Michelle Turley is originally from Deming, New Mexico, and grew up on a ranch where country music was a huge part of her life. Both her mother and father were musicians. Her father leading a band called “The Playboys” and her mother was an accomplished pianist and vocalist. They were a large part of Michelle musical influences throughout her childhood. Michelle spent her teen years in Phoenix and later became a top international fashion model for the Ford Agency in New York. Her many clients included, Valentino, Armani, Versace and Donna Karan.
Throughout her modeling career, Michelle continued to write and record music. Dance With Me Tonight includes a star-studded group of musicians who have performed with Kenny Chesney, Linda Ronstadt, Martina McBride and Larry Gatlin.
Bev: Great to meet you Michelle, you have had quite a career too far; let’s start out with the project you are currently working on.
Michelle: Caroline is my single we are very pleased with the results of this particular song; I am so excited about it. This is the first album out of the gates. Prior to “Caroline” we also had “Hard times”, another single off the album that also went to number one on the country chart. So right now I feel really excited.
Bev: Did you write any or all of the songs on the album?
Michelle: It is a combination of both; we are a brother and sister team. I write some of the songs, my younger brother writes some of them and another brother writes some of them. My whole family collaborates, so it makes it so much more special for me to be able to work with my siblings. This is something we have talked about doing for years, since we were kids. Now to have this all come together and have so much success right out of the gate, it is something we could have only dreamed of. But now that it is happening and is a reality and it puts a big smile on all of our faces.
Bev: I can only imagine! So, the song “Caroline”, what prompted you to write it? What is the story line behind it and how did it all come to be?
Michelle: I wrote the music for that and my younger brother wrote the lyrics to it. I was tinkering around in the studio one day and the song came to me. I was playing it on the piano and I play a little guitar as well and I played it to my brother. He said it reminded him of a train or some kind of locomotive. All of a sudden he came out with the lyrics. The song is based on a young girl who marries the wrong person and who has regrets and wants to go back home to the Carolinas. That is how that all came together.
Bev: Do you often times find that songs just happen that way for you or are you the kind of person who has to put a lot of time and effort into constructing a song?
Michelle: The songs usually just pop into my head. I could be doing anything; doing laundry or cooking dinner for my kids. Or I can be playing an instrument where the chords sound really nice to me and then the words will follow suit; but a lot of times they just pop into my brain! And I just go for it! I usually have my little tape recorder next to me or my Blackberry and I will sing into that and I will keep it. Sometimes I will be dreaming and I have a song that comes to me in my dream which is kind of strange. But I am lucky that way and it is sort of a lot of fun.
Bev: Our subconscious is a bigger tool than we realize. Since you have had so much success right out of the gate with “Caroline”, what do you plan to do next? Is there another single coming out? Are you working on the next album?
Michelle: Both. Yes, we are working on another album and also have another single coming out off this album. It is called “Memory”. It is a real traditional country song which is my favorite style of country. “Memory” is a ballad where the other two songs have been really upbeat fast songs. The second album which is almost completed, hopefully by November.
Bev: When you release these are you doing it via the online portals that are so popular now? Are you still doing hard copy on store shelves? What have you found to be most successful for you?
Michelle: We are doing a little bit of everything. We have had a lot of success online. We have had a lot of success internationally like in Japan. And we have also had a lot of success in radio and video. You can get the hard copies online as well as on the store shelves. And with the second release it will be even more accessible. We are working on all of that.
Bev: When you do live performances, do you try to reach a certain type of genre or what fan base are you aiming for? At what kind of places can people find you when you are out there performing?
Michelle: Right now we are doing a lot in Phoenix and hope to be in Nashville at the end of August or the beginning of September. Those are the most recent dates that we have. We are working on upcoming dates for the fall. We hope to get out to California. We are talking about doing other dates in Tennessee as well as in Nashville. Right it is kind of up in the air, but we are working on it. We are looking forward to getting out there and playing again. We have had a little bit of a break with the release of the second single and also we have been recording a lot in the studio working on the second album.
Bev: Have you been opening for any other acts? Or have you just been doing your own thing?
Michelle: We have just been doing our own thing. That is another thing we are working on too.
Bev: Are you utilizing all the online social networks like Face book, My Space, Twitter?
Michelle: Yes, we are on them all. You just have to do a Michelle Turley search and they will all pop up.
Bev: Have you had any odd or embarrassing or uncomfortable situations resulting from that?
Michelle: Not yet. And I am knocking on wood because I have heard of a few other stories. I think I have been pretty lucky that way so far.
Bev: Another popular online trend is Utube, have you jumped on that as well with some candid and behind the scenes footage for the fans?
Michelle: You can see all the videos on U-Tube. We have great videos of the first two releases and some comedy from Hard Times that will make you laugh and of “Caroline”. We have the next video coming out for the third release which is “Memory”. That should be done in a few weeks. Just look for it all. I am looking forward to hearing from everybody and thanks for the support.
Bev: Michelle it sounds as though you have a great start and I am sure there is more to come. I look forward to seeing you perform when you are in Nashville, be sure to let me know the exact dates and locations and I will look you up.
Michelle: That would be great, I would like that. And thank you so much too for making this work to share some time and help us get the word out!
For more information on Michelle Turley visit http://michelleturley.net/
Transcribed by Darlene McPherson for Digital Rodeo