Nashville-based singer/songwriter Gavin Mikhail makes earnest, emotive, piano-based pop. Born in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1975, Mikhail grew up in a musical family and first began studying classical piano around age seven.
By the time he was a teenager, he was an accomplished musician who regularly played organ in his church. After high school, he studied finance at Purdue University, during which time he also played in various local bands. Upon graduating, he relocated to Nashville, where he took a job working at Giant Records, first in financing, and later as a member of the A&R department. While at Giant, he helped promote such acts as Blake Shelton, Clay Walker, Georgia Middleman, and others. By the late '90s, Mikhail had left Giant to pursue his own songwriting and performance career. In 2003 he released his debut, the independently produced album My Personal Beauty Needs, followed three years later by Like Normal People Do. His albums began to find an audience online, and in 2007 he signed a distribution deal with HMV and Tower Records in Japan. Also that year, he won the Lay It Down and Mix It Up song contest in the U.K., for which he earned recording time at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in England. He traveled to England and in 2009 released The Real World Sessions, Vol. 1. Included on the album was a cover of Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You into the Dark," which went viral with over a million views online. On the heels of that success, he also composed and recorded a piano soundtrack for Ruta Sepetys' New York Times best-selling novel Between Shades of Gray. Mikhail then returned to his own solo work in 2012 with Some Die Young. The singles "Still Falling for You," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Pompeii" appeared in 2016. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi