So what’s your question? Michael Lowman

Michael Lowman.
Michael Lowman.

IN the age of the ironic and the cool, musicians who mean what they say are a rare commodity. Fighting the good fight in this regard is Durban-born Michael Lowman, who has been winning the attention of people in high places on both sides of the pond, based on the strength and authenticity of his songs alone.

“I don’t think that there’s enough of this kind of music anymore. I don’t think there’s enough of the singer-songwriter who’s sincere, with no gimmicks, just a story. I wrote all these songs myself and they all mean something very special to me. It’s all just brutal honesty and a guitar,” he said. 

Having lost his father at an early age, and being raised in a house of women, Lowman picked up the guitar around the age of 17 and began writing songs shortly thereafter. Fast forward a few years, while living in Durban, Lowman started posting videos of himself performing his songs on YouTube. These soon caught the eye of Los Angeles record exec, Scott Austin (formerly of Maverick/Warner Bros and Capitol Records). As the head of independent label, Authentik Artists, Austin was focused on recording emerging artists and securing film and TV placements for their songs, and was immediately captivated by Lowman’s sound. 

On his own steam, the young singer-songwriter made his way over to the United States and set about recording his first extended play (EP). 

The EP earned Lowman a slew of high-profile TV placements, including spots on the Kardashians’ show, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, but a VISA complication sent the young performer headed back to South African shores. 
This all-too-brief brush with glory could have proved a devastating blow to his career and might have left his loyal Stateside following distraught. Instead, to the delight of local listeners, it put him on the radar of Universal Music SA, who are renowned believers in underdogs and diamonds in the rough. Last year September the label released Michael Lowman’s debut album, Crayon Boxes. 

Michael Lowman performs at Live – The Venue on Thursday, 5 June. Tickets are R50 a person and doors open at 8pm.

What things don’t you like doing? Name two.

Laundry. Waking up early. Who needs these things, right?

Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted?

The time I had to leave Los Angeles to renew my US visa. It was a time in my music career when things were just starting to pick up. All my hard work was finally starting to pay off and to be told no because the piece of paper you hold in your hand has the wrong place of birth on it, was disheartening, to say the least. But we carry on pushing, we carry on the hustle, and here I stand.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?

I think the correct question is: “What don’t I think about when I’m alone in the car?”

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

An adventure I had with my dad. It involved an airplane, a massive hail storm and just the two of us. He died when I was very young, so it really hits home. Though it’s one of many strong childhood memories.

What do you dislike about South Africa?

Our cricket team’s choking mentality. It frustrates us all I think.

What makes you angry?

Manchester United. 

Besides your job, what are you most passionate about?

The written word. My nose is constantly buried in books.

Name one misconception you think people have about you?

That I’m arrogant. I’m not, I’m just really intelligent and witty and handsome and talented and kind and I support Liverpool and… I’m kidding, I’m kidding!

Some advice to people who want to follow your path; what are three things you should never do in this business?

Never fake it. Never look for the quick fix. Never lie to yourself. The rest will come.

What do you envision yourself doing when you turn 80?

Celebrating the release of my 40th album. Another top charting offering.

Rianette Cluley

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