Michael Schwartz is a nerd.
I still live like a five-year-old,” he said. “What I need is my Super Nintendo, my N64, my GameCube, my music and that’s really it.I don’t need a Lambo, don’t need a beach house, don’t need any of that.”
He doesn’t have a car and doesn’t see the need for one.
Schwartz is average height and dresses like your average 20-year-old nerd from the suburbs would. When I met him for lunch, he was wearing a layered sweater, ankle-baring khakis, long socks and loafers. When we went outside for pictures, he donned very ‘90s shades and a very ‘90s blue beanie. It may be hard to believe, but there is something very unusual about this sophomore from Roswell, Ga; he can rap.
Schwartz has gone by many aliases since he started rapping in middle school, but his current stage name is arguably the most ironic.
“The name made sense, he said. “My dad’s name’s Freddy and my brother’s name is Jason, and I’m Michael; Michael Myerz.”
If that’s not ironic enough, according to Myerz, his mother’s family can be traced to Jamie Lee Curtis who played Laurie Strode, Michael Myers’ sister, in the Halloween movies. Curtis’ father, Tony Curtis, was born Bernard Schwartz but changed his name due to Hollywood Anti-Semitism at the time, according to imdb.com.
Nightmarish fame must run in the family, because Jamie Lee’s mother, Janet Leigh, has a little bit of a horror history as well. Leigh was the girl from the infamous shower seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
With such a famous Hollywood family, it would seem that Myerz has some big shoes to fill. But he says he wants no part of that.
“I want to perform. Period,” he said.
He wants no part of the commercialism or the stigmas rampant in hip-hop music today. He doesn’t look like the “average rapper,” but that’s because he’s not. His music is definitely not anything like what comes bumpin’ out of everybody’s car stereo speakers.
Myerz raps about being a nerd, about life, about dumb stuff. He has fun with it, and it shows through his music. He’s not about the “money, hoes, cars, and clothes” lyrics of T.I. or Afroman’s stoner themes.
“That’s not what rap’s about,” he said.
He feels like people don’t really take him seriously in the U.S. because of his Jewish ethnicity and nasally voice.
“That’s why I’m not really appreciated as much in the States as I am outside the country, because outside of the country [society]’s way more open-minded,” he said.
He does have fans, however, and plenty of them. His fans aren’t exactly you’re typical rap audience.
“I have people that literally listen to zero rap that are like, ‘You’re the only rap artist I’ll listen to because you rap about what I wanna hear’,” he said.
“I guess I just want to convey the point that you do not need to look like anyone to make a certain type of music, especially when it comes to rap. You don’t have to put on some kind of façade that you’re a thug or that ‘I sell all these drugs and I shoot people and if you mess with me I’ll cut you up.’ and I’m almost sort of mocking that in some of my songs because it just seems like rap today is just a giant joke and it can’t be taken seriously […] I’m not trying to sound cocky here, but nobody raps about anything I rap about.”
His inspiration comes from everywhere, from his favorite band–Black Mouth Super Rainbow–to Aqua Teen Hunger Force voice-actor MC Chris.
His first album, “Nightmare from the 90’s,” was inspired by cartoons and videogames he played when he was younger. His next album, “Nightmare on Rosedale,” was much more personal.
“It’s kind of more of showing who I really am,” he said.
“Rosedale,” he feels, is much deeper and something that people could take more seriously.
Both of these were digital releases, but Myerz’ next release will come in a hard copy. He is already working on his new EP, “Tropical Bananas and Spray Cans,” which he plans to release this summer on his label, Woozy Tribe.
As far as future plans, Myerz plans to change his undecided major to English and has always dreamed of working for Cartoon Network, but Myerz is serious about his music. If he could have it his way, he would never have to worry about getting a “real job.”
Myerz pointed out that, contrary to popular misconception, a person’s hobby, passion, and calling are really three different things. He explained that something can be your hobby–something you do for fun–but if your heart’s not in it you won’t be any good.
Interestingly, something can be your passion that you’re absolutely trash at. But that’s okay, he advises, just keep doing it.
“There’s a difference between you hobby, your passion, and […] your calling,” he said. “If it’s your passion, go with that. Like, if you love drawing but your drawing just sucks, just do it. It can also be your hobby. But if it’s your calling, make sure that what you’re putting out—what you want people to see—is actually legit.”
In other advice to up-and-coming artists, Myerz said, “Stay true to yourself. Don’t try to copy anyone and if anyone tells you your music sucks, give ‘em the finger.”
Though Myerz has been rapping since the sixth grade, he never considered himself officially a rapper until last year. His friends heard some of his stuff, he said, and encouraged him to make an album.
Even though he’s only recently gotten serious about his hobby, Myerz has already played some pretty impressive shows. He’s done house shows and performed at venues in Atlanta and Orlando. He has another show at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta coming up in late March. He also plans to start rapping at the Deep Release Poetry Society meeting on campus.
Myerz’ is also working with Nicole Tieman of Williams Street Shows to get on the list for a late March show at the Williams Street House, 1100 Williams St. in Valdosta. Check out Williams Street Shows on Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming performances there.
Despite his recent success, Myers’ is still a single man. In case you’re interested, he described his “Dream Girl” as a girl who loves his music and who can play videogames, especially Donkey Kong.
“I need someone who’s into being a nerd with me,” he said.