(CAMBRIDGE, CAMBRIDGESHIRE) Working alongside David Bowie and Michael Jackson’s collaborators. Being an artist with worldwide airplay. Brokering a hundred-million-dollar deal with Disney-Pixar and SGI without any formal education. Any one of these things would be almost impossible for anyone, but singer-songwriter Michael Tinholme overcame the most impossible odds to make all of these a reality…
As a child Michael was adopted into a turbulent household. With his father often away as a Lieutenant in the army, and his mother suffering from serious mental health issues, Michael had to battle through abuse and care for his younger siblings. Michael found sanctuary and the freedom to pursue his dreams of making music in the club The Four Muses, who brought him on as an opening act for legendary artists such as Bill Medley, Melody and Jennifer Warren. Michael Tinholme found a friendship and mentor under the wing of Scatman Carruthers (Chico and the Man, The Shining).
Unfortunately, things reached a breaking point when Michael had to leave home days before his 16th birthday, starting his 6-year stretch of self-exile and homelessness. He hitchhiked up and down the 5 Freeway in California and the Pacific Coast Highway, panhandling, dishwashing, and doing day labour. Eventually he had to steal to feed himself and became self-destructive. Aged 20, he met a former pimp by the name of Fast Eddie Valentine who saw potential in Michael and who got him accommodations and helped him back on his feet.
With no high school diploma, and having faked graduating, Michael worked for free as a computer salesman, quickly working his way up and within a few years he became part of America’s technology revolution. Despite his rough background, Michael went on to be one of the first to sell industrial robots in California, and was one of the first to consult with General Dynamics following the Challenger disaster. He eventually graduated to selling ‘Silicone Graphic’ workstations and CGI software to Pixar, and Industrial Light and Magic, the tools needed for their major motion picture Toy Story and many others, contributing to the change of the media landscape. A $100M deal for Disney Burbank, one of the largest orders of its kind.
Armed with success, Michael returned to his true passion – music. Despite playing his first professional show aged 12, Michael released his first CD decades later with – ‘The House of Jazz’. Conducting the orchestra on Michael’s first album was legendary Bruce Fowler, conductor of the largest movie symphony orchestra to date for, ‘The Dark Knight’.
Since then, Michael has released 15 singles and 4 albums. Throughout he has become close friends and collaborated with the likes of Mike Garson (pianist – Davie Bowie, Trent Reznor), Steve Lukather (guitarist – Toto, Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney), Bill Cunliffe (pianist – Bette Midler, Quincy Jones), and a whole host more.
Michael Tinholme’s catalogue has enjoyed airplay across UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Caribbean, China, and more, and has seen him featured across USA Today, The BBC, and TalkTV.
Michael’s story is a true testament to the strength of the human spirit and one man’s love for music. It is hard to believe that given Michael’s turbulent upbringing and years on the streets, that he has been able to impact the modern pop culture landscape so significantly. With a listen to his music, we think you will see what makes him your favourite musician’s favourite singer-songwriter.
“Michael Tinholme’s Story is the stuff dreams are made of
or Legends. It’s the stuff that happens in Movies”
Tom Berg – USA Today