top of page
  • Writer's pictureHYSTERIA BY GIRLONFILM

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL INCOGNITO


Meet Michael Incognito. The artist that you want to be on the lookout for.


Read insights into Michael’s background, the inspiration fueling artistic pursuits, and the indelible stories that define Michael’s musical and performance journey. Discover Michael's ambitions for the nightlife scene and get a sneak peek into future plans as Michael discusses the envisioned impact of his work.



Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)
Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)


AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL INCOGNITO:



Q. MICHAEL, COULD YOU SHARE A GLIMPSE OF YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE BEING AN ARTIST?


A. I was a really animated (aka gay) child that loved dressing up and singing and creating little plays for my parents.


I remember seeing a local production of Seussical The Musical at a JCC and turning to my mom at the end and telling her I could do that. So she started taking me to playhouses around New Jersey to audition. I did theater and choir all the way through high school. I started teaching myself guitar and writing songs around 15, but really picked it up during my senior year.


I moved to New York for school and was just in pure live music heaven. I saw so many shows, formed a band of my own, and gigged pretty heavily. Incognito was finally birthed in 2021 and really felt like I was stepping into my own. At the core, it’s really about community for me.



Q. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ENIGMATIC NAME "MICHAEL INCOGNITO" AND HOW IT ALIGNS WITH YOUR CREATIVE IDENTITY?


A. Incognito is actually my mom’s maiden name! Her father immigrated to the States from the southern region of Italy in 1921. Some will say it’s fake, but check the birth certificate babes.


It’s truly a perfect name for the project. It embodies that classic Italian machismo stereotype, while also representing the nature of being queer. For so many people, being gay means disguising yourself while trying to grapple with self-realization.



Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)
Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)



Q. IF YOU WERE TO ENCAPSULATE THE ESSENCE OF YOUR WORK IN JUST THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE, AND WHAT DO THEY SIGNIFY TO YOU AS AN ARTIST?


A. Gay. Tony. Soprano. Hahaha.


It doesn’t necessarily give any hints when it comes to the sound, but the reference always sticks.


And in my Italian opinion, Tony Soprano is a gay icon!



Q. COULD YOU SHARE WITH US SOME OF YOUR WILDEST STORIES FROM PERFORMING?


A. Ooooof. I played in a basement in Philly once and there was no ventilation, definitely, some black mold, a pile of cans that touched the ceiling, and a mic that kept shocking my mouth, but the set was honestly iconic.


I also played a Daft Punk cover set for Halloween in 2017 at Bushwick Public House with like a 7 piece band. By the end of the set, I was almost naked and the whole venue was screaming all the words back to me.


Still one of my favorite sets I’ve ever played.



Q. YOU RECENTLY RELEASED THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “BOYS GO”. COULD YOU WALK US THROUGH THE CREATIVE PROCESS BEHIND ITS CONCEPTUALIZATION?


A. I kept seeing a pack of bodies when I envisioned the video. I pulled a lot of references from The Warriors, A Clockwork Orange, The Lost Boys, and 70s/80s New York nightlife.


My friend Eli and I sat down and mapped out some things we wanted to happen in the video and then truly hit record and just wreaked havoc on the West Village. My friends Kalin and Delaney graciously agreed to be in the video, so we had our little gay pack of monsters.





MOREOVER, WHAT INSPIRED THE SONG?


I was working on a different song with my dear friend Brandon Shoop and when we wrapped, he pulled up that drum loop and I kind of jokingly started singing “I gotta go, gotta go, where the boys go” - it stuck. We basically wrote and recorded that whole song in 3 hours. It just felt so good to scream into the mic and see what came out of it.


Not a lot of thinking, just a lot of trying and deciding.



BTS OF BOYS GO




All Photos By Jade Sadler



Q. YOU’RE A PART OF THE NEW GENERATION OF INDIE SLEAZE ARTISTS. WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO SEE FLOURISH OR, PERHAPS, DIMINISH IN THE INDIE SLEAZE SCENE THIS TIME AROUND?


A. I’m all about the mentality of the movement. If I could see anything come out of it, it would be more shows in non-traditional spaces. I think seeing live music somewhere you wouldn’t expect to really amplifies the experience.


If you’ve ever seen that Michael Alig documentary, Party Monster (not the one with Macaulay Culkin), there’s a scene where they throw a rave on the subway and it’s just the most incredible thing.


More of that shit.




Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)
Michael Incognito By SLIDE STUDIOS (@benjxmin_o)



Q. AS YOU CONTINUE TO MAKE WAVES IN THE WORLD OF ARTISTRY AND THE NEW INDIE SLEAZE SCENE, HOW DO YOU ENVISION THE IMPACT OF YOUR WORK AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR MICHAEL INCOGNITO?


A. I really want people to discover a different side of themselves when they see/hear my music. I always use the phrase “Welcome To The Family," but it’s really true! I want people to feel like they’re part of something bigger when they’re a fan of Michael Incognito.


I have so much music that’s about to start rolling out that’ll make up the first EP. It’s very concept driven and tells the story of Incognito joining the mob (predictable I know, but there are some twists).



Q. FINALLY, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD OR A MESSAGE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH HYSTERIA READERS?


A. Cook something that takes a whole day, buy that bottle of wine that costs two more dollars, put your phone away at dinner, call your friends, kiss your friends, kiss strangers, take that shot, stay for one more song, and live your life deliciously.




Thank you so much to Michael for the interview!


Stream Michael Incognito if you're hot.






Commentaires


Les commentaires ont été désactivés.
bottom of page