There are several different stories I can tell here. All of them are true.
Michael’s a man with a vision. He’s a man with a brain that goes a thousand miles a minute; constantly dreaming up new and improved ways to make the world a better place. His passion is palpable, and energy infectious.
Michael’s a man of service. For over a decade, Michael has made music videos for kids (under the names Readeez and Songeez), which have been a huge hit among families worldwide: he’s got over 7 million accumulated views on YouTube, and a loyal base of superfans. Michael really makes music for–and because of–the crazy adorable kiddos who sing and dance along to his songs. As a result, his following is strong; he has many devotees in the special needs community, where his videos are used to help kids learn to read in an unconventional and utterly irresistible way.
Michael’s a business owner. He’s the head of Fully Conscious Media, a Public Benefit Company in the state of Oregon, and is currently in the process of reconfiguring his Songeez business to be supported by a Patreon model. He’s committed to an ad-free and sponsor-supported platform, and to creating high-quality, age-appropriate, utterly delightful content for kids.
Michael’s a musician. He’s got exceptional piano chops, and a remarkable ability to recreate some of the greatest rock with uncanny precision. He has the lyrics of probably a bajillion songs rattling around in his head, and the chords of nearly as many at his fingertips.
Michael’s a poet, with a mind with an affinity to find and identify and compose some of the most delightful rhymes in recent (I’d daresay ALL!) history. He’s got a wit that’s incomparably quick. Michael’s also a songwriter, with an ability to incorporate those aforementioned rhymes into ditties that are equal parts sweet, comforting, catchy, clever, exciting, and fresh.
Michael’s an orchestrator, who sets the shell of songs to lush backdrops of drums, keys, bass, and many other pleasing complementary sounds. His ability to take a basic set of chords and melody, and transform it into a brilliant musical soundscape, is profound. Michael’s also an art director and producer, with a keen eye for detail, and an intuitive sense of both aesthetic and musical harmony and dissonance. He knows what works and what doesn’t. He’s a sharp cultural critic, peering at society–and his own work–through glasses that are more wisely worn-in than rose-colored.
Michael’s a caring, loving, friend. He’s armed always with thoughtful compliments that hit all the right places at all the right times. He often offers a shoulder squeeze or foot massage without provocation–just because. He’s available to listen, to support, to come a-callin’ should he be called. He’s unbelievably kind and giving, and has an unshakeable commitment to generosity toward those he loves.
Michael’s a family man. He is fiercely loving and loyal to his parents, sister, and son. He’s a caring dad, who is a beacon of no-nonsense guidance, support, and unconditional love. Not to mention, he still regularly cooks breakfast (eggs and bacon, or challah french toast) for his talented 18-year-old son. (What other kid has it so good?)
There’s so much more I could say, but I close simply with this: Michael, it’s been an absolute honor to work and play with you this past year. My life is truly better, richer, and more fulfilling because of you.
Find Michael on Patreon at www.patreon.com/songeez–and become a patron, y’all! To watch some killer kids videos, check out Michael’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/songeez. Or, check out the website that he and I crafted together at www.songeez.com!