Erin Michelle Kuch of Hicksville will perform songs from her debut album, Beneath the Curtain, on Feb. 9.
Erin Michelle Kuch recorded her first song Close, at the age of 6 using a double-deck tape recorder. Twenty years later, the singer/songwriter revamped and recorded the very same song, this time a little more professionally for inclusion on her debut album Beneath the Curtain. And, on Saturday, Feb. 9, the 26-year-old Hicksville native will perform at Eleanor Rigby's in Mineola.
Growing up, Erin Michelle attended Willet Avenue Elementary School, Woodland Avenue Elementary School, Hicksville Middle School and Hicksville High School, where she graduated in 1999. She spent many afternoons stuffing neighbors' mailboxes with fliers for her parents, John and Christine Kuch, who were actively involved with the Midland Civic Association.
For Erin Michelle, music is a reflection of nearly all aspects of her life, even when it came to her education. At the time she was earning her undergraduate from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, Erin Michelle said she didn't want to deal with the pressures of the music business. As a result, she enrolled in grad school and pursued the education field. "There are times when I [wonder if] I am on the right path or [if] I am making a wrong turn somewhere," she said. "That insecurity made me write a ballad called Am I Turning Around, which is on my album. I believe many people ask that question at any stage in life."
In addition to being a singer/songwriter, Erin Michelle, who recently earned a master's degree in elementary education from the School of Education at St. John's University and plans to walk in the college's May ceremonies, is also a versed pianist/keyboardist and violinist. She currently works for the company Music, Inc. providing piano lessons to Nassau and Suffolk students.
While one can be taught to compose music, Erin Michelle believes the art of songwriting is something that comes from within. "Sometimes I hear music in my head, play it on the piano and then write it down. Other times I'll just start playing and maybe a melody would stick out and I'd work on that," she said. "I usually can hear if a song will work or not, but my sisters were usually the judges on whether the song continues. Without my sister, Melissa, half the songs on my album wouldn't have lyrics."
Today, when she has writer's block, Erin Michelle turns to the sounds of The Beatles, Jason Mraz, Keane and Carole King, of whom her musical sound has been compared to. She describes her musical style as a pop/rock/R&B mix and calls Beneath the Curtain a jazzy blend with harmonious melodies and catchy lyrics. In addition to the title track, Beneath the Curtain, the album includes the self-written songs I've Got a Reason, Stay the Night, Are You Coming Back to Me? and six others. Along with the album, the aspiring songwriter has also written jazz music and beats for hip-hop along with children's songs.
"I just love writing music and I'm always interested in writing for all genres," she said. "Just don't ask me to rap."
While songwriting is her true passion, the fact that Erin Michelle has been blessed with the singing voice to show off her lyrics doesn't hurt, especially in today's music industry.
"I consider myself a songwriter first and foremost. That's all I wanted to do until people starting saying "Erin, you have to put yourself out there and sing your songs.' Luckily, I have a decent voice so people aren't like, 'What are you, crazy?'" she said, adding, "Lately, it seems songwriters have to also sing their own songs in order for them to be heard. Otherwise, they are just lost songs."
A lack of stage fright has provided Erin Michelle with the opportunity to grace the stages of such infamous New York City venues as the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom (home to Hammerstein Ballroom) and the Remote Lounge. She also performed in front of chart-topping songwriter and country singer Tim Buppert at Manhattan's Sidewalk Café. In 2007, Erin Michelle submitted her song Close into the American Idol Songwriter competition and currently, her R&B single Sing Me Off to Bed has, as of press time, received nearly 900 hits on MySpace.com.
To catch Erin Michelle perform live, stop by Eleanor Rigby's, which is located at 133 Mineola Boulevard in Mineola, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.