t the point at all. With a lot of my TikTok’s it’s all tongue in cheek, but that one I liked because it had quite a good quip at the end.”
I asked him the same question about his music, and which one of his songs he likes the most. “In terms of songs, it changes everyday. It’s generally one of the more recent songs that I’ve written because once you’ve had a song and you’ve listened to it loads and loads you kind of move onto the next thing. “There’s one song that’s going to come out soon called Bleak which means a lot to me. It’s very honest and I look back on it and think I’m really proud of that as a song.”
After exchanging pleasantries, we ended the Zoom call – and for Michael Aldag, the future is looking really bright in two very different industries.
Featured image courtesy of chuff media. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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