For Texas country artist Austin Michael, Country is not a genre; it is his way of life. Growing up, the Texas native had dreams of the rodeo life but, thanks to the encouragement of family and friends, Austin tried out for season 17 of American idol. He made it into the top 40 and roped Katy Perry (with help from Luke Bryan), resulting in one of the most viral videos of American Idol history during the 2019 season.
Still, growing up in the country was a way of life for Austin. After idol, he returned home to Texas. He continued his love of horseback riding, roping, and hunting, which inspired writing songs that soon turned into his self-titled debut album released in October 2020.
Citing Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash as significant influences in his music, Michael has an old soul for such a young age. At 18 years old, the sound he's created rings true with fans of both traditional and modern country music.
With his debut album's pure country sound, Michael pours his heart out into breathtaking ballads like "Still Ain't Over You," Love Song," and "Hard To Say Goodbye," while not being short of more up-tempo songs like "Honky Tonk Party," "Country Cred" and "Merry Go Round" that are guaranteed to fill the dance floor.
Family and faith have always been a big part of Michael's life, which led him to bring his grandfather in the studio with him to feature on a song that he holds dear to his heart, "Things My Grandpa Said."
Austin Michael doesn't just sing about it with his debut album under his belt, opening for Randall King and the legendary Doug Stone, among others, and headlining his shows. Instead, he's out to prove his "Country Cred" to the world. And it seems to be working, as many of his social media posts quickly rise through hundreds of thousands of views, some reaching into the millions.
Michael is not just a singer but an entertainer. His interaction with the crowd and ability to fill a dance floor indicate a much more seasoned performer.