Girls and Boys

When it comes to the music industry, all it takes is a combination of luck, talent, and exposure to become a star. Getting that concoction just right is easier said than done, but if you're lucky, talented, and have a MySpace page, anything is possible. Take it from Ingrid Michaelson, who arrives in town this week on her first official tour. The cute and bespectacled singer/songwriter will belt out songs from her solid new disc, Girls and Boys. The album is full of fun, Sunday-morning lying-in-bed music that's all impressive and wonderfully composed, but you may have never heard it if it weren't for Grey's Anatomy.

Michaelson landed a whopping four songs on the popular ABC television show and has practically crafted the soundtrack to Meredith Grey's life. It's a great way to instantly catapult your career, and Michaelson is certainly seizing the opportunity while it lasts and making sure the world gets to know who she really is. The 27-year-old says she's been singing professionally for only about ten months, which makes her rather green, but if you catch her in concert this week, you'll witness her in raw format sans the glitz and glamour that may follow in years to come. Michaelson recently took some time out to talk with New Times about what it's like to be a TV star who's never been on television.

New Times: So the past 12 months have been pretty crazy for you.

Michaelson: Pretty crazy is a good way to describe it. I went from working at a children's theater group and living at home with my parents — well, I still live at home with my parents — to getting a contact through MySpace saying they want to use my songs for TV and film. Ever since the Grey's Anatomy thing started happening last November, I quit my job and have been touring.

Did you see any of this coming?

You know, I was almost resigned to the fact that if it happened, it happened. But I didn't know what else to do to get my music heard. And then, it just happened. I wasn't packing up my car and busking in subways, but I almost assumed it wasn't going to happen at all.

So what type of music are you listening to on your tour bus?

Tour bus? Actually, I'm traveling in my mom's minivan.

You must be racking up some killer miles on your mom's car.

Yeah, but I get tire changes and oil changes frequently. It's a 2005 Toyota Sienna. Its comfy and cozy. If we had someone driving us around, it would be perfect, but it's not. Right now, there's just three of us.

Sounds pretty DIY.

I'm also staying with friends and relatives of mine wherever I can. It's kind of weird crashing with cousin so-and-so that you've never really met. But it works.

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Jonathan Cunningham