After recently returning to deliver his highly-praised efforts ‘Perfectly Broken’ - which is accompanied the by this beautiful official video, ‘Keeps Me Going’ and ‘Happier’ in recent months, Liverpool native Michael Nelson aka BANNERS is back once again to announce the details behind his forthcoming new EP I Wish I Was Flawless, I’m Not, alongside the tender new single ‘Easy’.
Marking his first collection since the 2021 EP ‘It’s Gonna Be OK’, which has since garnered more than twenty million streams since its release, ‘I Wish I Was Flawless, I’m Not’ aims to cement the next bold step within his glittering career to date. Much like the cuts we have already heard, ‘Easy’ is another incredibly warm and inviting swoon that highlights the bright and shimmering approach he lends to all of his work.
Speaking about the new EP, he said, "I experienced the pandemic mainly on my own and I spent quite a lot of that tearing myself apart in front of the mirror. I think, during that time, everybody's trauma surfaced in unexpected ways and this was the way my brain decided to do it. This EP is a mini celebration of me coming out the other side and being at peace with my imperfections. And being much happier because of that."
While adding about ‘Easy’, "This is a song for the people that make your day just by being around. The ones that make life worth living and make you happier to be you. A song for the people that make everything better. It's also got a swear word in it which proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I'm cool."
Award-winning singer-songwriter Michael Nelson, who records under the moniker BANNERS, has a staggering 1.5 billion streams to his name to date – not bad for a lad from Liverpool who began his musical career in the city’s famous cathedral.
Michael was just seven years old when he started what he describes as his “musical apprenticeship” in his home city, singing every day after school in one of the UK’s most well-known cathedrals. “It was like a full-time job,” he laughs from his home in Liverpool, having moved back there recently after a spell in Toronto, Canada. “When all my friends at school were watching like Terminator 2 or Back To The Future, I was just singing songs from the 1600s! It was really, really hard work but it was such a brilliant training ground for me. Everyone was just so proud of singing in that building that you gave it your all. It was a wonderful education.”
Michael sang in the choir until he was 15, after which time he started to spend time at Liverpool’s famous Parr Street Studios after school and at weekends, hanging around musicians whenever he had the opportunity.
Nelson’s father is well-known record producer Ken Nelson, who produced albums for the likes of Coldplay, Gomez, and Badly Drawn Boy. “I remember going to the studio and just being enthralled by it all,” he recalls. “I knew that was where I needed to be for the rest of my life.” Michael observed his father working with bands and started to think about the craft of songwriting for the first time. “I started to write songs. At first, I wrote a few for a girl I had a crush on,” he says, laughing about his early teenage ventures in songwriting. “After that, I also started doing some backing vocals in the studio and started to try to find my own path in this business.”
He went on to play any and every open mic night he could in London and across the Northwest, but it was a chance trip with his father to Toronto that proved life-changing for the musician. “I was in the middle of nowhere in this studio in Canada, in like -30 degree conditions,” he laughs. “I was making cups of tea for the guys in the studio as per, but I started to meet a bunch of musicians whom I jammed with and we had something,” he remembers of his time out there. After returning home, he kept in touch with the musicians and decided to save up to go back out there as soon as he had the chance. Working any and every job he could find, he saved the money, flew out a few months later and started his first serious attempts at professional songwriting.
Within a short time, Toronto taught him how to “navigate the business of music” and provided a wealth of opportunities for young artists like him to make their name. A demo CD he made found its way to Grammy-nominated producer Stephen Kozmeniuk (Koz). A short time later, his first single shot straight to number one on the alternative radio charts in Canada, garnering 10 million Spotify streams almost overnight. Soon, he found himself signed to a major label and invited to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “What was mad about that performance,” he says laughing, “was that I’d not really played a lot of gigs before that. It was like my tenth gig maybe! I was still at the point where I was in my bedroom, writing songs and suddenly I was thrust into this world at full speed. It was a crazy, unreal time.”
His ascent didn’t stop there. He became a household name in North America and Canada, had a viral TikTok moment with his song ‘Someone To You’ that led to him earning 15 million engagements daily (a figure that’s still growing) and his music amassed over 1.5 billion streams. ‘Someone To You’, also went Platinum and Gold in multiple countries and he appeared on American Idol as a mentor to the contestants.
He’s Liverpool’s best-kept secret right now, but that won’t last for long. It will only be a matter of time before the city has another musical hero to call its own.