Michael Gonzalez (a.k.a. MIkE kING Acoustic and most recently, Mike Acoustic) is a Christian musician, who is a rhythm guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He has sung and played a wide range of musical styles, with more than ten groups over twenty years. Currently, Michael – based in Tyler, Texas – appears in at least twenty venues in the North and East Texas areas, and is willing to travel about anywhere to perform. As an “unplugged acoustic balladeer“, his repertoire includes over 500 cover songs from the 1930′s to present day, in a variety of genres, such as Blues, Country, Pop, Jazz and Rock. Michael seeks to record over 60 of his original songs, some of which he plays and sings at his shows. Generally, Michael performs as a solo artist, but is open to auditioning possible band mates for future gigs.
More Interview Excerpts:
SPORKETTE: Why are you known as “MIkE kING”…and why the mixed upper and lower case letters for the spelling of that name?
MICHAEL GONZALEZ: I have performed live music for over 20 years and my stage names have changed time and again. My birth name is Michael (no middle name) Gonzalez, and I was born in Kingsville TX, meaning ‘Village of Kings’. My friend, Kody, around 1998 or so, helped me decide on MIKE KING. It’s a play on words. He said it stood for ‘microphone king‘ and I said it stood for ‘mic’ing‘, or often spelled ‘miking’, which defines the adding of a microphone to an instrument. After believing the Christian Gospel, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ in 2000 and decided to change the ‘k’s’ in MIKE KING to lower case, pointing out that Christ is the only KING, capital ‘K’. I have since changed the name to MIkE kING Acoustic.
SPORKETTE: Why, since you write original songs, do you mainly perform cover songs?
MICHAEL GONZALEZ: I do perform my own originals, occasionally announcing them; however, I watch someone play their own songs and am able to cover them after a couple times of hearing it, and sometimes, only after a few minutes. I want to give people what they are familiar with and blend this with my own originals. This helps me cultivate my composing and performing ability and I believe it keeps me distinctly relevant at the same time. I stay versatile while preparing to professionally record Rock, Blues and Folk-style ballads. I have many rough draft recordings of about 70 songs and want to record some of the most popular songs that my friends and family have especially liked.
SPORKETTE: What do you hope to accomplish as a Christian songwriter?
MICHAEL GONZALEZ: I want to glorify God. I am looking forward to being an instrument in His work…and will. I want people to also help me accomplish this by listening to the music and being changed along with me. I see that God knows my music and inspires me; therefore, my deepest joy is His pleasure, His approval. I understand there is classification, but I say there is no such thing as ‘Christian music’. I understand what people mean by saying that there is, but, no, I believe it’s people who will surrender themselves to Him and the music gets to follow. I see music as a tool, something tangible and directly finite…indirectly infinite; however, people are indirectly finite and directly infinite creatures made in His image. Music can be a vehicle in guiding or diverting people from the true message of life. I want to compel, rather than repel, for the glory of God.
SPORKETTE: Which one of your original Christian songs delivers the most important message in your mission work as a Christian artist, and what is that message?
MICHAEL GONZALEZ: The song is titled, ‘Make My Heart Sing’. It is difficult for me, definitely a challenge vocally. It was written at a time where a small discipleship class I had spearheaded for two years was to go out on the streets of a Blues festival downtown. We had several struggles that day…and with the song being written in that setting, I regained direction by focusing on God and some of His attributes. The song conveys my deep reliance upon God and how in His will He shapes, fills and moves those according to His purpose.
SPORKETTE: What advice might you provide to a budding Christian music artist?
MICHAEL GONZALEZ: A whole lot!
- Love the people while there is time!
- Pursue a deep joy instead of a surface happiness. (The contrast is that happiness is often based on what ‘happens’ to you…and it comes and goes with circumstances; but true joy remains with you no matter what happens to you. Have lots of joy! There’s too much to have and much to be joyful about!)
- Be ready! (A budding Christian musician to me is suspect until proven guilty. Originally, to be called ‘Christian’ was an accusation. People were accused of following Jesus Christ because of their actions and lifestyles. We must acknowledge our sinfulness, submit to Him and keep our eyes on Christ. We get to be personally creative and be instrumental in God’s work, reaching our generation living out the words we sing and write. Let’s do just that!)
- Know the culture we live in, but always be Biblical. (Don’t ever ‘check’ your heart, mind or soul ‘at the door’; surrender these to and love God with all you are and what you become.)
- Study the Bible to know how to write and read the four Gospels, Ecclesiastes, Psalms and Proverbs…regularly. (You’ll never run out of things to do, nor find boredom producing fruits of righteousness.)
(a.k.a. Mike King Acoustic)