Michael Bublé reveals his tough beginning in the music industry: The story of a young aspiring jazz crooner who went ‘bank to bank’ to find an investor for his career and sang Paul Anka’s ‘My Way’ to Paul Anka himself.
‘You are talented but I see no record sales for this genre of music’, said the executive of Warner Bros, David Foster when Michael Bublé knocked on his door trying to sign a music contract.
The Canadian singer revealed his tough beginning in the music industry, during BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. After pursuing Foster to start recording his album, the singer was told by another executive of the company, Tom Whalley, that his music ‘would not sell’ because Warner Bros already had Sinatra.
But Michael’s answer was far more convincing: ‘With all due respect, Sinatra’s dead, don’t bury the music with him. I’ll work hard and help fill the void and we will keep this music alive together’.
In an attempt to get rid of the aspiring Sinatra wannabe, David Foster told him that he would produce his record for $100,000 a track. What he did not expect was that the apparently naive singer, would actually go from ‘bank to bank’ to find an investor for his career.
‘I flew back to Los Angeles and went to David’s house, and he said “What do you want?” And I said “Mr Foster, I have the money”. He couldn’t believe I had come back. But he said, “All right”, and we started making the record’.
At the age of 26, the young crooner signed his first album with a recording label but he still hasn’t forgotten that terrifying morning with Paul Anka …
According to the singer, after he got the desperately needed money, David was having breakfast with Paul Anka and called Michael to join them: ‘I was terrified’, said Bublé, who explained that once he sang ‘My Way’ in front of Anka the only thing he could think of was that his career ‘was over’.
But, it wasn’t. In fact, this was just the beginning of Michael’s success after a long path of persistence and resilience.
The son of a Canadian fisherman, who had his first singing classes paid by his grandfather, admitted that he used to feel an ‘outsider’ because he was ‘so different from other people’: ‘How could I love jazz when other people my age didn’t’. But, despite his apprehensions, Michael soon realised that he was not ‘the crazy one’.
As Bublé’s passion for jazz music and admiration for singers and songwriters from ‘The Great American Songbook’ continued growing, so did his career … But not always in a pretty way: ‘If it (his success) had happened [at a] younger age, I think I would not be the man I am today. I was 26 and I still handled it very poorly. I regret a lot of decisions I made and the way I treated some people, even myself … I was reckless at hearts’, he humbly confessed.
Apart from his tough road to conquer the world, Bublé continues to keep a balance between fame and personal life and he still expresses his gratitude towards his grandfather every day because, ‘it all started with him’.
The famous swing crooner, who has sold more than 50 million albums all over the world recently released a new album, Nobody But Me which is also the name of one of the three original songs featured on it. Special guests include Megan Trainor and such classics as ‘This Love of Mine’, originally sung by none other than Frank Sinatra.