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Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris or home, but I want to go home because this place sucks. I should have that. That should have been the lyrics. Michael Blue Brain.


The smoothest singer.


In town. It's the King of Christmas. Have a holly, jolly Christmas. Everything I did was music. I would listen to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darren, Dean Martin. I don't know why I just do to emulate them. And then I would steal it all. Because if you steal from one person, you're just a thief. But when you steal from everybody, it's research. But there's 10 years of clubs, 10 years of every agent saying the exact same thing. We will never sign you. But the reason I didn't stop in those 10 years was because if the right person sees me, I am one of the greatest entertainers on Earth. I play 50,000 people. And if there's one looking at their watch, I will play to that man. I'm not leaving here until I break you. Well, I'm feeling good. But in a moment, my son's cancer diagnosis was a sledgehammer to my reality. And I remember saying to myself, If we get out of this, if we get out of this, I'm living a different life. And I feel like I'm at this point where I want to do something different.


Michael, you're not going to quit music, are you? I find it incredibly fascinating that when we look at the back end of Spotify and Apple and our audio channels, the majority of people that watch this podcast haven't yet hit the Follow button or the Subscribe button wherever you're listening to this, I would like to make a deal with you. If you could do me a huge favor and hit that Subscribe button, I will work tirelessly from now until forever to make the show better and better and better and better. I can't tell you how much it helps when you hit that Subscribe button. The show gets bigger, which means we can expand the production, bring in all the guests you want to see and continue to doing this thing we love. If you could do me that small favor and hit the Follow button, whatever you're listening to this, that would mean the world to me. That is the only favor I will ever ask you. Thank you so much for your time. Back to this episode. Michael, what do I need to know about your earliest context to understand the way that you are?


Because you are a unique individual personality-wise, talent-wise. Your life is full of uniqueness. So where... What is the oven? Because I always think about humans like an oven. They get cooked in this oven when they're young. What is that oven? What is that environment?


Well, the environment was probably having the most incredible family. And everybody says that. And of course, that's beautiful that people always think their family is the most special. But if you met them, you'd like them all more than me. And then for me personally, I think being the first child who got way too much attention, probably got told like, You're amazing and you're good at everything. It's probably the reason I talk so much. But everything I am, everything I have, every decision I make is based on that family. Even deciding I want to be a singer, this is what I'm going to do it, 13, 14. By the time I was 16, my grandfather was already taking me to nightclubs. When I started playing in the nightclubs at 1819, they were full and I was raw, but they were full, full. People were like, Who is this kid? How did he fill up Babaloo's? Or how did he fill up the Purple onion? Or how did he fill up this theater? Well, they didn't know, but it was my cousins and aunts and my grandparents and my mom calling all our friends and saying, Come to the club.


This was a strange family affair because we had no connections. I wish I had nepotism to lean on, but I didn't. So instead, it took all of these incredible people just loving me and going, Yeah, let's go. I was shocked. I was a fisherman. My great-grandfather immigrated from Italy. He was a shit builder. My grandfather was a commercial salmon fisherman on a saline boat.


That took him away a lot, right?


Your father-Yeah, for sure. Which is something that we understood. It's interesting because who knew that after leaving that life and having that thing where your father's gone quite a bit would be the life that I ended up leading, where I had to be gone quite a bit. The only difference was I could say, Dad, why are you leaving? Then he would say, Son, this is my job. This is how I put food on the table. This is how dad pays for our house and for the holidays that we go on and everything. It changed for me after a certain amount of success, because my kids would say, Poppy, why are you going? I couldn't say, it's to put food on the table, because obviously we passed that point, got very lucky.


How do you answer that question?


I answer it by... Well, I don't just answer it with language, I answer it with action. I have probably... I've probably made my tours, I would say, financially, maybe one of the most irresponsible tours in all of touring. I started a rule where I said I will do three weeks on, two weeks off, two weeks on, two weeks off, so that I could come back or I would literally sit with my wife and she's a tremendous actress and she has a great career and I know how fulfilled she is by it. I would say to her, Let's sit down at the beginning, you and your manager, Pepo, and me and my manager, Bruce, and let's go through the calendar. When are you making those two films? Okay, June, July, I'm done. I come with you and it can't happen if I tour in a financially responsible way.


It's so interesting to me because I'm coming into that phase of life now. I'm going to be starting a family soon and I'm going to be getting married. It's interesting to hear from you about the trade-offs you have to make and you have more experience in both sides of the cost and the benefit of those trade-offs. Did you miss your father.


Growing up? Oh, man, of course I missed my dad. I remember I used to... And you know it's interesting because I am so lucky to have been born when I was born because my nights on tour are away from them. Like tonight, I mean, last night, for example, last night was doing a Zoom, and they put their iPad in their room, and I sat with them and I watched a Christmas movie. They ate popcorn and Poppy was there. I was just there. They were walking around and wrestling. It's really strange to say this, but I did this thing. Have you ever heard of Calm? Yeah, the app. The Calm app? Yeah, I know the founder, Michael. I used to listen to this Calm app to go to sleep. My wife hated it. -same with me and my partner. I was on the Graham Norton show, and Matthew McConaughey was a guest. I was so excited. Graham was like, Why are you so excited? Everyone loves McConaughey. He said, Hold on, no, I love McConaughey because my wife would hate it. But every night I'd listen, it's Matthew. Hey, hey, hey. I got a sleep story for you.


I would listen every night and I was like, Matthew, you sleep with my wife and I? I was like, I listened your calm sleep story. He was very good sport and he thought it was funny. Then Com called and they were like, Hey, you wanted a sleep story? I was like, Hell, yeah, I want to do a sleep story. But I didn't know. Last night, every night's the same. We chill and then I put on Poppy's sleep story. Hi, this is Michael. Tonight in this sleep story and the kids just go...


That's so beautiful.


What I was saying about you were asking about my father, Dude, my dad used to carry a sock full of quarters, and every two weeks, he'd come into port and he'd wait in a line at a payphone, and then he'd call. Then he used to... Oh, man, it makes me emotional. I do the same thing now. But he used to... He would leave notes and he'd hide them everywhere. He'd be gone for a month or something. You'd go into a drawer to go get your pencils, and then you'd see the note. I remember being seven, eight years old, and I don't know if you ever did this stuff or maybe I'm just a weird kid, but I remember holding his clothes, being little and just crying, missing him so much. This was the closest thing that I would get to him. It's crazy that as life went on, I became, Dude, I'm him. Thank Jesus. Thank God I'm him. But I turned out to be my dad.


Your grandad played a huge role in your life, didn't he? Yes, sir.


Grandpa Mitch. Grandpa Mitch, yeah. Huge, massive. As a matter of fact, yesterday I did one of the probably scarier things that you can do in this entertainment business. I was asked to be a surprise guest to sing a song as a tribute to Barry Gibbs and the Bee Gees and his induction to the Kennedy Center honors, which I think is, in my opinion, maybe, if not the pinnacle, one of the pinnacles of Americans celebrating culture. But weirdly enough, my grandpa, he passed away five years ago yesterday. Oh, wow. And so more than anything, I was standing back stage and I could hear my introduction. And I was like, my mouth was dry. In my heart, I could hear my heartbeat and in my ear. I just took a big breath and I said, Wow, grandpa. Okay, this is us, man. This is us. I always think about my kids and say, Okay, be strong. Don't let your kids ever see you weak. Don't let your kids ever see you scared. And weirdly, it just brought this wonderful calm over me. It was really nice, man. It just brought me calm. I went out there and I thought I killed him.


I thought I was very charming. He was my hero, is my hero. At 13 years old, we were always best friends. I don't know why. You know, dude, sometimes certain people you connect and it's like you were made for each other. That was my best buddy. We talked about hockey and we talked about music. Even at a young age, I was fascinated by the Great American Songbook. I was just... I didn't know how... I didn't understand, and I remember being confused why I was the only one too. How could other people not understand that Nat King Cole is that unbelievable? What's wrong? How could they... How could some of my age not hear Elephant's Gerald and just shit a brick and realize that that is stupid? That's just too good. Or that that gorgeous orchestral arrangement of that song and those horns doing that thing and that swinging. We were like, I know hip hop is great, but no, that beat that I just heard in that Dre's song, that isn't close to being as fat as the one I just heard backing up Bobby Darren. I mean, in Mac the knife, like that's smoking.


-you were one age, though.


-i knew.


-thirteen years old. Oh, dude, even before that. For me, music was... It wasn't even a question. It was a defining part of my the essence of me. Everything I did was music, was just a fascination. It's funny when many times parents go like, My daughter is 14 and she's... And do you have advice? She wants to be a singer. I have advice and it's like listen to as much music and all of it. Go across the board of every genre and download it and process it and steal all of it, steal the best parts of all of it and you will find yourself. But another thing I always say is fantasize. Like, dude, that for me, I would fantasize about being on stage. I would fantasize about seeing in front of the crowd. Every shower was another opportunity to go and fucking kill Madison Square Garden and know that that crowd in the shower was just loving.


Madison Square.


Garden in the shower. You know what I mean? I was 14, absolutely. Thank God there wasn't the voice of American idol. Because if I was 13, I would have been in the shower saying like, Hey, some and check this out.


Did you sound good at that age? Did you have recording?


Yeah, man, I do. I do have recordings. Because I'm wondering how much of your talent is- I have a recording when I'm 14 and it tripped me out because I sound... I don't know if it's good, but-.




The same. -exactly the same. What? I think it was like, It had to be you. I sound like that. I sound exactly like that. The same way. And what's weird is it wasn't like I put on an effect. That's how the voice sounded. And my buddies used to make fun of me. I have one of my best friends, Brad, would be in the bus. And he'd go, There's Boobley singing with that fake voice again. And even today, and he's still one of my literally one of my best friends, and we're drinking beer and he's like, Shut up, man. And he loves to sing too. But I.


Couldn't believe how much your grandfather and your father and your family supported you. When I was reading that your grandfather would trade plumbing work.




You to go and do singing lessons or auditions, etc, or whatever. That's unusual because most parents would go, Oh, my God, my child's singing. That's not.


A career. No, I know. It was uncomfortable, too, because he loved me so much. Listen, dude, my grandpa did more than just trade his plumbing things. He took me to auditions. They used to hire me to go work in the malls and he got me these gigs where they would pay me 20 bucks an hour. Then I would go to the mall with a guitar player and I would like, Bask. I guess it's Basky, is what it is, right? I would go or outside Ed Bask at Granville Island or places and he would just sit. I loved him, man. I didn't care who was listening where I was. I did anything.


What was the first song? The first time you performed in front of people and got a reaction?


The first song, weirdly, was I think it was a Christmas song. Really? Well, it was because it was Christmas Eve. We were coming home from... I've told this story many times, but we were coming home from my grandma and grandpa's on Capitol Hill. I think it was like White Christmas or something. And my little sisters, I would have been 12, maybe 11, 12. My voice was just starting to change. And the girls were in the back. My two sisters, my sisters are great beautiful voices. And they were, I'm dreaming of a white gridman. With every gridman part I write. And I think from the back I went, May your days be merry and bright. And it was like the whole car went, Who? I think that was the first time they were like, What the fuck is that? Where did that just come from? And what's interesting is I think if I really am honest with myself and when I look back, that Bing Crosby was the first... Because that was the first record in that style and that played through the house at Christmas. That was my introduction to big band. That was my introduction to jazz.


That was my introduction to that swinging feeling. Then with that relationship with my grandad, we used to have a shag. He had a green shag carpet and he had a record machine with it. It attached to a cassette machine. We would sit down and we would just... I'm not kidding you, man. Ours. I loved it. I loved it. I used to go with those casettes and a walkman, and I would just sit in bed and I would listen over and over. Then I would listen to each of these singers and I would learn the song for grandpa and grandma, so I could come over the next day and I could sing for him and I'd sit at table with him. But I started to just steal. I mean, steal. Full-on steal. I started to almost impersonate each of them. I would listen to Frank Sinatra with the Pied Piper. There was ways that he would sing, and I would try to emulate. I would sit there and then I would be like I was a record player. I'd come home and Graham would say, Okay, what's today? Stormy weather. I'd say, TheI don't know why there's no sun up in the sky.


Stormy weather. I can't do it now, but and then the next day would be okay, he'd go, Dean Martin, and I'd say, I don't know why I love you like I do. I don't know why I just do. And I would emulate them. God damn. I'd listen to the Mills Brothers. And when I'm saying all of this, you probably have no idea sometimes what I'm talking about. -uncertain. -yeah. The way the Mills Brothers sing, there was this weird... I want to buy a paper door that I could call my own. A doll that other fella. Or Nat. The way he would open up and everything was so... The very thought of you. And I forget to do. And there was all these things that I would just like, Oh, my God, I love that. And then I would steal it all. And I would try to emulate all of it. And then one day sitting with grandpa, I started realizing, okay, I'm starting to, Wow, grandpa, I'm starting to... Wow, grandpa, this is the way I do it now. Taking all those things and-And.


That's what creativity.


Is, right? It is, man. And I've told this story too many times, but I remember the first time I met Tony Bennett. I said, Tony, I'm obviously a huge fan. I've stolen so much from you and Bing and Frank and all of them. And he said, Good. He said, Because if you steal from one person, you're just a thief. But when you steal from everybody, it's research. I thought that was amazing. I've told that a million times, too, but it was everything, man. Elvis was a big part of it. Just all of those things that I loved. But why.


Was your grandfather doing that in hindsight?


Are you kidding me, dude? Yeah. Are you kidding me? It was better than crack.


For who?


For both of us. It's my happiness. It's my passion. It's my thing. I love... He would have died to know that his grandson was continuing the legacy of our heroes. Because if he was being honest, when I played Madison Square Garden for the first time and I said, Did you think I'd get here? He said, Oh, no, definitely not. There's a clip of him on a documentary. He goes, No, I thought you'd be good. Maybe Vegas. But I just think it was because how could I? We were this... My grandpa was a plumber and we were fishermen. We didn't know anybody. We're never going to get to there. We didn't even know we're from Vancouver. We didn't even know anybody. How are we going to get to there?


Your story is not a straight line because you went and worked on those fishing boats as well. It's not just you start.


Singing at 30. My story isn't even a straight line from fishing boats to Chuckie cheese to working at restaurants to singing. There's 10 years of clubs. There's 10 years of me moving to Toronto. There's 10 years of me going into every record company, not getting in the door. There's 10 years of every agent saying the exact same thing. Every manager, I thought they had a fucking note that they would send each other. The note that said, You're really talented. You're a great young kid. We just don't know what to do with you. Over too much. Dude, to a point where I was like, You know what? Okay, I'm 26. It's too late. And in this business, people can say, Oh, 26. Now, dude, it's late. If you haven't been signed or you haven't made a bunch of noise at 26:27, I don't think it's right. I think there should be late bloomers, but it isn't the usual. Like the record companies, they'll be like, Oh, man. I was going to go back to Canada, I was going to go back to Vancouver, and I was thinking about going to SFU or Douglas and taking up journalism.


Even then, once I was in Toronto, I got connected to the Prime Minister of our country who their daughter was getting married, and she asked if I would sing at the wedding because I'd given an independent CD to another guy at some corporate gig I had done. I was like, Yeah, okay. What an honor. She was like, David Foster will be there. This producer who, and he's one of the biggest producers in the world, half a billion or a billion records, I think, Okay, this is my chance. This is the shot for somebody to see me. But even then, after he saw me, this story didn't... It wasn't like... David Foster didn't say, You, I found my guy. He said, Come to L. A. He actually said, You're on my radar now, is what he said. I didn't know that he had another 18 kids that were on his radar. Man, I got, it was good. I was in the atmosphere now. I was closer than I'd ever been to a real guy.


-ten years in.


-ten years in. That could make it.


I have to say, Michael, I think it's very important not to brush past this ten years because that is the no man's land that only passion could make someone wade through. And that is where 99 % of people quit, and it's the bit that no one ever gets to see. So it's maybe the more important part of the journey, which is why does someone continue doing something for ten years of their life when there's no Madison Square Gardens, there's no million dollar checks, and there's no fame and fortune? Because it's a recurring theme on my show. Yeah. I know. That these very, very successful people, they did something which is objectively.




Which is like they gave up their amazing chance of being an academic and they went and played magic on restaurant card tables. I know. You go, comedians. You go, You could have been a lawyer. And now.


That-it's funny. I was going to tell you today. I watched your show religiously, and I was like, what if you just call yourself failure and why it's so great? Because it's like so many of the stories that are told across this table are, I failed. I failed. They said no. Over and over again and over again. I just continue to.


To go forward. These people seem like they had no choice, though. When I say no choice, I mean because of passion.


You might listento me, man. I'm going to say it's going to sound like it directly. I don't want it to be condescending at all. But half of that 10 years gave me humility, gave me appreciation. For when it would happen, I would be appreciative and I would still have humility and I would still be able to be present and aware enough of how lucky I was. But the reason that I didn't stop in those 10 years was because I knew I was the best in the world. I mean, no doubt that if the right person sees me, I am one of the greatest entertainers on Earth, and all you need to do is come into my room and you don't have to pay to see me. You can be there just to drink booze and get laid. But by the end of the night, you'll know.


How do you know that's not delusion?


No, dude. At that point? You know what? I knew because every room I ever walked into, I was such a sensitive, insecure kid, really sensitive. I think that that beautiful kindness and empathy that my family drove into me and my sisters is what made me that man on stage. You understand this. Even now, man, I could play 50,000 people, and if there's one looking at their watch, and I will play to that man. My mission, I love the rest of the 49,999 of you, but you, I'm not leaving here until I break you. I'm not leaving here until you get me. I might not be your cup of tea. I might not be your favorite, but you'll walk away and you'll say, Okay, the kid's better than you. I get it.


One of your kids comes to you and says, Dad, I know. They go, Dad, listen. They sing and it's terrible. Then they go, Dad, I know. This is what I'm getting at. I was like, How do we know we're not just deluding ourselves?


Well, it's interesting you say that because if that was just me sitting in my bathroom mirror and going, I'm amazing. Yeah, I understand that. But it wasn't. It was 10 years. I don't care if it was a shopping mall or a street corner or a nightclub or a bar or a wedding or a funeral. Every room was the same. Every single room was the same.


Why wasn't the industry letting you in?


Why would they? I didn't do anything that was mainstream. I had an indie record. I would do indie festivals. It's so funny, man. I talk about it now. I'm so mainstream, whatever you want to call it, where I could probably... But I was like an Indie act. It was a full-on Indie act. It was like doing weird shit that no one else was doing. I think it was just so outside. Listen, David Foster, that David Foster producer guy I'm talking about, it's funny, he doesn't remember it this way, but I remind him many times that Dave, I said, When are we going to do this? You're going to produce my record. And he said in quotations, I will never produce your record and we will never sign you. Never. He had a very sweet assistant named Neil, who's a beauty, the sweetest kid. And when I see him once, I would see him and he would laugh and he would go, Dude, I remember that I would say to you, just walk away because this isn't going to happen for you. You're not the one. I remember he said to me, he got pissed with me because I again said to him, Hey, man, come on, sign me.


He was like, You need to get out. You need to go. He said, Listen, dude, I told you you're on my radar. You and another 19 kids are... It's just not happening. It's funny because the reason it happened when it came down to it was I was like, What do I need to do? Surely this is not impossible. He went, Okay, it's this much a track and six tracks minimum and- Money.


Money. I was like, Okay. This manager and I literally went back to Vancouver and she was an amazing woman and she went door to door, bank to bank. We found this incredible dude who underwrote and we bought the money. We brought the check. I went to Davids in Malibu and we said, We got it. Here's the money. David's a massive producer. I think it was 100,000 a song. I think for David, I remember sitting up, he had this room in Malibu and he had all the Grammys all over his piano. I remember we were like, We got it. He was like, You got it? It was like, Well, okay. He said, But Warner will get the first write of refusal. Even that wasn't the end of the story. We started making a demo and we ended up going... He got Paul Anca. Do you know Paul Anca? No. Okay, well Paul is... I'll remind you of who Paul Anca is if you don't know. Paul, at 16 or maybe 15, had written a song called Put Your Head On My Shoulder. Put your head on my shoulder or Diana. I'm so young and you're so old.


He wrote another song called My Way. And now the end is near. Huge, massive star. -he was Justin Bieber, okay? Yeah, I know who this is. And he's still a huge star. He's still. But he got involved and then he was like, You don't need that money. My guys will get the money. And for whatever reason, when we started making the record, that deal somehow fell through and David was like, It's over.


The money deal fell through. Yeah, the money deal fell through. And he was like, And it didn't work out and somebody else will do this. I was like, Dude. And there was another producer. He was another massive producer. He's a beautiful guy. He said he took me into the car. I was destroyed because I was this. I was there. I was making the record. I was four songs into making a record. Then it was done. David was like, I'm really sorry, Mike. It's just... It's just not going to happen.


Why didn't you quit like Niall told.


You to? Well, a big deal was Umberto, and he's a Chilean guy and he said, Hey, Buble, man, you need a... He said, I drive you to your apartment. And I was dead. I had it. I was there, dude. It was there in my hand. It was there, and then it was gone. And he drove me home. And I remember he parked. I lived in Westwood. I'd rented this little place in Westwood. Umberto parked the car outside and he looked at me and he said, Okay, Mikelito. He said, David Foster, he's a strong guy, but he doesn't like confrontation at all. He said, Here's what you're going to say to him. He literally told me what to say. About three days later, David had brought me and hired me to do something, I think it was for Kenny G and his wife at the time, had an anniversary party. I said, David, can I speak to you? He said, Okay. I took David to this other little room beside the banquet hall and literally regurgitated word for word what Umberto had told me to tell this guy. David was my hero, right? David is a scary guy.


When you're you're looking, Wow, this is... Basically, the gist of the conversation was, we have done something incredible. We have four or five songs here that are, you know, they're amazing. Please give me one opportunity to go to Warner Brothers Records and to speak to the President and play my case. And if he doesn't want me, I will never, ever bother you again. You'll never hear from me again. You want me to show up and do stuff for you, I'll do it, but I'll never ask that question again. He was like, Okay, and I don't think he did love confrontation. I remember he called me about a day, two days later, and he said, Let's see what a 26-year-old kid knows about the record business. I went into Warner Records in Burbank, probably the scariest day of my life, of my life. Of my life and wood-building. I look up on the wall and its prints and Tom Petty and Madonna and Red Hot chili Peppers and like. Holy shit. I sat in the meeting with Wally, told him Wally is the President, and he's like a real good looking dude. Imagine like Eric Stoltz or something, but as the executive.


He sat down in the office and I think he said, Well, why should we sign you? We have Sinatra and Raprice. I think it's one of the first things he said.


Sinatra and.


Raprice, what does that mean? Raprice was a subsidiary of Warner that Frank had started. They had Frank on the label. They had Sinatra on reprieve. He said, Why should we sign you? We have Frank. Must be like getting to the Pearl Gates and having one opportunity to get in. I said, With all due respect, Mr. Wally, Frank's dead. Don't bury the music. I said, I will keep it alive. I love it. I cherish it. I will break my ass for you. I will go out there and I will will this to be great. He sat, he listened to the four demos. Then two days later, I had flown my grandfather down to L. A. It's funny, when I walked out with David that day, I say, Thank you, David, for putting your balls on the line for me like that. I said, So what do you think? He looked at me and he said, I think you did a great job. But Mike, I have no idea what that man is. He had no idea. Hetotally honestly, I don't think he had any concept when we walked out of those doors what Mr. Wally was going to say.


Then two days later, I flew my grandfather down. I said, Grandpa, I can't do this. I need you, man. He flew down to L. A. In that little Westwood apartment, and I was down on the treadmill. The door flung open, and he and the manager at the time, Bev, opened the door and they were just crying. I said.


Come on, come upstairs.


Come upstairs. Come upstairs. We took the elevator up and I grabbed the telephone and said, Hello. David said, Hey, Mike, man. I said, Hi, David. He said, Hey, Mike, man. I want to welcome you to Warner Brothers Records, and I want you to know we have your back and you're never going to have to worry again. It was like, man, it was... I don't know. But again, dude, it sounds like that's the end of the story, but that wasn't the end because the record came out and it was awesome. But I believe I debute at 198 on billboard. I had a manager named Bruce Allen. He was known as one of the greatest manager in the business and still is. He said to me, Kid, you're an American signed act, but you're not killing it. There's not a ton of interest. He said, Would you consider going to Southeast Asia and Africa? I was like, Yeah, I'll go anywhere you want. And I did, dude. I just started going to all the... And man, that's where it happened. I made it. My first big hit was in the Philippines, South Africa. I started to do pretty good.


I'd sold a couple of million records, and my manager, Bruce, would call and he would say, Hey, kid, you want to go to Germany? I'd say, What's in Germany? Well, they got about eight journalists there and you'd be singing in the Hyatt lobby. Doing a showcase. I guess there might have been a thought at even that point, maybe that's beneath. I was like, No, shit, man. Go, yeah. I did it, dude. I just went literally, man. I did that in all over Asia, Switzerland, Germany. Dude, you named the country, and I shut up and did a showcase.


What age were you when you thought, Shit, this is big now.


Probably probably 30, 20, 29. It's happened late for me, man. This whole thing happened late. I was, for what is the norm? Yeah, man, I didn't know what... I had my first taste of fame at maybe 28.




Is so-It was in the Philippines. I went to get sushi at a mall in Manila. There was a security guy who was like, Don't go without me. I was like, Yeah, sure. I went and went and bought sushi. Then all of a sudden, I was surrounded by all these beautiful Filipinos speaking Tagalog and asking for pictures. I remember he was really pissed with me. He was really upset that I hadn't taken him to security. I was like, Why? I don't need security. Then he took me. We went up to my room and I was like, Dude, I'm sorry. That was crazy. This is crazy. I feel like a fucking Backstreet boy or something. They were there. I remember that he opened the curtain and this curtain opened and it was a building facing us. Dude, the full building was just my face. You're true. Yeah. I was like, Oh, shit. I understand now. But dude, it was so new.


When you've had to fight to get there for, say, 14, 15, 16 years, whatever it is, is there a part of you that is innately scared of losing it in a way that someone who just got it like that might not appreciate?


Yeah, there was. For sure.


There was, man. And does that result in work holidays?


There is for all of us. There is for you. I'm sure you sit and go like, I'm kicking ass right now, but you know what? Well, you know why? Because naturally, everything that goes up must come down. There is no career. I don't care if you're a school teacher or you're a doctor. Nothing just continues to go. You have to understand that there are peaks and valleys and that there are times when you might not be the hottest, but those are the times when you continue to stay true to the brand. You don't panic. It's hard not to panic. I was talking about Paul Anca, but Paul is very sweet. He'll call me just out of the blue and he'll go like, Hey, dude, you're the man. Don't trip. Whatever you're feeling, if you're feeling it's up or down, just keep doing your thing, man. Be true to yourself. Don't panic. And it's beautiful. It's a beautiful... Listen, for me, having four kids and a wife that is my favorite human being in the whole planet, it makes the process of that worry easier because it's funny, dude. I was terrified yesterday at that event.


I'm terrified, man. I want it to be great and scary to be in front of your peers. That's something you know is so important. This morning I woke up and I was brushing my teeth and I was on FaceTime with my wife and the kids. She said, Okay, how are you? How do you feel? I say, Listen, Louis, I said, faith, number one, my family, number two, and my career, a really distant third. For me, I'm blessed to really feel that because, of course, I get scared, man. I don't want to lose it. There's a million ways to lose it. But I also haven't put all of my eggs into that one basket.


Has it always been as clear the priorities? No, man, no.


Of course not. Absolutely not. And by the way, there can be times where my false self allows that to change.


My false self?


Yeah, my false self. I would say the ego. I should read more Eccartoli and Power of Now and tells stories about the hockey team that I'm a part owner of the Vancouver giants. He talks about the ages, how substantial that is. But he is a big part of my life too. By the way, practicing to get to this place where it's really easy to let your fears and your false self give you these negative messages. It was helpful for me to understand that I could control that, not allowing those negative things to get a hold of me.


One of my deep, I think, existential fears is that I'm not going to have my priorities in the right order and I'm going to find out too late. I've said this a few times on the show. I'm scared that as a guy who's spent 12 years building businesses and pursuing success in whatever form, that life is going to tell me, Steve, at the moment when you needed to have your priorities in order, they weren't. Or maybe you want to have a family or a wife or something. What was it that changed, illuminated the true nature of what your priorities should be?


Listen, like I said to you before, this whole thing starts with family. I have never been so out of touch because I have too good of a family. My mom and dad are just... They're just too beautiful people and my grandparents. Listen, I may not do it, but I know what the difference is between right and wrong and putting ego first. I don't want to get too deep into it because it's not that it is uncomfortable for me, but my son has his own life and his own story. My son's cancer diagnosis rocked my world. It pulled the curtain from over my eyes. I don't want to get deeper into it, but I can tell you that I don't think that I had what you're talking about. I don't think I had context. That was a sledgehammer to my reality. I will never be carefree again in my life, and that's okay. It is a privilege for me to exist. That pain, the fear, the suffering that comes with those things, I guess it's part of that beautiful, this life. But if I wasn't clear and I wasn't clear, and it's interesting because when it actually happened, I was going through, I think, a crisis.


Like, really, the crisis that you're talking about. I don't think I had my priorities straight. My family was always a love of... I think I don't think I was a terrible guy, but dude, it was a blinders career, ambition. How do I become the baddest, biggest, best? More ego, more power, more money, more... And on Halloween, however many years ago that was, dude, it's like life was lived with a curtain in front of me, like a filter. And the moment that they said, This is what's happening, that reality hit me. Filter gone. I mean, in a moment, in one moment gone. I went, Okay, this is it. This is life. This is it. This is what's important. That's when... It's not like I thought about it. I didn't. There was no time to process it. It was you have your priorities. This is what your priorities are. This is what your priorities must be in order to be happy in your life. And it is.


I just can't imagine.


Yeah, it's faith, family and...


A member of my family got diagnosed with a very similar illness. I remember where I was and where I stood when I got that call in. Again, I'd been running just in my own little world, hadn't called them in a while. I wasn't really in touch with them. Then in that exact moment, it made me realize the true reason why I do what I do, and that my life should never have been so focused on self in such a way, if that makes sense.


Yeah, of course. Absolutely. Dude, I remember being at CHLA. I remember peeing in a stall. I know it sounds weird, and it's not sexy, but I remember just sitting in the stall, standing there.


The Children's Hospital?


Yes, sir. I remember closing my eyes and saying to myself, If we get out of this, I'm living a different life, a better life. And I did. I made that promise to myself in a moment. I want to be kinder. I want to be more empathetic. I don't ever want to allow that ego and that false self to take over. I want to know how lucky I am. And dude, I'm a lucky man. I look at my wife, it's like, How did that happen? How did I get this incredible human being who is the best of all of us to lead me through and carry me through these things? Yeah.


I was just thinking about... Goes back to what I was saying about how I don't want life to show me my priorities, especially as it relates to my romantic relationships where you can end up in divorce court or you lose something and then you think, Fuck, what are all these gold coins worth?


No, but I have the dude. It's funny. We've all had those moments too. Listen, much younger I had that moment where I was like, oh, dude, do you like you? Do you trust you? Do you respect you? Then I was like, if you don't.




You're expecting that person to or any person to, maybe you're asking too much. I hope we're allowed to look at ourselves in the mirror. Man, it's so easy to lie to other people, but it's even easier to lie to yourself.


-i'm a little harmful.


Dude, it's so easy. I hope everybody has the chance to figure out your way to do it. I don't know what it is or how you get there. If you need medicine or mushrooms or whatever it is, but to look in the mirror and to go, These are the things that I think I suck at. I really do. I hope within us there's an opportunity for all of us to have that self-diagnosis and honesty and they go, Yeah, I can do better than that.


I, on this podcast, so many times I've spoken to parents about grief, but I've never really shone a light on just the trauma of going through moments like that, and really the blast radius of knock on effects to that person's life that it can have, implications to their mental health. Your son, Noah, is it Noah? Yeah. I've got four wonderful kids, I hear, is doing great. -ten years old?


-ten years old?


But for all the priorities and the curtain that it pulled back, is there still a healing process there that needs to have it happen that you typically see similar to grief, if you know what I'm saying?


Oh, no, because you already, I think any parent. Now I've had such great relationship with so many parents and people have not just come through this. Listen, man, going through any thing with... You're not going to get away without it, man. I don't know if you have already, but-I haven't had kids yet. No, I'm not talking about kids. I'm talking about your siblings or your mom and dad. We're all going to go. I mean, it's just a part of life. It takes a piece of us. Like my grandpa, man. I miss my grandpa every day, but that's just life. That's a part of life. I don't know that any of us even have the capacity to deal with it. I think it's why obviously we move to faith. Something feels good about hoping that there's something more.


But men in their mental health, we don't talk about these things.


No, dude, you must be soft. Don't be soft.


And no crying. I'm guilty of this more than anyone, especially as a CEO. I've been a CEO since I was 18 and I had hundreds of employees. I felt like I couldn't flinch.


Yeah. Can I ask you, how do you... Because you are a brand now, man. I know you're a beautiful, nice guy, human being, but dude, there's a brand. It's a brand. I know you have people on your team, and I know you have a team that they come to you and say, We'd love you to do this. Your team goes, goes, you can't do that. That is off-brand.




How do you... Are you able to... Because you're in the wave, man. That tidal wave is moving, but you're inside it. You got all your people on top and they can all see. How do you deal with it? What do you do? Do you feel it? Do you think you're self-aware enough to know what the brand is or how to protect it or how to move it forward?


I think it comes back to this point about authenticity. You know when something is you and when it's in line with you and you know when you're abandoning yourself, there's some signal inside of me that goes, You know, this isn't right. Especially if someone offers you a lot of money to do something, you're like, Oh, God. I know that's not me. Fortun-go ahead. I was going to say this shows a good example, which is a good question, is what are the sponsors? The sponsors are companies that are in line with my values. My Zoe, the products that I... I'm a shareholder in those companies. They're a sponsor of the podcast and I'm in the team. Yeah. That's a good example of it, whereas some brands aren't aligned. Yeah, I.


Think what I meant even more than just brands is like, you don't understand. I'm two different people, right? Who's the other guy? Well, the other guy is this is me. I'm Michael Bourneay. I'm an idiot who is, I think, sweet and...


Sweet guy. I'm Matt. A little bit. Well, I did the other guy.


From stage. That one, that's a completely different dude. That guy, that's Michael Bourneay. This is on Mike, fantasy football, hockey loving idiot who is a bigger idiot than you're seeing here. I'm a little bit more of the suit guy. Oh, fuck. Yeah, man. Bigger? I would say closer to Michael Scott from the office. But dude, every night I go and I put on this suit. And then when I walk out on stage, I become the guy that I always wanted to be. He is so cool in Teflon and he says all the right things and nothing can... I can be goofy, but there's an other.


I mean, can I meet him?


Oh, dude, you're going to meet him. You're going to meet him. I'm going to make sure that the whole world meets him. For 20 years I have done the same thing. It's been cyclical. Michael Wrightson makes a great record and then I go and I promote it. I go to 40 countries and promote it, and then I go and tour for a year and a half. And for 20 years, it has been write it, promo it, tour it. And I feel like I'm at this point of my life in my career where I want to do something different. Listen, again, music will never, it will always be my happy place and my love. But I need time to do some other stuff, man. I need time to challenge myself and to wake up and go, Yeah, this is different and fun. And it's really about being that other guy, not the suit guy.


Being Mike.


Being Mike, man. And doing that, whether that's in movies or television or whatever it is, it has to happen now. Why? Because, dude, this is my favorite part of me. And I'vet never really... It was just too good. All the other stuff was so... Because I love the other stuff. I love touring. I love making money doing that. That's amazing, dude.


What's the symptoms in telling you that you should do more of Mike and less of Michael?


Well, just that honestly, truly, the excitement of doing something different. Yeah, it's time to take that challenge. It's time to take that trip. And I know it's there. The same way I told you that I had so much faith in knowing like, Hey, man, I think I got a pretty good voice and I'm a good entertainer. If I do this, I have the potential to really have fun doing that at a level I think I can do.


For the challenge as well, for the pursuit of-.


Yeah, it's fun to wake up and go like, You know what? Instead of that same cycle, I'm going to do the record, make the record, sell the record. The musical, again, will always be there, but I need to express myself in a different way for me, man. It really isn't for them. It isn't for the audience. It's for me.


But is there a moment where something happens? Because I'm trying to put this into my world or whoever's listening to world. Is there a moment where you wake up to and you go, I'm just a little bit less excited and it's just fallen below the level of excitement that I need to do this again?


No, because, man, honestly, genuinely, I love being out with I love making... Dude, the music is just... It fills me up with happiness. The second, I just did a corporate gig the other night with my boys, and that band has been with me for 20 years. They're my brothers, man. I get up there and it's like I'm home. It's fun, it's fulfilling, it's everything. But dude, I'm as fulfilled in acting. When this tour started to wrap down and I was like, you know what? I want to have fun doing something a little different.


Everyone can relate to that in their own context because when you have a comfort zone, per se, something you're really good at, and then you have the rewards also will align with the thing that you've developed mastery in. It's very easy to spend a decade doing or two decades doing that thing and wake up one day and go, shit, I'm a lawyer. Why am I a lawyer again? Because it paid really well and I did good at it. But that doesn't necessarily mean it'll make you happy, right?


Totally. I think the branding stuff definitely had an impact where all of a sudden we want you to come and sing something. It was like, we want you. We want Blue Brain. We want Blue Brain to do a Bubbly commercial or we want Blue Brain to show up and do an Asda commercial or we want you to be the face of our thing. We want you. I was like, okay, well, what do I sing? They were like, No, we don't want you to sing. We want you to be your idiot. I mean, that Asda ad that I just did, I don't know if you've seen it, that was like getting to sit with Tyca Wattidi, who's one of my favorite directors and writers of all time, and to have him direct this thing. I had so much fun and it wasn't singing. It was just... It was literally... We had this talk about the concept and we were like, What if I'm this... I was like, what if... He said to me like, Dude, dude, what if you're the head of quality control? And I was like, Yes. And I think I know what exactly, but I'm an asshole who has no idea what I'm doing.


But egotistically, I'm... And he understood exactly what I was going for and we laughed. It was like three days of us just laughing, laughing at ourselves, laughing. And that just I was so happy. And it's like another reason why I'm like, Man, this is my personality. This is me.


Where did you go for support, Michael? When you're struggling or when you're trying to figure out these impasses in life, have you ever been to therapy? Do you speak to each other?


Yeah, I've been to therapy, but I don't know. I don't know what to say, man. I don't know if it worked for me. It felt good to talk about stuff. But then after about four times, I was like, Am I bullshitting right now? Am I just telling her something just to fill up the hour because I went through my big stuff and the therapy doesn't feel like it worked very well. Amen for me. Listen, my relationship again with God and that brings me far more satisfaction. And so that for me, and by the way, and like my wife, like being able to say to my wife and I'm so honest with her, I'm like, Hey, dude, I'm not doing good with this thing. And she's like, Well, stop being an idiot.


My partner is, I think that's part of the role of being a wonderful partner, is that.




Call you.


On your question. Oh, God, I love you that you're opening it. Are we allowed to.


Drink this? We are allowed to drink it if you want to drink it.


My morning just got way better.


I just found this on the floor. No, I didn't really. Fraser and Thompson. Yes, sir. This is a whiskey brand that I'm holding in my hands that you have built in a building with an incredible team of whiskey experts.


I know nothing.


They've told me that you're driving this business and incredibly involved, which.


Is atypical. Yeah, I'm involved in this. But what do I know about whiskey?


No, I don't know. What do you know about Fraser and Thompson?


Listen to me. I know that if you don't know what you're doing, you hire and bring in the greatest people in the universe who literally hold your hand and tell you what to do. You know that when you find a guy like Paul Circa, who is one of the greatest whiskey connoisseurs in the world, and then you ask him how big his brewery is and he tells you idiot is called a distillery, not a brewery. You realize that you don't know what you're talking about.






Is you. You worked with Paul... Pfludomoliex, but this is you. You want to know what? Three years, dude.


We worked three years. -three years. I tell you what, I worked three years because I wasn't going to be part of something that I didn't love. And the truth, man, we tried to reverse engineer a whiskey for people that may not love whiskey. I know that there's high fallute and fancy, dancey whiskeys that we can talk about the okayness of the barrel. They've been aged 47 years and this isn't that. This is an approachable drink that truthfully I love. And as you're opening it, my mouth is going like... My wife loves it and my friends all love it and all the whiskey snobs I know like it and I'm so proud of it. Paul Circa, you don't know who that is, but he's a star.


I read about him.


He's the super genius. Three years and I was a pain in the ass and I drove them all crazy.


I was researching photos of you and Paul and seeing you down at the distillery, at the Eilidh's brewery. I know. Fraser and Thompson, where does the name come from?


That's from my grandpa. Because when I was a kid, my grandpa used to take us up to camping. In British Columbia, we have the Fraser River. It's like the Muddy Fraser. We have the Muddy, Thompson, which is Glacier Water. They come together in this beautiful confluence. The truth is that it was in tribute to my grandfather, but better than that is they said to me, We have the juice, now we need a name. There was all these stupid ideas like and then and serenade and blue and all these musical things. Every time I come up with a good one, like some of them I thought was real cool and sophisticated, they'd be like, That one's taken. Finally, I was like, You know what? Why don't I just pay tribute to my grandpa, who is my guy? It's funny, man. If you look on the bottle, there's all these little hidden Easter eggs like his birthday is on there.




On? Yes, sir.


Born at the Fork of Two Rivers, Fraser and Thompson.


Yeah, and doesn't it just sound so good? The branding, you've nailed it. No, you have because there's a story there and it's a very authentic story. But the smell...


Yeah. You know what I really like? I actually pour out a little bit of the bottle and then I take like this. I take like brown sugar, I mix it up and I put brown sugar in there with vanilla and a little bit of bitters. Then I smash an orange and I just put it in the freezer. It's weird because my wife was never a whiskey drinker. But again, that's what it was for. It was to make an approachable, delicious whiskey for everybody. You know what I really like about it? We were talking about money. I was really happy that we could come up with what it was. I think it was like $35, $40. I was like, That is great value because my dad, as a fisherman, he talks about value all the time. Because even in my ticket sales, he's like, Son, if you just bring them, if you give them value for their they'll come back. If they feel that they've been ripped off, you'll never see them again. It was part of the whole thing.


Are you scared?


Can I drink it a little bit? Yeah. Could you keep touching it? We have a little-Here we go.


Here we go.


Am I scared of getting wasted with you at the deal?


No, it's like a reinvention, isn't it? It's a new mountain to climb building a whiskey company.


What's nice is you're talking about brand. It's so me, dude. It's just like... It's an easy thing, it's me. And again, you know how we were talking about the challenge of it? We were talking about the challenge. This isn't just me.


This is.


My wife. We're partners. This is my best friend Ron, my dad, my manager, Bruce. We're all like, This is our thing. It was like part of that thing of like, What can we do that's fun and new? It would be really nice to make a gillion dollars to you.


I have a feeling it's going to do extremely well because it has all the cool components of just a beautiful brand and product. I mean, it's gorgeous in every respect.


I'm sorry, man. I don't even know what to say. You know what? I hate selling shit. Can I be honest with you? I really do. I feel itchy. I just hope people will go and however they need to do it, get it free. What do you want them to do? I want them to just try it. I feel like if people just try it, they'll go like, Blue Brain. Blue Brain. You don't suck. Actually, one of the first things I did was called Ryan Reynolds. Oh, yeah. Because this company is the same. These my partners are the same as Ryan with his aviation gin, right? I called Ryan and I was like, Ryan, what do I do? He was like, Mike, just have fun, dude. Like, have fun. I was like, Ryan, but I don't know what I'm doing. He goes, You don't have to know. Let thelet the other people that are helping make it and let them know what they're doing. He said, Just have to just be yourself and have fun.


It's really incredible. You know, one of the things I always think about people that become really successful, I always wonder if it's a curse in a way, because you've been such a successful artist. I mean, your Christmas record was released in 2011.


I'm so sorry about that.


I'm told it is one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century. Isn't that crazy?


You know, it's cute. Yesterday when I was on the bus, I was driving to the White House because of the Kennees, my first time. I think I was the only Canadian. And Sigourney Weaver was behind me and I was sitting with Sheila East End, and there was all these fancy people on the bus. Is we were out on the bus and we got to the White House and the first thing that I heard was me going, Have a jolly Christmas. It's the best time. I was like, Oh, shit. I am so sorry.


Has that ever bothered you that you were so successful with that Christmas album that you hear yourself.


Every Christmas? No. At first, you know what's funny? About seven years into it, I was like, I was like... Because all I would get was calls it, especially to come October. It was like, if you were a famous person with a movie or a record, you were calling me. I'm not even exaggerating. I would get so excited. It was like, Oh, my God. This, oh, my God. My hero's called. Are they going to ask me to be in the film? Are they going to duet? And it would be like, So we're doing a Christmas. And I'd be like, Oh, shit. It's actually funny. Jack Whitehall. You know Jack? Yeah. He called me the other day. He's like, Mike, I have this idea. I was like, You're going to say Christmas, aren't you? He was like, Yes. I was like, Jack, dude, it's interesting. We were talking about my son and that moment. But that, again, was an epiphany moment for me where I was sitting in the hospital room and I was like, Oh, my God! I am now synonymous with this beautiful time of year where people don't treat each other like assholes. And there's kindness and goodness.


I get to be a part of this. And then people invite me into their homes at a time that is everything to them and their connection with the people they love and their memories. And then I started getting deeper and I was like, Oh, my God. Oh, my God. The people aren't going to remember shit when I die. They're not going to remember Home or the duet or this whiskey.


Home is my favorite song.


Excuse me. You know what I mean? But it goes. You know what I mean? I'm like, Dude, 200 years from now, I am dead as in dead. People are going to be singing, Have a jolly Christmas. I'm going to be there.


It's so cool. It's so fucking tight. It's so cool. I associate you with great memories, good times. I have to say, Home is my favorite song.


Oh, dude, I love you. Thank you.


I was in karaoke before you came an hour ago, and I said, put the- Are you joking? Really? No, it's on video. That's amazing. I went, go on YouTube. I went, put on Michael Blue Blay Home, and I had a lyric video. We're going to do karaoke. There was four of us. I was the only one singing and I can't sing. But I sang. I know every word. I know every word of that song. Thank you. What's your favorite song?


Of the.


Christmas stuff? No, no, no. Of anything? Yeah, no. Songs that you sing and that you... Yes, songs that you sing.


Song that I sing of the standards?


Either your own or someone else's? Oh, my God.


There's so many.


Just one.


It's impossible. -it's impossible, man. It's impossible. Could you sing some home.


For me?


Home? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris or Rome, but I want to go home because this place sucks. I should have been the lyrics. It's so weird not to get too deep and too weird, but I have this friend, Dionne, and I love doing his accent. He's South African. And before I wrote that song, I remember he used to say, Oh, my God, Poachik. He's from South Africa. He'd say, Oh, my God, you know what? The greatest artists in the world just opened up their mind to the universe and they let the universe in. So when you're writing, just open up your mind to the universe. I was in the shower and I was like, You know what? I'm going to open up my mind. It's so weird. But I was like, Enter. I think, weirdly enough, for whatever reason, I had like, Cannon and D in my head. I just went, Another summer day has come and gone away. In Paris, room, but I want to go home. And the whole, literally, almost the whole, I mean, that and the pre, boom, in two minutes. I remember getting out of the shower with a towel.


In those days, we didn't have the iPhone or anything, right? I had one of those little tape recorders. I remember singing a tape recorder and listening back and going, Oh, no, I've most definitely stole this from somewhere. I stole this from somewhere. It was cool. At that point, too, my record company, they were like, We don't want original songs. You're the frank guy, man. You're going to sing, you're going to sing maybe the standards. I was like, No, I think I'd write. It's weird. Even as I got on to writing other songs, I had the second record, I wrote everything and hold on or lost one of the songs. I remember the president of the label. We were the video shoot for everything and he said, Man, I wish I would have known that you wanted original music because we would have hired writers for you. I was like, Oh, my God, this is terrible. But it's weird, man. I live in a weird place, artistically too. You know what I mean? I don't belong. I never did. I never did. I go to those Grammys and stuff and I would look around and I was not in the pop thing and I was not in a classical thing and I wasn't in a jazz thing.


So many times I was like, early on I was like, What am I? This is weird. I'm doing standards and yet I'm on the radio. It was weird.


Still weird sometimes. I think about this when you say this and I go, but isn't not belonging how you end up doing these numbers? Because if you were more of the same artistically, vocally, you wouldn't have all these Grammys and all the best-selling six multi-platinum albums, five Grammys awards, more billions of streams than I could possibly count. I used to.


Stream myself.


A lot, yeah. But I go, if you were like everybody else, you wouldn't have those.


Achievements and achievements. Yeah, I don't know. It just feels lonely. Sometimes I look at like, I go to those award shows. Even last night at the Kennedy Center honors, I felt like everybody knew each other. They kept high-fiving. And then there was this group of Broadway people that all know each other from the functions they do on Broadway. And there was cool pop people and then there was me. And I was like, I saw Herbie Hancock. I was so excited. I love Herbie Hancock. But I didn't want to go in it. He was talking to Che Rivera and I love her too, and I didn't want to be that guy that went. But you know what I mean? I don't know where. I mean, maybe I'll never know where I freely belong.


But I'm trying to say that that's why you're.


So special. I don't know.


Even with what I do here, I absolutely don't feel like I belong anywhere. I'm not a journalist and I'm not qualified to do this. They don't invite me to the award shows for journalists and media. I'm not invited to them.


How does that work?


I don't know. I don't know where we sit. I don't even know what we are. Are we a podcast? But it's on TV? This is on planes, it's onair. Yeah. You do have that sense of like someone's going to come to you and tap you and go, What are you doing?


Yeah, it's interesting because I feel like if someone asked me about you, I would, in a sentence, be able to define what I feel is-Please give me the sentence. Oh, man. I honestly think watching you and watching this show like I have for years is a perfect mix of education and entertainment. I don't know how else to say it. It really is. It's both things. I'm often highly entertained by what's happening, but at the end, I feel like I was educated. I learned either something that is either ideas or philosophies or sometimes it's literally logistics science. You know what I mean?


I can't tell you how weird that is to hear from you, someone that I've looked up to since I was a kid at home in Plymouth all those years ago watching my TV. As you guys know, I'm an investor in a company called Zoe, and also they sponsor this podcast and they're one of my favorite businesses literally of all time. We're in December now, which is the season of gifting, the season of family gatherings and parties. But what I'll be doing this December is making sure I double down on my health because it's this time of year where I think it's easiest to get distracted and derailed, and that is where Zoe comes in. For many years, I thought we all had the same relationship with food, and now I know that every single person has a different relationship with every single type of food. And knowing the type of food that you have the best relationship with, the food that loves you back, can quite literally change your life. And that's where a Zoe membership comes in. So if there was ever a time to become a Zoe member, it is right now in December.


That rimes. I should have been a rapper. For a limited time only, you can get £50 off your Zoe kit with code CEO50. Keep this to yourself, okay? And this might be the last time that that code is available. Use it while you can. Four kids, Michael. I know. They come to you now, line up in front of you here and they go, Daddy, listen. Just need some advice on this thing called life. You've lived a great life and it's twisted and turned and all those wonderful things. Daddy, what should we know about the nature of living a good life?


I'd say, dude, they ask me. They don't ask me in that way. I was going to say, Jesus Christ. They ask me, and I say, Dude, I'm telling you right now, I have the same answer every time. I say, Rich isn't what you think it is, kid. That word, Rich, that your friends use, Rich, sounds like money and stuff and things and Lamborghinis and tickets to go see Messi. That's not Rich. Rich is having a strong faith. Rich is having a great family and loving your family. Rich is having great friendships because those rich things, they're talking about the money. The people that I know that have the most stuff are the most miserable people that I know. I don't know how else to explain it. Those are all be... It's lovely. Listen, it's easy to say, right? It's easy for somebody watching this podcast to go like, Well, that's easy for you to say, Boobley. You got a bunch of stuff, but it doesn't take long to realize that life has nothing to do with stuff. We're all sitting on that deathbed. We're all going to die, every single one of us. And nobody looks back and says, Shit, I wish I collected more stuff.


What would you regret if today.


Was that day? Nothing, my friend. Not a thing. Not one thing. Not one thing. I have lived a beautiful life, and I have been so blessed. I don't even think it was like I made this. Thank God. I got a great family. I got beautiful. My wife is the best thing I ever loved me. I got kids. I look at my four kids. I was scared to have the fourth one. I was like, Oh, my God. How are we? Then now I look at this little girl, Cielo, and I think like, Wow, how could I ever... How did I live without her? This gorgeous little fat, little beautiful personality. What? Not a thing. It's funny. I said it to my wife many times. God forbid, it's my time. I've said it many times. I would just know that I am completely satisfied. Satisfied. I have lived a full and beautiful life and that I have no regretss. Except that I didn't drink more of this whiskey faster.


Your story is so incredible. The thing that I mean, the perseverance at the heart of your story and where you come from and the fantasizing about the life that you now lead, all of those things are so unbelievably inspiring because there's so many people out there that are then Michael, at 14. Yeah. Maybe they're Michael at 14. Maybe they are that fantasizing, Michael, that was 14, but maybe they're 44 and they're still holding out hope that maybe those dreams, that ballet dancing in the hills of Peru or playing the piano or starting that business, is it too late for them?


No, dude, this is going to sound so cheesy, but dude, it is. I say this to people all the time. I just did a master class thing for these beautiful kids. Under-privileged kids, these underprivileged kids, basically. It was in Orange County and they didn't have music programs in their school. The first thing I said to all of them was I talked about Neil de Grasse Tyson. I said, The greatest scientists on the planet will tell you that nothing cannot make something. Something cannot come from nothing. I mean, I don't care how many times they run the experiment. Something cannot come from nothing. It cannot exist. Yet somehow you magical little beasts walk into a room with absolutely nothing and you walk out with something. You are defying gravity. You are your magicians. Listen, we will be crushed in relationships. Our partners will break our hearts. We will have businesses that fail. We'll have doors shut on us. They'll say no to us a million times. But if you're lucky enough to have something like music or a passion that you really fall in love with, it will never hurt you. It will never leave you.


It'll stay loyal to you. To me, it's a massive gift. It's funny, it's going to sound like a really strange transition, but I love TikTok. My wife said to me, Go on TikTok. I said, I'm too famous to go on TikTok. She was like, You are TikTok. She was like, You will love it. I was like, No, I'm not going to love it. Then I did my stupid TikTok. I did a dumb, whatever it was, the first TikTok. Then I started to like, I was like, Oh, you can go. It's not just about making the TikTok, which I, because I'm an idiot, it was fun. It was about, Oh, wow, you can go through TikTok. Then the addiction began. The addiction wasn't about saying stupid TikToks. The addiction was finding those people you're talking about. That was like, Oh, my God. I don't know where my phone is. Here's my phone. It's in my butt. I could go on to TikTok. -may I do this? -yeah, work it out. This is going to be weird, but okay, here's a good example. There's a girl named Julia Michelle voice. That's what she goes under. I think she was making TikToks from maybe her parents' house or something.


I don't want it. But I heard her voice and I was like, Oh, my God. She has a beautiful voice. I never would have... In the way that our structure of business used to exist.


-and the record.


Labels and stuff. -dude, I never would have heard her. Then there's a girl named Useless Farm who works on a farm where she has emus that attack her. Adam Rose, who is an actor who is... Anyway, I deeply love that I can go on TikTok, and it's exactly what you're talking about, where I see these people and I'm like, Oh, my God, you are you are tremendous. People need to know. And it's funny because now with some of them, it's happening. It is exactly what we were talking about where it was just inevitable, Mr. Anderson. People were going to find out because they're really good. You know what I mean? It's just...


But life just tells you to fucking get your shit together and go get a real job and.


Stuff that stuff around. I know, but I think in this business it might be changing a little bit with platforms like TikTok where I know it sounds so goofy, but like, dude, I love that there's a community. I love even more that I write them.




Write to them? Yeah, man, I do. I write to them as me. I do every day. I love... Oh, my God, dude, that is hilarious. People making fun of me. Can I show you one that I just saw that just -I can see.


People will think it's your agent or something. That's what you're saying, sure, you can imagine.


Let's see if this can work. I'm not great with this.


We're going to just do an interlude while I sing. Maybe surrounded by a million people.


I just feel all alone. I want to go home. Let me go home.


I don't want to sing because.


People are listening. Let me go home. Because I want to dance even though I'm fat in these pants. I couldn't remember the rhyme. I'm so sorry that this is... Here it is. I found it. You never.


Have to apologize.


Okay. Sometimes once in a while, I find stuff like this and I go like, They're geniuses. Like truly geniuses. The tiding says when you change... When you change... When you change the radio station at the wrong time. Tentaclaws is coming down over your face. That was a long lead-up.


What's that?


That's a nice wind-during thing. But dude, I see that and I go like someone thought of that and then shared it. And it was like, I don't even know, hundreds of millions of times people have watched that. That's crazy. I think it's crazy. I think it's beautiful. And I love that I wrote the guy. I said, This is the mashup that I didn't know I needed.


God, imagine getting a message from Michael Blue Blay when you've made something so ridiculous.


That's what the coolest part of what TikTok is, is that it isn't about you. No one gives a shit about me. And by the way, I don't even belong on TikTok and no celebrity really does. I think the only way you belong on TikTok is if you understand what TikTok is, and TikTok is about a community of creators and supporting and laughing and being inspired.


It's the platform that you spent 14, 15 years fighting for. You know what I mean? Before we had social media, there was people like you just singing at restaurants and singing here, there and everywhere, just knocking on doors, pulling someone into a back room in a banquet. Now you don't need to go and attack David in a back room. No.


I think it's funny because it started like I remember Biber, Justin talking to Justin about how, you know what I mean? Or even Ed, even Ed, it wasn't TikTok, but it.


Was-youtube and Bebo. Exactly. Yeah, back in the day. That's where I.


First saw Justin. It's so different now, man. But it's still fundamentally the same business too, where if you can, it's all about live business. If you can do the job of putting people in seats and to entertain them live. Because what's really weird is even talking with my record company, it's like, Oh, we just signed this act. It's great. I go like, Oh, cool. Where can I go see them? They go, Oh, no, they don't... Tour. They don't tour, no. They've never ever played outside of their bedroom. They've never been in front of people. You go like, What? Different, but.


Just what it is. This is not just about music. Look at me. I use the same platforms to build a show. That's true. Do you know what's crazy? No one knows this. No one knows this story. I went to a big radio station in the UK before I started this podcast, and I begged them to give me an audition. I went down there for two hours. They know who they are. I wouldn't name them because.


It was-It was either Sky or it was one or it was BBC or it's- -I won't.


Say which one it was. You want.


To say, okay, yeah.


I went there and.


I did. -capital, somebody. -i walked in. I knew. I knew. I knew.


I sat in there and the guy wasn't paying attention to me pretty much at all. I sat in there, my audition started. The guy that's meant to be judging my audition takes a phone call, walks out, doesn't come back. I'm in there for two hours doing these fake phone calls. I leave the radio station. This was only like three, four years ago. I leave the radio station. I never hear anything. No feedback. No, you did well. You did badly. You were crap. Nothing. Never hear anything. So started a podcast myself, which did well. Then a year ago, the same radio station sent me an email saying, Hey, I would love you to come in and do a little guest thing to promote your book. I responded. I said, I'm still waiting to hear my feedback to the guy. They conducted this internal investigation to find out why nobody ever got back to me.


No way. They really did?


Yeah, they really did, because they sent me an email asking me to come back and do some guest appearance. They asked me to do a guest show or whatever. I came in and did an audition and I still haven't heard back and it's been almost two years now. But we have these platforms where we can do it ourselves, whether you're a podcaster, a singer.


That's what I think I find so cool about it is that there's no more... The gatekeeper is gone. That one guy who... Why was he the gatekeeper? What did he have the... And now it's like, no, no, no. Now nobody likes you but the people. The people get to choose. -exactly, get to decide. Honestly, sometimes I'll watch something and there's no why or reason. It just resonates, man. And you go like, Oh, okay, well, that's the people who have spoken.


That's a vote.


Isn't it? Yeah.


Michael, thank you. Thank you.


We're done?


We're done.


Okay, fine. Now I'm ready for my second cup. I'm starting to feel really good and loose.


I've got one last question for you.


Oh, yeah, go on.


We have a closing tradition where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're going to be leaving it for. Interesting. The question that's been left is, what was your last big fork in the road decision and how did you make it?


It's coming, right? Literally, it's coming. I would say within weeks, and I will make it by speaking to, number one, first thing, I'll speak to my wife, and then I'll speak to all the people that I trust, and I will weigh what everyone says, and then they'll help me make the decision.


It's coming. Michael, you're not going to quit music, are you?


No, I'm not. Never. It's impossible. That's like saying, Are you going to stop breathing, dude? No, I like to breathe, and music is my breath.


I can't stop. Give me a little bit of concern. That's what.


When you said it's coming. Oh, no, don't let it be like that. It's a good thing. Oh, okay. It's just a big decision.


Interesting. We shall wait and we shall see. Yeah. Michael, thank you so much.


Where do I leave my question for the next guest?


In the book.


Oh, I'm so excited. I've got so many. Thank you so much.


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