We had the good fortune of connecting with Micah Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Micah, what’s your definition for success?
In many ways, I love streaming. I love Spotify – it has introduced me to so much music that I don’t know how I would’ve discovered otherwise. This era of streaming has introduced my own music to listeners all across the world – and for that, I am so thankful. But I’ve personally seen independent artists (including myself) get all caught up in chasing the streams. At the beginning of my recording career, I would measure a song’s success based on how well it was streamed. I chased the impressions. I chased the follower count. I chased the views – the shares – the likes – the sales. That ultimately stole the joy out of the process, because I started writing for a playlist placement and not for myself. Let’s say I make a track that I really vibe with and believe in. I produce it, mix it, master it, and finally release it to the world. What happens when a track doesn’t hit the numbers I want? Is that track a failure? Not a chance! That track was a success the moment I was proud of it and released it to the world. Any work of art that is believed in is a success.

That’s why I am beyond excited at what’s next for my music. Early last year, I had a heart-to-heart with myself about what kind of content I actually want to be putting out – what sound can I create that truly defines me as a person and an artist. What’s next is my debut full-length project that features a new, defining sound: Texas soul. Retro soul embellished with true, country tones is how I’m describing it. And I’m so proud of it. I can honestly say that whether it flies or flops, this project has been such a personal success already. I believe in it so much, and I hope my listeners will too.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Texas Soul Sound

As I threw around the idea of finally working on my debut album, I thought “if I’m going to pour so many resources into a big project, I want it to sound uniquely Micah.” I didn’t want to sound like another Leon Bridges or another John Mayer. So I had a heart-to-heart with myself and really explored what that “uniquely Micah” sound even is.

My music has always lived in a nostalgic/retro soulful space. But honestly, I’ve been avoiding my country roots a little bit – leaning way more neo-soul than americana/country. In reality, I listen to country music just as much as I listen to soul or jazz – and have since I was a kid. And I’m talking pure, classic country music: George Strait/Marty Robbins/Lefty Frizzell/Loretta Lynn/Tracy Lawrence. So I thought: “You know what – let’s go for it! Why can’t I have steel guitar and jazz flute on the same song?” That’s what my heart has always wanted to hear anyway, but just never really went for it.

So I’m daring to almost create a new sub-genre of soul: Texas soul – retro soul embellished with true country tones. Horn sections trading off solos with a steel guitar. Muted trumpet and fiddle on the same track. Acoustic rhythm guitar and rhodes on another. Incorporating steel guitar, horns, and vocal harmonies are very important to the Texas soul sound.

Some sonic inspirations when defining the Texas Soul sound:
– The Impressions: Curtis Mayfield’s electric guitar, vocal harmonies, horn incorporations
– Etta James: classic retro soul strings, soulful & almost conversational vocal expression
– Late 60s/early 70s country rock (The Byrds, Gram Parsons): the rule-breaking melding of genres – classic rock with classic country
– Dan Auerbach-productions (Waiting on a Song, Marcus King, Easy Eye Sound): introducing traditional acoustic elements to a modern, progressive sound

***Now I want to note that “Texas soul” is already a term, but not necessarily a sub-genre of soul music. There is a collection of soul records from the late 60s/early 70s that music historians call “Texas soul”. It was just soul music from Texas labels around that time (Ex: The TSU Tornadoes, Barbara Lynn, The Royal Jesters, Margo White, etc.) So in that sense, there already is a term Texas soul, but it was just soul music created by Texas artists (not necessarily a subgenre, like Delta blues or Chicago soul).

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Tacos are hands-down my favorite food. You can eat them morning, noon, and night. Their flavor possibilities are almost endless. So I would take this friend to my favorite taco joints in Greater Houston. What makes a great taco? It’s all in the tortilla, baby.

Breakfast:
Tita’s Tacos, Humble (great staff, even better tacos)
Brothers Taco House, EaDo (the Houston staple)

Lunch/Dinner:
Tacos Tierra Caliente, Montrose (grab a Jarritos in the corner store while you wait for your order)
Taqueria Cancun, Spring Branch (open til 1AM on the weekends)

Honorable Mention:
Las Locas Fajitas, Spring Branch (like your tía’s in town)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s not a world where I wouldn’t shoutout my wife, Chelsea. There have been so many late-night gigs, so many hours spent in the studio, and lots of our resources invested into music. Having not been too familiar with the musician’s life, she was basically thrust into the deep end once we got married. But her support, sacrifice, and understanding of this passion of mine is the fuel that keeps it going. I love creating music, but I love her more. And I honestly don’t know where my music would be without her support and reciprocating enthusiasm.

Website: https://www.mrtexassoul.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrtexassoul/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrtexassoul

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkXy_wAxVUanG6EjfExW0Eg

Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/75OSuJw6r1LCdYgmTt0gHs?si=dBiPJQNCRqqivlZX-cnjHQ&dl_branch=1

Image Credits
Jeremy Kabala

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.