Lewisburg native Michiko Egger is a singer-songwriter who says her musical career began with a hamster.
The Sun-Gazette recently sat down with Egger to learn more about her goals, gigs and musical heroes.
JACKIE SZYMANSKI: As a musician, what are you all about?
Michiko Egger has performed during The Bullfrog Brewery’s Sunday jazz workshops.
MICHIKO EGGER: I'm all about originality and modesty. I have to be myself. I take in all the musical experiences I've had, all the knowledge I've gained from others and mix it with my personality, and there you have it - you have me. At the same time, I love admiring the music of others, seeing them grow as musicians and people, and discovering what they're all about.
JS: Have you been musically inclined since childhood?
ME: I have. Guitar was my third instrument. I began playing the drums at the age of 5 and piano at the age of 6. Guitar came the year after.
I've picked up other instruments along the way, such as bass and clarinet, and a few others here and there. I've always been in love with guitar, though, as well as singing.
JS: What was the first song you ever wrote and what was it about?
ME: One of the first songs I wrote was called "Hamlet." I was nine. It was about my hamster. I loved that little guy.
JS: I hear you often play during the Sunday jazz sessions down at the Bullfrog. What's that experience like?
ME: It's very much a learning experience. You get the opportunity to play with many types of musicians, both experienced and new to the game.
Sitting in at the brunch helps you develop your chops, especially in sight reading. Someone may call a song you've never played before, and you have to find your way through it. You get thrown into new situations and learn about yourself in the process. You also make new friends and great connections that could help you in the long run.
JS: How do you get in the mood for a performance?
ME: I don't really have any pre-show rituals. I'm pretty much always in the mood for performing. The only thing I find myself obsessing over before a performance is tuning. I don't think people realize how important being in tune can be. Someone could be an incredible player but if they're completely out of tune, it could turn off a listener's ear.
JS: Who is a performer you admire?
ME: I really admire John Mayer. I think so many things about his playing and his style of writing are similar to my own. He has such a unique voice. He uses a lot of jazzy chords, but at the same time, you can really hear his bluesy roots. He puts so much soul into his music and plays with a ton of emotion. I believe I do the same. I pour my soul into my music. Not to mention he's an incredible guitar player!
JS: Where do you see yourself in five years?
ME: In five years, I see myself studying at Berklee College of Music, with a few more CDs out, just playing the heck out of my guitar.