Michael J. Valentine is an avid songwriter, musician, and accomplished multi-instrumentalist with both the acoustic guitar and electric guitar, mandolin, ukulele, bass, drums, as well as the piano. While enjoying a melting pot of influences over his lifetime from rock to gospel, some may say Michael’s distinctive style defies categorizing. However, his true focus is always on timeless music to both uplift the soul, and inspire. Michael combines his deep musical background steeped in church and spiritual music with a love for rock and modern music to create positive songs with the continuous messages of faith, hope, and love.
Over his career, Michael is proud to have written a wide-ranging repertoire of over 100 songs across many genres. In 2019, he released the EP, “Light From Light,” recorded in the basement of Visitation Church in Los Angeles. "Light From Light" features fan-favorite songs, “Believe,” “Thy Will Be Done,” and “Light From Light.” This album showcases an individual’s spiritual calling, inner strength through God’s will, and the energy of positivity, as central, uplifting themes. In addition, Michael’s songwriting may be heard on the song, “Dreams Come True,” featuring vocals by Lourdes Mae. This original song, also penned by Michael, takes listeners back to the innocence reminiscent of a Disney film soundtrack.
In 2020, coupled with pursuing several sync and licensing deals, Michael has been hard at work on his most invigorating and inspirational songs to date for the forthcoming 12-track project aptly titled, “ALIVE.” With a release date of 2022, “ALIVE” is filled with positive songs like "Brave", Beautiful Life", and "Rise" all around inner strength, gratitude, reflection, freedom - and simply feeling ALIVE.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Michael’s musical journey stems from a close family with a diverse taste in music, along with high regard for musicianship and songwriting. From an early age, Michael enjoyed rock, soul, folk, Motown, funk, blues, gospel, R&B, and even musicals. Attending concerts at an early age with his family only solidified his will to play, so much so his father supported his innate interest in all things music with a piano and drum set. After years spent mastering the drums, Michael switched to the guitar, quickly adopting acoustic and electric guitars as his main instrument. In fact, his influences in learning his own style of guitar span his musical interests, including Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Wilson, David Gilmour, Prince, Jackson Browne, Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and especially Neil Young, who Michael admired because he would play a beautiful acoustic song, or launch into blistering distorted chords. While all his influences musicianship was incredible, the songwriting was always the main inspiration.
Michael’s first foray into forming a band began after he left college after his freshman year. He was simply restless to play music, full time. His first band, known as Valentine, was formed in 1986. They worked the club circuit and toured across Florida for two years, playing fun five hour long sets a night, with a mix of original songs and covers. Meanwhile, Michael would also sing and play guitar in his church choir whenever he was home. However, these many nights jamming in clubs until 3AM inspired him to take his art to the next level. He returned to school and enrolled in Orlando’s Full Sail University to study Recording Arts.
By 1989, Michael took another leap of faith and traveled in his car 3000 miles to Los Angeles, landing his first job at Devonshire Recording studios, At Devonshire, he worked with artists, producers, and engineers, from David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash to Ozzy Osbourne, and many others. He also joined several bands over the next couple of years.
With this trajectory, Michael soon realized the most important thing for him was to create songs with a deeper, more thought-provoking meaning, while still remaining uplifting, and to continue to hone his songwriting skills, Michael found performing stripped down acoustic solo gigs at coffee houses and cafés proved very inspirational and helped to hone in his songwriting chops.
Michael is also an award-winning documentary producer. He wrote, produced, and directed COMIX-Beyond the Comic Book Pages, staring one of is idols Stan Lee. The film encompassed a methodical 13 years of filming a collection of influential creators, writers, artists and publishers, and most importantly, fans in the world of comic books. Released in 2016, it was soon recognized as an Indie Fest and Los Angeles Indie Film Award-winning film. COMIX also Michael’s first foray into film soundtracks, as it features the original track “Everyday Hero.”
Throughout his life, nature has been another draw and inspiration for Michael, as he enjoys hiking, biking, surfing, camping, as well as taking in a glorious sunrise and equally magnificent sunset gazing over the Ocean – yes, just being in the fresh air, taking in life.