Now a musician in Nashville, he was still living in Georgia when he met Amber Carrington, a Top 5 contestant on Season 4 and starting playing guitar alongside her.
She introduced him to Caroline Glaser, a Top 16 finisher from the same season. Michael went on tour with Caroline as her guitarist; he also wound up co-producing her debut album.
“They always encouraged me to keep singing, and do my thing, and pursue my artistry. And they were super pumped when I told them that I was (auditioning),” Michael told Voice Views.
“They definitely influenced” his decision to audition, Michael added. “They’ve gotten a lot of good things from it, and they grew so much as artists from it. So just seeing them as an example pumped me up.”
Of course, his interest in music goes back much earlier. Michael told The Voice he can’t remember an age when he wasn’t into music. There are videos of him singing at age 4, he said.
Michael’s father raised him on Lionel Richie, the Commodores, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, and bought him a guitar when he was 12.
Michael wound up playing that guitar and singing in church at worship services. In fact, it was his experience leading worship when he was about 18 that convinced him a career in music might be a viable option.
He wound up moving to Nashville, where he makes his living as a musician and producer. He describes himself as a singer-songwriter with a lot of Motown, pop and R&B influences.
He’s hoping The Voice helps him transition from being a guitar player and background vocalist for other artists to being in the limelight.
“I think I’m learning to step into the confidence of a front man more, rather than being just a good singer,” he said in an interview with Dominique Digital. “I’m a little laid back and introverted sometimes. (The Voice experience) is pushing me to just own it.”
As for his blind audition, you might say the 25-year-old from Dublin, Ga., took a risk. Michael, a longtime fan of Maroon 5, put his own spin on Adam Levine’s “Sugar.”
“I kind of had that fear going out there like, ‘Oh gosh, I’m doing his song. Is he even going to turn around?'”
Sure enough, Adam turned around. Within the first minute, in fact. Before Michael had finished the first run through of the chorus.
It gave Michael a spot on the show. And when he finished, Adam complimented him on “a cool, interesting take on the song.”
“For him to appreciate the way I interpreted his song was an honor,” Michael said.
Here are Michael’s social media links, followed by a cover he recorded with former Voice contestant Jacob Poole and Michael (at left) performing Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” with Amber Carrington.