Paynter at The Great Gatsby premiere in Sydney, Australia on 23 May 2013
29 January 1986 |
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboard, drums, vox|
|Labels||Sony Music Australia|
|Associated acts||Tanya Tucker, The Veronicas, Icehouse|
Michael Paynter (born 29 January 1986), is an Australian singer-songwriter. Paynter has released five singles, "Closer", "A Victim Song", "Love the Fall", "How Sweet It Is" and "Weary Stars". Paynter competed in the second season of The Voice Australia after being dropped from his record label and successfully made the Top 16, but did not advance to the Top 12.
Paynter began playing instruments from a young age, playing the piano at the age of seven, and learning guitar and drums by the time he was 15. At the age of 16, he began playing in touring bands across Australia. Regarding music, Paynter says that it "was always something I was going to do, because it fires up my soul like nothing else". He studied law for a year, but returned to music. Although Paynter liked law school and intends to return, he says the choice was either "tour the country and play guitar or study books", and the decision "was a no-brainer". Paynter says that playing drums makes him a better guitarist, playing guitar makes him a better keyboardist, and playing all three makes him a better singer.
2007–2012: Career launch
|"They have big hooks. They are inspiring and powerful yet moving. If there's a thread through my songs, it's my positive spin on life. It's a wonderful experience and you need to have fun even while you're facing up to its challenges to get the best out of it. But if I can get people to pause after each track to think about what I'm singing, then I've done my job."|
|— Paynter regarding the songs on his album, This Welcome Diversion.|
Critics have praised Michael Paynter's voice, often comparing him to John Farnham. Paynter says the title of his debut album, This Welcome Diversion, was inspired by an advertisement in an in-flight magazine; his music career is a diversion from his original path, law. Paynter wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks on This Welcome Diversion. To record the album, Paynter traveled to Los Angeles, where he worked with producer Matt Wallace and mixer Brian Paturalski. This Welcome Diversion features performances by Josh Freese, Dorian Crozer, David Ryan Harris and John Fields.
The first single, "Closer", was described as "a soaring, hook-filled track about striving for better". Paynter wrote "Closer" in collaboration with Gary Clark, and said that he fell in love with the song instantly. He said that "it works because the chords and rhythms are so simple. It's how people are, in their heads, never where they want to be whether it's a relationship or in a career. They're always wanting to be closer to the ideal." For the album, Paynter underwent a global four month writing session, during which he also worked with Wally Gagel, Phil Buckle and Julian Hamilton of The Presets. The album's second single, "A Victim Song", was released on 15 November 2008 in Australia.
This Welcome Diversion was initially set to be released in 2008, but despite a set release date, was delayed until 2011. After the average performance of singles "Closer" and "A Victim Song", which Paynter felt "didn't have the support of radio or a strong online presence", he and label Sony agreed to delay the album's release. Paynter began touring, serving as a supporting act for Vanessa Amorosi, Newton Faulkner, Seal and The Veronicas on their Revenge Is Sweeter tour. In between tours, Sony (his label), had paid for songwriting trips to London and Los Angeles. This resulted in a free 10-track acoustic album titled Money on Your Tongue, containing three cover songs and a version of "Closer", which was initially released as individual tracks across 10 weeks from late October 2009.
In June 2010, Paynter released the single "Love the Fall", which became the most added song to Australian radio in the first week of July and his first top 20 single on the ARIA Singles Chart. The single features background vocals from The Veronicas, who also appear in the single's music video. The physical release of the single, is a five track EP, which includes the single "Are You Alive?", that was used to promote the final episode of Lost. In July, Paynter returned to Los Angeles to finish his album, with a tentative 2011 release date. Paynter said of his career, "It's been a really blessing for me. I don't think many artists get to make their debut record twice. I think if most artists got the chance to do it again, they'd take it." In October 2010 Paynter supported alternative rock band The Script for their two shows in Australia.
Michael also appeared on the Gypsy Heart Tour with Miley Cyrus as special guest in Australia. He debuted his new single called "How Sweet It Is" on the tour. The music video was set to be released later on that month, but did not eventuate. Michael also stated on his Facebook page that he would be going on tour later in 2011. "Had an amazing meeting with my agent today about a tour coming up.. Not going to say too much just yet, but there may ALSO be a whole bunch of u18's shows on the cards... PARTY!"
In late September 2011, announcements on Facebook advised that Michael was joining the Icehouse line-up for a tour supporting the band's release of the greatest hits album White Heat: 30 Hits. Sometime in 2011, Paynter was dropped by Sony, effectively cancelling the release of This Welcome Diversion.
2013–present: Weary Stars and The Voice Australia
In April 2013, Paynter auditioned for Season 2 of The Voice Australia and after successfully having all four judges turn their chairs, he chose Joel Madden as his coach. He successfully defeated Louise Roussety in the Battle Rounds with his rendition of "As Long as You Love Me" by Justin Bieber. He was saved by the public in part 2 of The Showdowns (for his performance of "The Horses" by Daryl Braithwaite), but failed to receive enough votes in the first Live Finals episode after performing "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, and was eliminated.
|Blind Audition||"Somewhere Only We Know"||Keane||Joined Team Joel|
|Battle Rounds||"As Long As You Love Me" (against Louise Roussety)||Justin Bieber||Winner|
|Showdowns||"The Horses"||Daryl Braithwaite||Public vote|
|Live Show Final, Part 1||"Locked Out of Heaven"||Bruno Mars||Eliminated|
On 13 January 2014, Paynter released a new single, "Weary Stars". "Weary Stars" is the first single from Paynter's debut studio album of the same name. The album was released to iTunes on 31 January 2014.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Money on Your Tongue||—|
|"A Victim Song"||188|
|2010||"Love the Fall"||19||
|2011||"How Sweet It Is"||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|2013||"Somewhere Only We Know"||—|
|"As Long as You Love Me"||—|
|"Locked Out of Heaven"||80|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
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