Standish913.com has been blessed to do an interview with...
"If you give up your dreams, you die."
This is a line from the 80s movie "Flashdance". Since 1983, that line has been the driver of one Michael 'The Wanz' Wansley. Singing and performing since age 6, his passion for music has carried him through various church, public school and college choirs. At Central Washington University, Wanz was in the top jazz choir for 6 years, performing with Joe Williams, Bobby McFerrin and Dizzy Gillespie. In '86, Wanz moved from Ellensburg to Seattle and quickly became immersed in Seattle's music scene. But after a good 20 years and numerous bands, the success he sought didn't materialize. All his life he'd been told he'd be 'famous' someday, and he believed it.
By 2008 the dream still had not materialized and Wanz, now in his 40s, came to the realization that only young folks 'made it' to national and international fame like his friends in Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and other Seattle bands. But some dreams die hard. In 2000, a local hip hop producer had Wanz singin' hooks on rap tracks, he had that 'Nate Dogg' sound. In May of 2012 the call came one night after midnight for a session that turned into "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis! For the next 2 1/2 years, "I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket..." was one of THE hottest hooks on the planet! Every single dream he ever had came true!
10 years after "Thrift Shop", his fire hasn't gone out. Wanz has appeared as a national anthem singer for almost every pro sports team in town. He still sings hooks for folks and has just released an EP "#NDY (Not Done Yet)". In his 6 decades of performing, the sky is still the limit and the dreams will never die.
Here's our official interview...
What is your name?
Michael 'The Wanz' Wansley (pronounced WON-zlee)
Where are you from? Your age?
Just outside of Seattle, WA and entering my 61st year on the planet.
What do you do?
By day, I'm a software test engineer. By night, I'm a singer/songwriter, bass player, almost guitar and drummer and 'would-be' producer.
Tell us a little about your company/brand -
Because of "Thrift Shop", my brand is based on if you do something that makes you happy and especially if that makes someone else happy, never EVER stop doing it. You never know where it could take you. Wanz 0 Matic Music LLC focuses on: the simplicity as well as the challenge to be better today than you were yesterday.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Above ground. Even that's not a guarantee, hehehehehe....
Who are some of your mentors?
My parents (deceased), my older brother (deceased) as well as almost every person I know. LIfe in and of itself at times can be very difficult. I've learned to watch other people navigate it because of what my father used to tell me: "A smart man learns from his own mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others." This makes pretty much everyone a teacher, so I watch everyone.
What are you currently working on?
Just released an EP, #NDY (Not Done Yet) a few weeks ago. Writing and recording at home, revamping my website, looking at ways to build my fanbase and trying to decide how I want to come out in Q1 of 2023.
In your eyes, what is your biggest accomplishment to this day?
Ha!!! That's easy. I answered a phone call at 12:30 am. If I had not picked up, I would have missed the session with Ben and Ryan, they probably would have gotten someone else to sing that hook.
During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?
The hardest thing about COVID for me was convincing myself that I still had value, that I still had talent, that there were people that would like my music. I took up guitar (again). Subscribed to a whole lot of producer YouTube channels. The daily discussion with myself was to remind 'me' that everything is temporary....everything. The moment I have is the moment I have. What I do with it was always up to me. I made sure to mentally relax. Tried to be there for my musical community and facilitate dialogs. The hardest thing for any of us to do is manage that 5 inches between our ears.
Where can fans find your work?
You can find me on all the streaming platforms as well as BandCamp.
Anything you'd like to include?
Each day I try to remind myself that everyone is doing the same thing I am, trying to be the best person they can be at any given moment. In order to receive grace, consideration and respect, I first have to give it. How cool would it be if more of us thought that way?
What are your social links?
Thanks so much for your time!
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