Remember This Name: Ingrid Michaelson - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Remember This Name: Ingrid Michaelson

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    Remember This Name: Ingrid Michaelson
    Frank Heinz
    Ingrid Michaelson performs at the House of Blues in Dallas on Oct. 24, 2007.

    You have probably heard Ingrid Michaelson's voice, though you may not know it. Michaelson is responsible for the infectious pop-lyric currently being heard in a nation-wide Old Navy commercial.

    "If you are chilly, here take my sweater."

    I knew you had heard it.

    Michaelson, 27, is now embarking on her first big tour through the U.S. and recently had a stop at Dallas' House of Blues where she was opening for Matt Nathanson.

    Michaelson got her first break when her music was heard on the social networking site MySpace.com. Soon her music was being heard by viewers of "The Real World" and "One Tree Hill," but it was the placement of her song "Keep Breathing" on the season three finale of "Grey's Anatomy" that put her voice into the ears of millions of Americans, who shortly thereafter helped set records on Google as viewers tried to find out who she was.

    Michaelson then scored the deal with Old Navy, where the clothier would use part of her song "Take Me As I Am" in their commerical campaign.

    "I didn't get big on MySpace, but somebody found me on MySpace. That is how I got on "Greys Anatomy" and Old Navy. It's amazing and without that I would have never been found," said Michaelson. "I dont think that is the answer for everyone -- I think I got pretty lucky."

    Michaelson, who credits bands such as Deathcab For Cutie, The Shins, Regina Spektor, Feist, Imogene Heap and the Magnetic Fields as influences who helped her change and redefine her writing style, is even better live than she is recorded and not just because of her musical ability.

    During her set at the House of Blues, Michaelson's theater background was evident as she entertained the crowd with not only the music of she and bandmate Allie Moss, but with her sharp sense of humor as well. Throughout the 30-minute set, Michaelson's soft piano-driven songs were continually challenged by the tunes of another band performing in an adjacent hall whose hard bass lines were no match for the walls at the House of Blues. At one point, Michaelson reassured the sold-out crowd that they were all safe from the apparent deluge of bombs being dropped outside.

    Before committing her life to performing full-time, Michaelson was in her fourth year of directing children's theater in New York.

    "It got to the point where I was like, 'Well, I have to do this with my life or pursue music.' I chose music, but I miss the kids," said Michaelson.

    Soon after, Michaelson's second self-released album, "Girls and Boys," began breaking onto the Billboard charts while her album sales went up. Way up.

    "There was a big spike because of the Old Navy commerical. I dont have a major label, so it's not being pumped out on radio and you aren't seeing my face everywhere. I kind of like it like that [the anonymity] -- no one knows what I look like, they only know my voice from television or radio. It's pretty weird. I still don't think it's me, you know. I feel completely normal when I am not playing a concert," Michaelson said."

    So far, not being attached to a major label hasn't hurt Michaelson's career, though she does casually admit that she doesn't always know what she is doing while giving interviewers what she calls "the same 'ol 'I don't know what I am doing' speech."

    Whatever she is doing is serving her well. Michaelson has been able to produce exactly the kind of music she wants while playing with artists she admires and calls friends, while at the same time getting her music in front of millions of people.

    "It's getting radio play slowly, which I think is going to become more and more the case in this world of independent music. I think radio is embracing more of an indie sound where you can't quite define what it is," said Michaelson. "I think my music, where it's rooted in pop and folk, there's a little bit of an edge that I think people are embracing."

    Michaelson said she will continue down this road as long as it remains beneficial to her career, but realizes that may have to change before releasing her third album next year.

    "I'm not going to mess with it if it's going well," Michaelson said. "But, I think that I have to step it up in some way. It just depends on what is best for the record, creative control and my career."

    Whichever road she chooses, Michaelson will undoubtedly have many more fans eagerly awaiting her next release, taking her just as she is.

    On The Web:
    IngridMichaelson.com
    Ingrid Michaelson on MySpace
    Ingrid Michaelson's performance on Carson Daly