Meresha on standing out in a congested music industry
Having all the answers is a question of having enough perspectives to give someone the full picture. Here at Thrive Indie we are dedicated to providing information that will help Independent artists and music professionals thrive in the industry. And what better way to do that than to talk with someone who is currently beating the odds and making their mark on the industry. Well back in October I had the opportunity to do just that.
Back in October, I had the opportunity to do just that. Meresha a multi-talented singer and songwriter who’s’ been turning heads since she recorded her first song at the age of 12. Her last two singles have both been placed on the billboard top 40 and in December 2016 she joined the likes of Yung Lean and Olivia O’Brien on Billboard’s Next Big Sound being as the No. 6 emerging artist globally. I picked her brain on how she was able to stand out in an overcrowded industry, crowdfunding, and what the future holds for her. You can read the full interview below.
“It’s a profession. It’s almost to impossible to make it if you see it as a weekend hobby.” – Meresha
Hey, first I would like to thank you for taking out the time to do this interview. Of course, I know about you but for our readers who don’t know can you tell them a little about yourself and how you got started in music?
Thanks Bryant for connecting on this! I’m a (musical) artist, vegan & multidimensional explorer. I wrote my first song when I was 12, and recorded it in a mall recording booth. A few years later I reworked it as my first single “Fool Don’t Be”. You can still find it online.
Recently, my songs have started to connect more broadly. The last 2 singles made Billboard Top 40 charts and my videos have been played on MTVu, etc.
With the success you have seen so far in your career, what are some of the unexpected things that have accompanied it that you have come across?
That people are people. When we see stars from afar, they seem so incredible and unreal. When you finally meet them as part of what you do, you realize they are just like the rest of us. They’re real people.
Last year, I had a chance to perform with Adam Lambert (Idol, Queen). He has incredibly energized fans and is an amazing performer. Meeting him backstage, though, you realize he’s a person you can really connect with.
I’ve heard your music and I think it’s great, I read an interview you did with Starpulse.com and you said you received formal vocal, guitar, and drum training. Your voice and talent are one of a kind and you’ve been focused on music since you were a young girl, but even with all that going for you, you still say that it’s hard to stand out. What ways have you found to stand out in a congested music industry?
Thanks! It’s true that there are a lot of talented musicians. It’s also easier now to produce quality music and put it out on Spotify, etc. Now the tough part is reaching new listeners and fans.
I’ve tried to do some things that others don’t do (yet) early. I had a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign at 16 when there still weren’t that many of them. I’ve engaged on some new social media sites a lot, which connected me with 100,000s.
Recently I’ve started recording my music in English and Spanish. Latin artists have been successful crossing over, but there are almost no examples of non-Latins being successful in Spanish. I’m super excited to give it a shot.
The last conversation we had you said were working on a single and trying to shoot a video. How is that coming along?
I have a new song “Juntos”/“Together” coming out soon. It will be my first song in both English and Spanish versions. I also recorded 2 “Spanglish” versions. The date is not 100% set, but it will on iTunes, Spotify, etc. soon.
For the video, I have a quite different idea than usual, involving a bunch of people, but I can’t really talk about that yet. Stay tuned. I’m hoping it will be one of those things that bring color and celebration into the world.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Indie artists trying to make it?
It’s a profession. It’s almost to impossible to make it if you see it as a weekend hobby.
While you do have to keep working on your craft as an artist, much of the day-to-day of being a musician is continuous interaction on a world-wide scale. You have to be ready to communicate with fans – every day. You need to connect to new industry people, do collaborations, organize cool gigs, and so on.
You have to be all-in. It might take time to see real results, but if you try enough things, a lot of them eventually will lead to more and more success and exposure. Add in some luck, and you’ll be able to make a living doing the thing you love the most.