Upcoming singer-songwriter & podcast host Demi Michelle is set to release the brand new single “All I Want This Christmas” on November 27th & has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her forthcoming musical piece.
Hey Demi, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Demi: Hi, everyone, I’m Demi. I’m a pop and country songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. While I’m not writing songs and recording, I’m still surrounding myself with music, from listening to my new favorite songs to posting weekly covers on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/demimschwartz. Aside from music, I am also a pop fiction writer. I’m currently getting my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, and I’m writing a Young Adult Mystery novel. My creativity reaches even farther into podcasting. I’m one of the hosts on a Harry Potter podcast called, The Half-Blood Princesses: A Harry Potter Podcast. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Hufflepuff. So, that’s creative me!
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Demi: I began taking piano lessons when I was ten, and when I was in middle school, my friends talked me into doing chorus. Even though I loved music when I was younger, I saw it as something I did for fun. When I was in high school, I decided to put hard work into becoming a better singer. In chorus, I was never someone who stood out. I auditioned for solos and never got one. Instead of allowing myself to be in the background, I took steps to become better. I think this is when I really discovered my passion for music. Sure, I have a natural talent for piano, but I used to see it only as a hobby. Deciding to improve my singing and becoming more serious about piano made me realize that music is so much more than just something to surround myself with for fun. When college rolled around, I originally majored in Music Therapy. Even though I changed my major to a BA in Music when I was a sophomore and added my Creative Writing major, my time as a Music Therapy major allowed me to learn guitar. It was around this time when I found my true passion for songwriting. It’s interesting looking back on my musical journey. Playing piano and guitar and singing are important for songwriting, and I do them all every day. As I was discovering my love for piano, enjoyment from singing, and eagerness to learn guitar, I had no way of knowing I was on the path to becoming a songwriter.
Have you always known that a career within music was what you wanted to do?
Demi: No, I only realized this very recently. Even after I started songwriting, I didn’t see it as a possible career right away. I’ve always seen songwriting as being therapeutic. I write about my feelings and experiences in ways I can’t communicate in words alone. For a while, I kept my songs to myself. To be honest, I didn’t tell anyone I was songwriting because at the time, I was afraid of being judged. Once I finally gained the courage to share my debut single, “Into Focus,” with some friends and family, I was surprised by the support and started recording. I released “Into Focus” on November 22, 2019. A few months before that, in July, was when I really decided to pursue songwriting, and I’m lucky to be working with an incredible producer. We have lots of fun together, and I contribute to the production process, so my songs come to life the way I envision them. I’m always excited to write new songs, cowrite, and record in the studio.
How would you describe your musical style to somebody unfamiliar with your music?
Demi: So, before diving into genre, I’d like to say my music is very authentic. I write about my personal experiences, and I feel that telling a story in my songs is so important. This is the reason why I’m expanding beyond pop and writing country, too. My lyrics have a strong element of storytelling that is seen so often in country music. However, I bring my stories and unique melodies into my pop music as well. I draw a lot of inspiration from Julia Michaels, Taylor Swift, and Kelsea Ballerini. Being influenced by those songwriters allows me to do something fresh with my music. Blending genres is gaining popularity, and through my thoughtful lyrics, singable melodies, and tendency to write songs in a way that emphasizes the message, listeners can expect music that has both pop and country elements. Also, it’s important to me that my songs stand out from one another. Looking at my upcoming album, I have songs that are in the style of Top 40 Pop to an acoustic pop country song. Still, my honesty and personality shine through in all my songs.
You are set to release your new single, “All I Want This Christmas”, on November 27. How did the idea to create this song come together?
Demi: The story behind “All I Want This Christmas” is an interesting one. So, one day last summer, I was improvising on my piano. I came up with a pretty piano accompaniment. At first, I started to sing different lyric ideas over it, but nothing felt right. Then, I thought, you know what? This feels like a Christmas song. I’d always wanted to write a Christmas song. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I absolutely love Christmas music. So, I wrote “All I Want This Christmas.” I recorded it last November. It was so much fun to record because it was something fresh after the pop songs I’d been working on at the time. I got to play piano on the song, which I was super excited about. Because I recorded it last November, I didn’t want to rush a release, so I decided to keep it until this year.
What does the song personally mean to you?
Demi: Wow, this is a big one. When I decided to write a Christmas song, it was important to me to make it meaningful, like all my songs are. There are so many fun, upbeat Christmas songs out there that bring the excitement and magic of the holiday season. I wanted my song to capture something else, the purpose of Christmas. Especially now, it’s so important to spend time with the ones you love. When I wrote the song last year, I never could’ve known how it’d hit different this year. The song is about how when I was younger, I focused on all the fantasies that fill all children with wonder. Now that I’m older, though, I’m realizing that what makes Christmas so magical isn’t all the presents, or snow, or decorations, but the people you spend the holidays with. The end of the chorus says, “I don’t need the snow. Don’t need any packages with bows. Cause being with the ones who love me most is all I want this Christmas.” This song means so much to me, and I hope people all over the world will be able to connect to it, too.
How have your family and friends reacted to “All I Want This Christmas.”
Demi: So far, I’ve gotten a great response. My family and friends felt the message of the song when I played it for them, and that’s my goal. I want to touch hearts with my music, and “All I Want This Christmas” has done that for the few who have heard it. I tend to be someone who holds my songs close until they’re released, but I did share this one with a select few, and they all loved it.
If listeners could take away one message from this release, what would you like it to be?
Demi: Take the time this holiday season, and all year round, to spend as much time as possible with the ones you love and be in the moment. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. I hope listeners take that message away from “All I Want This Christmas.”
Do you have any further releases planned that you’re able to tell us about at the moment?
Demi: Yes, my debut album is coming! It’s called, Dear Diary, and there are eight songs on it. My producer and I are currently mixing it now. I don’t have a release date, yet, but it’s coming next year. I’ve also been co-writing a lot, and I’m completely in love with one of the songs. It’s going to be a single for sure. I might release that before the album. It all depends on how quickly the album gets finished.
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of music?
Demi: Aside from music, grad school, and podcasting, I love to read. There’s something so magical about escaping into imaginary worlds and going on adventures with characters. No matter how tired I am after busy days, I always read before going to sleep. I also love going to concerts and traveling, especially to California, but unfortunately, I can’t do either of those right now. So, I’m trying to stay positive and creative.
If you could perform a duet with anyone on the planet, who would you choose and why?
Demi: Julia Michaels, for sure! She’s my number-one inspiration. I look up to her so much. I actually met her in 2018, and I literally burst into tears. She’s such a talented songwriter, and it’s a dream of mine to work with her some day. So, totally, I’d love to perform a duet with her
What is one song you always keep on your playlist and why?
Demi: “Homecoming Queen?” by Kelsea Ballerini. In many ways, that song changed my life. First, it made me begin to fall in love with country music. Also, the message means so much to me. I’m so glad Kelsea released that song because I always have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and broken sometimes, and that’s part of life. This song is my reminder. I don’t have to put on a smile and wear an invisible crown all the time. It’s perfectly fine to be real and show emotion, and I’m forever grateful to Kelsea for this song.
What was the first album you can recall purchasing and do you still listen to it now?
Demi: Oh, yeah, totally! No Strings Attached by *NSYNC is the first album I remember playing. It dropped when I was like, two-years-old, but this album is bop after bop. I have such a vivid memory of seeing *NSYNC on their last tour. My mom won front row tickets, and Justin Timberlake gave me a high five during “This I Promise You,” which is my favorite song on the album. As for if I still listen to it, 100 percent. *NSYNC will always take me back to my childhood.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Demi: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my interview. This is a fabulous blog, and I’ve discovered so many amazing songs through it. I’m honored to be featured alongside so many incredible songwriters and artists. I hope you’re staying safe, and have a magical holiday season. Sending all my love! 🙂
You can pre-save “All I Want For Christmas” by clicking here.