CANADA | 2021 PARTICIPANT
Mikhail Laxton’s debut collection Real serves as a powerful introduction to an artist poised to join the ranks of Canada’s great singer-songwriters. Drawing inspiration primarily from the power of love, Laxton delivers his message through his unforgettable voice and funky acoustic melodicism.
Laxton, who now calls Ottawa home, relocated from his native Australia three years ago after establishing his reputation as a contestant on that country’s version of The Voice. It didn’t take long for Laxton to draw the attention of the Canadian music industry upon his arrival. He almost immediately found a writing partner in Maia Davies, who also agreed to produce the EP and introduced Laxton to her business partner, multi-award winner Gavin Brown (Billy Talent, Barenaked Ladies) who leaned in with co-writing and additional production on some tracks.
Davies scheduled recording sessions in Morin Heights, Quebec, where Laxton’s basic tracks were fleshed out in arrangements that blur the lines between folk and R&B, without ever taking the focus off his effortless vocal ability.
While songs such as “Hold On” and “Cheater,” showcase his fondness for vintage soul and potential to command large stages, the ballads “Wasting Our Time” and “Stay The Night” display Laxton’s troubadour side, offering intimate glimpses of blossoming relationships.
The meaning behind the title Real is of course tongue-in-cheek, but in another way it proves the old adage that we create our own luck by putting in the requisite time and effort. Mostly, however, it represents that it can indeed be too easy to connect with listeners when your music is simply an extension of who you are: honest, humble and soulful.