Guest editor and Atlanta magazine intern Caitlin Fischer spent a few minutes speaking with former Buckhead resident and American Idol contestant Michael Johns. Fischer is a rising senior at Moravian College.
American Idol season seven contestant Michael Johns walked away with an eighth place finish during the show, but his career has been soaring ever since. A native to Australia, Johns moved to Georgia at nineteen. He had a passion for music, inspired by the soulful sounds of artists such as Sam Cooke that he heard growing up. Johns got his start playing live music in Buckhead venues such as CJ’s Landing and The Tin Roof. He has come a long way from small live performances, but is grateful for every moment of success.
Tuesday, he released his debut album, entitled Hold Back My Heart. I found some time to catch up with Johns. After my opening question, I realized that Johns is a humorous, down to earth guy. When I asked what Hold Back My Heart meant, Johns answered, “I’m very sensitive,” paused, and then laughed vibrantly. I might agree that he does sound sensitive, with a smooth, laid back tone, and an Aussie accent.
Johns described the tracks on the album as having a rock/soul vibe. He said this album got back to the kind of music he loves. When I asked what track he was most proud of, there was little hesitation. “This is Goodbye,” is the song that he swears he listens to every day. He also admits that he often feels surprised that the sound streaming through the speakers is something he produced. “How the hell did that come out of my head,” he questions. Clearly, this is one artist who is not letting fame get to him.
Johns also has much love for Atlanta. When I asked if he would be performing anywhere in Atlanta this summer, he sounded disappointed. “I want to. I haven’t been back. This is my longest stretch ever. It’s ridiculous. My ties to Atlanta are very strong; hopefully I can get back ASAP!”
You can check out Johns’s new album at our Georgia iTunes store.