By Michael Mishler
Mechial White Jr.
Music Production and Recording, Self-Management for Working Artists, 17 years at WCC.
Q: How did you end up teaching at Washtenaw?
A: I was called by a good friend of mine, Johnny Lawrence, who introduced me to Morris Lawrence back in the day. Originally I had done a presentation in a couple of Morris’s classes. He saw me doing some digital music sequencing demonstrations and he invited me to his class to do a demo, where I met Johnny Lawrence, who became the head of the Music Performance department, and just recently retired.
Q: What is your favorite travel destination?
A: I’m kinda all over the place, but I write more music when I’m in big cities like New York and Chicago. DJ’ing has taken me all over the place, like Thailand. That was a lot: long flight and it was really hot. So I prefer big cities.
Q: What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?
A: To continue to write and produce music and get my groove back from when my house was destroyed in the Dexter tornado. That was a big deal in my life, so I’m trying to get back on track.
Q: What is your favorite hobby?
A: Martial arts.
Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?
A: To see the light bulb go off when people get something or hear something they haven’t thought of and they have an epiphany. I like to see the energy come back to people. It’s addictive and cool to watch that.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you?
A: That would be the tornado! It came out of nowhere, I was in the house when it hit, and 20 seconds after I was in the basement when it hit. That changed a lot in my life. Losing everything and starting over has taught me a lot. And I dug my way out with a Samurai sword.
Q: What advice do you give to new students?
A: Explore. Drop your walls, open your doors, look around you, ask questions, find your focus, find whatever raises your eyebrows and makes you go ‘ooh’ or ‘wow.’ Dig more into it, find those people and situations that make you feel good and stay there. Be adventurous and put yourself out there.
Q: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
A: Andrae Crouch, Prince, and Michael Jackson, and they’re all dead unfortunately.
Q: How do you deal with stress?
A: I go into my martial arts gym and I get my dummy, and I beat it up. So physical activity, meditation, and music.
Q: What was your dream job growing up?
A: I wanted to be a commercial artist. A sort of cartoonist type thing for ads. I used to draw a lot, but now I haven’t drawn for 20 years.