Music Submission, Michael J. Valentine

Artist or Band Name: 
Michael J. Valentine

Michael Valentine is a songwriter and musician /multi-instrumentalist playing acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin bass, drums, and piano. His distinctive style defies categorizing as it distills elements of a melting pot of influences from a life steeped in everything from rock to gospel.  Valentine’s focus is on timeless music that both uplifts the soul, and makes you think. He has taken his deep musical background steeped in church and spiritual music combined with his love for rock and modern music to create positive songs with a message of faith, hope, and love.  

Orlando-born Valentine’s musical journey encompasses a lifetime growing up in a close family with diverse tastes in music and a respect for musicianship.  From an early age he immersed himself in rock, soul, folk, Motown, funk, blues, gospel and R&B. Early concerts solidified his will to play and his father obliged his interest by providing a piano and drum set. After years spent mastering the drums, he switched to guitar quickly adopting acoustic and electric guitars as his main instrument.  Influences include Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac, Pete Townshend, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Wilson, Prince, Jackson Browne, Beatles, Crosby, Stills Nash, and especially Neil Young who Valentine admired because he could play a beautiful acoustic song and then also play blistering distorted chords that would be music to his ears.  Their musicianship was good but songwriting was always key. 

Valentine’s first foray into forming a band began after dropping out of college after one year, restless to play music full time.  That band, called Valentine, was formed in 1986.  The band played the club circuit and toured across Florida for two years playing five hour long sets with a mix of original and cover songs.  Meanwhile Michael would also play guitar and sing in his church choir. Many nights spent in clubs until 3AM in the morning inspired him to take his art to the next level and he enrolled in Full Sail University in Orlando and studied recording arts.

Valentine moved to Los Angeles in 1989 landing his first job at Devonshire Recording studios where he worked with artists, producers, and engineers such as David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Ozzy Osbourne among many others. He joined several bands including Faultline and another incarnation of the Valentine Band over the next couple of years. He realized the most important thing for him was writing good songs with a deeper, thought provoking meaning and uplifting as he was honing his songwriting skills performing stripped down acoustic solo gigs at coffee houses and café’s. 

Valentine’s passion also lies in documentaries and after 13 years of filming, he produced and directed Comix—Beyond the Comic Book Pages—an Indie Fest and Los Angeles Indie Film Award-winning film showcasing the  creators, writers, artists and publishers and most importantly, the fans in the world of comic books which was released in 2016.   It’s also his first foray into film soundtracks as Comix features the original track “Everyday Hero.”

Throughout, Valentine has been writing and has amassed a wide-ranging repertoire of over 100 songs. Recent songs like “Believe,” “Thy Will Be Done,” and “Light From Light” focus on solid themes such as an individual’s spiritual calling, inner strength through God’s will and the energy of positivity.  He also writes and is pursuing Sync / licensing opportunities and recently recorded a song called “Dreams Come True” with Lourdes Mae on vocals, that is a perfect fit for a Disney project.