Michael Wheatley has been a mainstay in Sydney’s live funk and dance scene as a musician, singer, producer and DJ since the early 90s. With an original flavour that leans toward the funk and soul side of music he has captivated audiences in many venues including The Basement, Opera Bar, Golden Sheaf Hotel, The Vanguard, The Rose Of Australia, Sandringham Hotel, Tonic, Melt Bar and various festivals including Sydney Fringe Festival, Peats Ridge, Taste Of Sydney, Jurassic Lounge, Stamping Ground and Playground Weekender aswell as numerous live radio and television appearances. He has appeared live with a huge array of amazing artists either in their band, accompanying them or as the support act including Davidson Ospina (US), Jimmy Barnes, Shauna Jensen, Jack McCord, Bek Jensen, DJ Ill Pickl, DJ Wayne G (UK), Peyton (US), Gabby Millgate, Jack Thompson, Fatback 4way, Sarina Del Fuego and Miss Kelly Ann Doll to name but a few.
Michael has also enjoyed great success in the realm of recorded music, with 4 albums and 2 EPs under his own name including the latest release “Universal Joint” out on his own record label Ensemble 770. He is also in demand as a vocalist, keyboardist, co-writer sound engineer and producer and has worked on successful local and international releases with artists and producers of note from all over the world including Wayne G (UK), CHASM, Dr Don Don, Valique (Russia), Eric Kupper (US), Sam Joole, Ill Pickl, Beth Yen, Davidson Ospina (US), Shauna Jensen and many more.
In late 2011 Michael completed his 4th solo album Universal Joint. Michael returned to a very funk and dance related sound (ala Unda Da Hood 2003) with an emphasis on blending rootsy earthy textures and instruments with synthetic keyboard licks and beats of the PHAT variety. It’s a collection of 13 tunes that touch on funk, house, disco, hip hop, electro boogie, nu disco and rock. Universal Joint boasts a huge line up of guest vocalists, rappers, co-writers and musicians including Bek Jensen, Beth Yen (UK), Meg Drummond, Sari Lyrical, Cliff Valentine (Fiji) and State Advanced (Canada). Over the last four years Michael had been penning and recording this album late at night and into the morning unable to sleep after his regular schedule of gigs and dj spots in the heart of Sydney’s nightlife. Naked to the ear upon a bed of solid grooves and beats Universal Joint paints a picture of a wild and wicked city as seen through the eyes of someone who’s lived and breathed it for over two decades.
Hot off the back of Universal Joint Michael was privileged to be exclusively remixed by Valique of Vehicle Records (Russia) with the 3 track EP Michael Wheatley – Vehicle Remixes out exclusively through junodownload.com.
Inspired by the Vehicle release Michael once again stepped back into the world of dance music teaming up with Davidson Ospina (NYC) and Damien Goundrie (Reel Sessions) to cover the classic early 80s hit by Freeez I.O.U. hitting dancefloors with a bang in June 2012.
Not content to end 2012 just yet Michael also released his 5th album, Capable Hands, The Remix Project, a cool collection of remixes by other producers which came out 12/12/12 on his own label Ensemble 770. The album came about as various friends and producers approached Michael with remixes they’d produced of tracks from Universal Joint. The talent is as strong as the genres varied with remixes by Brüder (NZ), Haus Of Ill Repute (Syd), SoulFunky (UK) and Mr Chombee (Syd), covering genres such as deep house, electro boogie, soulful house and disco house. The mixes on Capable Hands, The Remix Project breathe a new beat and club orientated vibe into these underground funk gems.
Whilst not in his studio, Nut N Butter Studio, working on new albums and producing other artists Michael has been purveying his funky, rootsy and soulful sounds around Sydney either solo, with his favourite line up of a trio or behind the decks DJing.