Focus: Michael Lion | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Michael Christopher Adjei-Mensah, aka Michael Lion.  I’m a Black African, of Ghanian heritage. I was born in Bristol in 1964, raised up in Watford, and I have lived in London, Luton, St Albans, and Leeds.  I am now I am on a mission in Newcastle, and I have been living here for nearly 20 years.  I came here to represent black people in the North East, and that’s what I am trying to do.  I hope I can do amazing things.

What is it you do?
I am a singer-songwriter.  I write, produce, perform vocals, play guitar and percussion on all my songs.  I have been working from home, in my studio, and have released a couple of singles this year.  I have more music that I have made to release in the future.  I will myself to become competent in anything I put my mind to do.  Positive vibrations, and no misery is how I like to live my life.

How long have you been doing it?
I’m lucky to have gone through my life loving music, through the 80s, 90s, especially. I’ve listened to soul and reggae from being 13 years old.  I’ve been through a few trends in my time. In 2007 I was lucky to perform in a theatre production of  The Buddy Holly Story. This was at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth, Northumberland. I played the MC that introduced Buddy Holly on stage, at the Apollo Club, New York back in the day, the birth of rock and roll. We played six nights and it was a fantastic experience, really lovely people to work with, it was great.  Anyway to cut a long story short, one day in June in 2012 I was at my friend’s house, with a few friends we knew on a Friday night. We would have a social drink and we used to listen to music and party late into the night. My good friend Sam is a creative person, he’s a writer and he played the guitar.  It started out in my friend’s lounge where in no time at all I was writing songs, and then getting to practice them on a Friday night. We started a band called Michael Lion and Family, and we had a good degree of fun. We played a few gigs together, and recorded a few tracks in a recording studio.  Unfortunately for me my guitarist Sam went to live in Malta for six months so the band had to end, but not for long though, I put out an advert and started a new band called Michael Lion and the Defenders where we rehearsed weekly and recorded a couple of songs, but we didn’t take it to the next level as we all had day jobs and other commitments. Since 2018 I have been going solo and have since been releasing my own music.

What inspires you? 
I grew up in a church loving home and I had quite strict parents, but being the eldest of four siblings I rebelled at the age of 14, and I did my own thing. However I still hold the same values then, that I apparently rebelled against. I really love my family, my parents and siblings, and their families. Firstly, I got into football, playing for school and for a social club team Shamrock Rovers, we even had a tour in Cork, I enjoyed great two seasons. I support QPR, but at arms length, I used to really like football. I think I have had a strong spiritual calling whereby I have been practising a daily ritual for years. I believe that reading a chapter of the Good Book a day, and praying gives me a good start to the day, and keeps evil away. Learning more about myself helps me too, and I also believe that if you cannot help yourself how can you help others? I love nature but we all have to change what we do in order to preserve it. Great music, great leaders inspire me, great song writers inspire me, as do great musicians, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown to name but a few. Women inspire me too, they are always fighting for their causes, and desires, but my main inspiration has to be God, I believe that without God there would be nothing, I wouldn’t be here.  I cannot forget my two children Kassy and Asher who I love so much, words cannot say how much I love them.  I am working hard so they will be proud of their Daddy. Lastly, Wendy my partner who has helped me find my way, and she was definitely my inspiration for my next single release.

Tell us about your music.
My music is all about roots and culture. I write about real life and mainly about my real life experiences.  The feedback I have received about my music has been interesting. I am a unique artist who can write catchy songs but not so sure about the genre. It’s great being currently thought of as being unique. I hope I can grow my fanbase.

What have you got coming up in the future?
I love performing live, but my priority now is about releasing my songs on Spotify. I also want to take a greater interest in climate change and lessening my carbon footprint. So many things have impacted our lives and our globe, and it’s been on a biblical scale. We can do things, as individuals, to help ourselves and others, and we need to think about the globe and climate change, which is another way of saying how we as modern societies are messing up the world, and now we have to do something about it. I have found love, or we found each other. We met on a bus. The song is true, I was looking for love and she found me.  My next release is called ‘Looking For Love’ and is out on 28 May 2021. 

Where can people find out more about you?
Please follow Michael Lion on Spotify, also you can follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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