Since the age of three, Michael Lanza has been playing the violin classically; since age 12, he has been playing the saxophone; since age 14, the guitar; and, most recently, he has been teaching himself Hip-Hop and Pop production techniques. It comes as no surprise, then, that the music in “Touch” (2017) is very well composed.
The arpeggio synth that creates the first sounds of “Touch” certainly is an obvious choice when one considers Lanza’s background in classical violin. The attention to detail throughout the song is an obvious by-product, down to the tiny tambourine sample at the end of the first chorus. It is, in fact, a very well produced pop song. That it is a debut amazes me.
The lyrics and vocals, both written and performed by Lanza, are also pop inspired. The word “rise”, coinciding with the rising piano melody, of course elicits sensations of weightlessness that continue with the piano’s chord progression and Lanza’s rather high vocal range.
What surprised me most is that, for someone with such a technical background, the track lacks a certain boldness. It is very understated, and that makes for exceptionally easy listening… but I wondered if this is what we can continue to expect from Michael Lanza. I managed to speak with Lanza about the single and about his plans for creation in the future. Excited but calm, he tells me that he “would like to introduce violin samples after a couple of singles” and I get the impression that he is a little blown away at the interest he as managed to garner across the UC Berkeley campus.
Lanza studies Chinese Language & Culture at UCB and tells me that if he could weave Chinese influences into his future music by writing Chinese lyrics to his American music, he would love to. Bringing live American pop music to a Chinese audience is a personal goal of Lanza: “I think it’s a market that’s frequently overlooked by English speaking artists simply because of a large cultural gap, I would love to be able to perform in China!”
Now, that would be bold.
Written by George Green