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Northeastern alumnus Michael Weferling, Music Industry, is a Pop/R&B recording artist who just released a new single and music video, available here. We had the chance to catch up with Michael last year when he released his first music video – and he has continued to spend his time making music and taking advantage of what New York City has to offer. Learn more about how he has turned the “new normal” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to produce new material, stay creative, and surround himself with a community that is stronger than ever.

How have you been spending your time during COVID-19?

Where do I begin?! Taking my vitamins, eating my veggies, lots of walks around New York, running, learning more meals to cook for myself, and socially-distanced hang outs with trusted friends (who also care about their health). I truly have gotten to know more of my neighbors than I ever did prior to COVID-19. This has been an opportunity to feel more of a sense of community – than ever before – because everyone has had to slow down, take stock and count their blessings. When you’re rushing around: it’s harder to see (each other) when everything’s (one) a blur.

What creative outlets have you been exploring?

How I have creatively spent my time was: watching “The Sopranos” (I wasn’t allowed to watch it when it first came out, since I was too young) and in the beginning of the shutdown, I admittedly binge-watched a lot of television and film that I did not make the time for pre-COVID. A “mini” list of my stand-outs were: “Tiger King” (duh!), “The Righteous Gemstones,” “Lovecraft Country,” “I May Destroy You,” “Crip Camp,” “I Am Not Okay With This,” “The Vow,” “The Plot Against America,” “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Quincy (Jones),” “Shrill” and “Dollface,” among many others. This may seem like a long list, but I take my viewing time seriously when I am into a television show, film or documentary. I watch and listen for the details because there is so much valuable knowledge to absorb from so many diverse perspectives and projects.

I consume my art the way that I want my listeners to consume mine: with their full attention.

Plus, you never know what will inspire you with your own art! In addition to all of the television and film viewing, I have been reading a lot more. I most recently finished: “Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why it Matters” by Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, “Horror Stories: A Memoir” by Liz Phair and I just purchased “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis!

The albums that have been on repeat as of late are: “The Rarities” by Mariah Carey, “What’s Your Pleasure” by Jessie Ware, “The Slow Rush” by Tame Impala, “Chromatica” by Lady Gaga and “Women In Music Pt. III” by HAIM. One of the silver linings to come out of 2020 is truly enjoying the art that I would usually have to take in with much haste.

“Music, art, film, television and literature truly enrich our lives and make us take a walk in someone else’s shoes.”

Tell us about your new song and music video!

“KAFN,” the name of the song/video, is a term I coined after I decided it was going to be a way I would live out my life from now on; I do want the song to be a specific and special meaning to whomever listens to it and connects with it, but since the lyrics are, I think, pretty clear, I am sure the listener may have a few ideas/interpretations as to what I am singing about. We often care way too much about what this faceless, nameless abyss of people think about us rather than placing value in ourselves first and foremost. We have all been guilty of it, some of us get lost in it for much longer and may never be seen again! Some of us return to our “why.” What’s your “why?” 
These “unprecedented times” that we’re in are not exclusive to just COVID-19 in the year 2020. I have had a lot of time to reflect and look inward (more than ever) and I do believe that with this nation’s abhorrent history and reluctance to come to terms with its innumerable amount of “sins” (for lack of better words) since the beginning of: “the United States of America.” We have finally reached a breaking point because the current administration is a full manifestation of the darkness that our country has yet to face completely head-on. We will not be able to evolve unless we face the truth, take responsibility, and continue to have these uncomfortable conversations with ourselves and one another. Then, may we truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.   

Tell us a little bit about your time at Northeastern!

My time at Northeastern was truly a magical time. Pre-Instagram, Pre-current presidency, Pre-COVID-19. I made so many great friends and connections that I still keep in touch with to this day. I do also realize that one of the “magical” parts of my undergraduate experience was my ignorance. In retrospect, I certainly experienced many micro-aggressions, homophobia, femmephobia, racism and stereotyping, but luckily, the world has evolved a bit more than when I was just starting at Northeastern. Why?
“Because everyone will hopefully evolve over time when they are surrounded by people of all different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, gender expressions, languages, socio-economic groups, sexualities and various forms of expression.”
The learning does not halt when “school” is over. As I stated earlier: I am learning, even when I am taking in a new television show, docuseries, film, song, album, painting, etc. Northeastern helped expose me to many different people, but we all attended for similar reasons: to learn, grow, share and evolve – in the classroom and beyond.