Rapper Michael Nhat’s new self-titled album releases Tuesday, Oct. 27, on How To Be A Microwave and his record release show is this Saturday at the House of Vermont. He presents L.A. RECORD with a mixtape—which he titled I Love Bread—and a story to go with every song.
Mozart “Fantasy In F Minor”
One of my girlfriends in 1997 played it live at her school and it made me really appreciate classical music because I didn’t before.
Sonic Youth “Panty Lies”
This song influenced me to start rapping. I had been doing it for fun but this one encouraged me to rap professionally. When people ask me one of my greatest influences, I refer to this—Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth.
Wu-Tang Clan “Can It Be It Was All So Simple”
This is what I was listening to in 1993. I bought my first 4-track and was making music for fun. I played this a lot. The beats and the music inspired me because it was at a time when rap had just finished its MC Hammer era and they were dividing themselves on East and West Coast. And I was East Coast.
Wayne Newton “Danke Schoen”
When I was a kid I heard it in the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off movie. I didn’t know who sang it. But this song started my obsession with hunting down songs I would hear places. This was before the Internet.
Etta James “Trust In Me”
This came on in Chicago at a party on the Southside, and it was my first time encountering her. I immediately liked it. I wish I could sound like Etta James.
PJ Harvey “Is That All There Is?”
I heard it when it first came out in 1996 and maybe a little after that my dad died. This is the first song I played after that so it takes me back there.
Radiohead “Fitter Happier”
The writing of this song is probably the deepest influence in how I write my songs. It changed how I see the writing process. I didn’t get it at first. I just liked it for music’s sake. But as I started paying attention—I would say I emulate this style, as opposed to what everyone else confuses me with. People think I am influenced by Anticon and Busdriver. I am not. I’d never even heard of these people until I moved out here.
Johnny Mathis “It’s Not For Me To Say”
This was when I decided to quit making music as a hobby in 1997. I wanted to be normal and go to school and get a job. I had a daughter and this makes me think of her. I was going to school for film and I made a short and put this song in for her.
Otis Redding “I’ve Got Dreams”
This reminds me of the last time I robbed a house. We were looking up obituaries and found someone who had just died and went to his place. We tried to get as much as we could, but ended up just with his guns and sold them. This was something I’d been doing since I was 16. Also at that time, I got in trouble for storing crack for a friend. My dad found it and flushed it down the toilet. My friends thought I sold it or smoked it.
Sesame Street Kid “Sesame Street”
In Iowa at the parties, DJs would play songs like this at the end of their set. It opened my ears to this type of funny happy song. I started collecting songs like that. Eventually this began to influence my music, which is why my songs are so poppy.
MICHAEL NHAT WITH VOICE ON TAPE, HALLOWEEN SWIM TEAM, NARWHAL PARTY, REDEMER, BLUE TAPE RED TAPE AND LUNA IS HONEY ON SAT., OCT. 24, AT THE RELEASE PARTY FOR MICHAEL NHAT’S SELF-TITLED ALBUM AT THE HOUSE OF VERMONT, 1515 S. VERMONT AVE., LOS ANGELES. 9 PM / DONATIONS / ALL AGES. HOWTOBEAMICROWAVE.COM. MICHAEL NHAT’S SELF-TITLED ALBUM RELEASES TUE., OCT. 27, ON HOW TO BE A MICROWAVE. VISIT MICHAEL NHAT AT MICHAELNHAT.COM OR MYSPACE.COM/MICHAELNHAT.