From Michigan to Nashville, Michigander has been showcasing their Midwest indie style across the states.
Jason Singer is the frontman of the group, and it is pretty ironic that his last name is his career. Singer, just like many musicians in Michigan, has always dreamed of headlining in a major city like Detroit and Michigander has that opportunity in April.
From playing at house shows throughout the state to performing at Mo Pop, Michigander has done a lot within the past decade. I first saw Singer perform at Counter Culture in Saginaw in 2015. There were maybe 10 people there, and Singer’s acoustic set proved that there was something special about his music.
- Michigander on Audiotree Live -- 2017
- Midland -- 2018
- Where Do We Go From Here -- 2019
- Everything Will Be Ok Eventually -- 2021
- It Will Never Be The Same -- 2023
What was it like growing up in Mid-Michigan, and how has that impacted the way you view and play music?
J: It was pretty quiet where I’m from. There really wasn’t much of a music scene. I think that forced me to kind of just figure stuff out on my own.
Why did you choose the name Michigander?
J: I chose the name because no matter what happens, I’ll always be a Michigander.
What has been your favorite part about growing as a musician in the Michigan indie scene and then branching out and going on tours across the country?
J: I loved how many different micro-scenes there were around the state. It sort of felt like one BIG scene. Detroit had its thing, GR had its thing, just a lot of different sounds and vibes just depending on what region you were in.
What is the most memorable performance you have given, and which has been the most humbling experience?
J: One of my faves was when we opened for Flint Eastwood at the Fisher Building. I was just starting out, and Jax was always so kind to me. She for some reason, let me and the guys open for this HUGE show. Probably 2,000 people. It was wild. I’ll never forget it.
If you could collaborate with any Michigan artist, who would you choose?
J: Jack White. He’s one of the reasons why I do music in the first place. It would be very surreal.
What song did you write that made you proud?
J: The song “East Chicago” is probably the song I’m most proud of. I wrote that song just for me. I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to like it, but it’s really cool how many people have connected with it.
I know this song is old, but one of my favorite songs of yours is “Mexico.” Can you say why you wrote this song and what it means to you?
J: I wrote this song about when I was living at home with my parents and my brothers were moving out and the nest was becoming empty. It was really sad to watch.
Tell us about “It will never be the same,” how is this album different than your other work?
J: All the songs are co-written with other people. It’s the most collaborative collection of songs I’ve worked on. I also worked with a different producer for the first time. All in all, I think I tried to level up across the board with this EP. I’m really excited for it to be out in the world.
What has the process been like working on it in a now “post-pandemic” period of life?
J: I think being able to be with people more has really lit a fire in me to collaborate with more people. I think that’s probably why there are so many people behind these songs.
What do you hope listeners will get out of this album?
J: I hope people find these songs comforting for where we’re at right now. I hope people make a lot of memories to these songs. So 10 years from now when, they play the songs it transports them back to now.
What would that setlist look like if you performed on Tiny Desk?
J: If it was right now, I’d play “Superglue,” “Stay Out Of It” and “East Chicago.”
Can you tell us what it’s like being a musician from Michigan living in Nashville?
J: I love it. There are so many people from Michigan living down here, it feels so much like home. It has been a really cool change. Plus, there is a lot less snow.
You can catch Michigander at St. Andrews Hall in Downtown Detroit on April 15 at 7 p.m. Click here to view available tickets.