Laughter. And more laughter. You’d think given everything that was going on in her world in 2020 that Michelle Weeks would have a good excuse for being distracted but not a bit of it. If you’ve ever heard her sing you’ll already know that she has spirit, but in addition she also has an amazing sense of joy.
The Light and before that The Moment of My Life and Don’t Give Up are staples of the soulful house genre as well as being personal favourites of mine. Having also recently rediscovered Hold of Me with Klevakeys I’d tracked her down via Instagram to see if she fancied a chat.
I found her in great form…
The now standard opening question of 2020 – how have you been keeping?
Things are cool actually, things are pretty good actually at my end. I’m keeping safe – I actually caregive to my mom, my oldest son and my husband because they all suffer from ailments but thankfully things have gotten better and I’m thankful that although in some places COVID is on the rise, where we are is pretty levelled out.
I just discovered you were a child prodigy in the gospel scene – tell me more!
Oh my gosh [laughs]! Yeah I started singing when I was maybe around four or five in church. I went to Bermuda and the Virgin Islands and sang when I was younger; my mom took me all over the place. I sang in a group with my mother actually, it was a little gospel group, but yeah, I started out really really early!
And then to house music, how did that happen?
So I was I was doing background for various artists in the nineties and my manager at the time owned a studio and she happened to have a client who was looking for a vocalist and, honestly, I’m not gonna lie I didn’t grow up with dance music, it was gospel for me. My idea was to go for R&B and gospel records but as it so happened I heard the song and I thought “oh, actually, sure, why not?” Honestly that was it, I just started singing and writing.
Over here in the UK we first really took notice of you with The Moment of My Life – those must have been amazing times?
The Moment of My Life was the first major thing that I did. I was approached by Bobby D’Ambrosio who wanted a vocalist to sing the song and I was like “oh, wow” because it’s an old Jocelyn Brown song – I love Jocelyn Brown, I love her – and I thought I’d definitely do it. So we did the song and it was signed over to the Ministry of Sound label so they brought me over perform it and when I was there to perform they wanted to do a video so Bobby and I both were there and they did the video and everything and while I was there they were discussing me doing Don’t Give Up. I mean, we went into the studio and it was so exciting for me because I was young and this was all new and awesome and I fell in love with it. I was out there in England and I was enjoying myself. I had actually been to England before because I lived there for a little when we did the movie Little Shop of Horrors and I was glad to be back and had a great time. [M&S producer] Ricky Morrison was awesome – it was just [sighs] so cool!
What have been your most favourite collaborations, because you’ve done a few over the years?
Yes [laughs]! That’s mostly what I do [laughs again]! Well one of them of course was with Jamie Lewis and the story with that was that I was in Italy at a big conference and that’s how we met. He approached me and asked me if I would like to collaborate with him and I was like “of course”; this is before he became Jamie Lewis and we got together. He flew me out to Switzerland and got me into the studio and the funny thing is that when I initially got the song, I was trying my best to make this party song and it just wouldn’t happen. At that time there wasn’t that many gospel house or spiritual inspiration songs out and when I started to write I was like “I don’t know if this is going to work out, are people going to like this? This is what I’m being led to write but this is what my spirit is saying I’m feeling so I’m just going to run with it.” When I got to the studio and I sang it Jamie loved it and I was in shock [laughs]! I was in shock because it’s a very very spiritual song, The Light is extremely spiritual.
Go on, tell us what we can expect to hear from you next then?
I’m working on a couple of projects right now, but it’s been taking forever. My schedule is just, oh my god, I mean I’m a caregiver now so I pretty much put my career on the backburner because I have family that I take care of. I’m trying my best to do my own album – I’m really really wanting to do my own album. I’ve been trying to do it for two or three years now, to put out an album but haven’t had the time to really sit down and do it they way that I want to do it. I want to love my album and hopefully I will get it done and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve spoken to a couple of producers and other people that I want to be a part of the project, so let’s just say, hopefully there will be a Michelle Weeks album. I’m [also] working on a couple of projects with a couple of producers now that will coming out this year and the beginning of next year.
Thank you for taking time out of what must be a very difficult period for you – I wish you all the very best and appreciate your time.
Awww thank you, and thank you for inviting me, I really greatly appreciate it.