Micah McLaurin, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend Review
Micah McLaurin: Diamonds, Swing, Classical, and a Soulful Connection with the Piano
Micah McLaurin is not just a pianist; he’s a musical alchemist. With a delicate blend of classical techniques, swing influences, and pop culture sensibilities, McLaurin’s latest single “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” emerges as a luminous gem in his ever-expanding repertoire.
Q: What was the defining moment when you realized that the piano was more than an instrument, but a part of your soul?
A: I don’t remember a specific moment, but I feel like I fell in love with it when I started… it became my voice when I had none. It was my only way to communicate what I was feeling.
McLaurin’s connection to the piano goes beyond mere instrumentation. His touch, often light and delicate, enables a wide range of sound, from the energetic and lyrical to the powerful and virtuosic. This expressive range is not merely technique; it’s a passionate language, resonating with the audience on an emotional level.
Q: How do you approach the blending of classical techniques with jazz influences and pop culture in your arrangements?
A: As classical is/was my genre of focus, I naturally have that touch in everything I do… I worked them into my arrangements in a way that still felt authentic and true to myself and the music I was playing.
In “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” this fusion becomes a spectacular journey. The intro, filled with exotic elements, allows McLaurin’s piano to intertwine seamlessly with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The melody’s recognizable flair leads to an outstanding swing arrangement, reflecting his classical roots tinged with swing’s playful colorings.
Q: Can you describe your process of weaving classical influences into jazz show tunes, particularly in ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’? How does this fusion reshape the original big band and jazz style of the song into a piece that’s uniquely your own?
A: What I like to do is take exactly what I like from each genre… I always like to keep the listener knowing where they are and able to follow along.
Listening to McLaurin’s rendition, it’s evident how effortlessly his ideas flow across the piano. His fills and embellishments, rich with drama, add personal touches that resonate with a classic yet fresh sensibility. The call and response between the brass and percussion and McLaurin’s piano create exciting moments, culminating in an impactful halftime feel ending that wraps the piece perfectly.
Q: How did it feel to record with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road, and what did this experience teach you about yourself as an artist? How do you see this collaboration fitting into your broader musical journey?
A: The Royal Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras I’ve played with… This collaboration is a string that connects my current work to my life’s work, like playing concertos and classical.
Micah McLaurin’s collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is not a mere addition to his portfolio but a resonant chord in his life’s work. As an artist constantly pushing boundaries, he crafts musical landscapes that are timeless and universal.
McLaurin’s new single is not just a piece of music but a chapter in a vibrant and courageous personal journey. Born into a conservative environment and growing up queer in South Carolina, Micah’s path to artistry was filled with both trials and triumphs. His homeschooling allowed a deep focus on piano, leading to an illustrious academic journey through the Curtis Institute and Juilliard. But beyond technique and theory, Micah’s move to New York and connection to queer culture became a transformative rediscovery of self. In works like the “Rhapsody in Gaga” and now “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” he’s not just playing music; he’s playing his truth, unlearning suppression, and celebrating what makes him unique. This authentic connection to self resonates throughout his music, making each note a part of his evolving story.
More than a musician, Micah is a bridge between generations. His presence on social media attracts those unfamiliar with classical music, converting new enthusiasts along the way. His Spoleto debut and constant experimentation with visual elements affirm his position as a pioneer in redefining classical music’s boundaries. By blurring the lines and welcoming diverse influences, he’s reshaping perceptions, making classical music not just a historical artifact but a living, breathing art form.
In closing, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” is a musical statement, a piece of art that reflects McLaurin’s versatile talent and his deep connection with music’s soul. It’s a glistening example of what happens when passion, skill, and creativity converge, redefining boundaries and enriching the world of classical and pop music.
Connect with Micah McLaurin: Website |
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
August 16, 2023