Don’t you just hate those people who’ve known what they’ve wanted to do since birth? Here you are at 30 still trying to figure things out and there are piano prodigies out there that know they’ll play at the Disney Hall in a year or so and that’s that. Well as the Plain White T’s once sang, “Hate is a strong word…” And the reality is that we don’t hate these people, we’re just jealous as hell. That leads me to introduce Meresha. She’s barely an adult but has been excelling in the music game since she was in middle school. Not to mention she kicked ass with a Kickstarter Campaign before she could even drive. If that’s not something to envy – I’m not sure what is. So I’ll stop rambling and let you get to know more about the young lady who gets one step closer to owning the world every day.
Kendra: You’re barely a legit adult in age, but you’ve been making music for a while now. What sparked your interest as a young teen?
Meresha: Going to some great concerts got me hooked. I saw the Black Eyed Peas in 2007 in Warsaw, Poland when I was 10. They brought amazing energy to their show. Soon after, I became a huge fan of Paramore. I saw them open for No Doubt right after a then almost unknown Janelle Monae. I was literally in shock after the concert. I knew then that music was what I wanted to do.
Kendra: When you start out the gate with comparisons to Freddie Mercury and Bjork, does that put more pressure on you to move forward, or does it fuel you to continue that momentum?
Meresha: Both of those artists are amazing role models with accomplishments to aspire to. They weren’t afraid to be different in their music and their performances. I have a bunch of Queen CDs that I listen to all the time. Had a chance to perform some of their music live. It’s really powerful and enduring. Would love for people to still listen to my music even after I stop making it.
Kendra: So making music at 13, these amazing comparisons and you also raised a buttload in a Kickstarter Campaign when others were learning to drive. Did you expect that to do as well as it did?
Meresha: Well I only got my own driver’s license in January of this year, two years later than I could have. Was too busy with my music (and school). When I got Ableton two years ago, I couldn’t stop creating. It’s basically a recording studio in a software package. After playing with it for five weeks, I had about seven songs ready in rough form. The Kickstarter Campaign was an idea to help get the music perfected and out to the world. The whole effort forced me to get serious about my internet presence and a bunch of other things. I got a band together and we debuted the music live at the late B.B. King’s music club. Was amazing to have support from five continents and so many people. It gave me a feeling that maybe I could actually make it as a musician.
Kendra: Music aside, you’re a fan of aliens. How deep does this fascination run?
Meresha: Pretty deep. Originally I had an idea to become an astronaut. I still have a bunch of space related things in my room. When I found out that to become an astronaut I would have to master math and physics, though, decided that maybe using the other half of my brain in a more creative direction might be a better idea for me.
Kendra: Okay, back to music. What would a “Lemonade City” look like?
Meresha: That one is worth making a video for, but I’d need to find the right director who could help me realize “Lemonade City” fully. I can see some of the song’s heroes hanging out on the steps outside of brownstones not unlike those you might see in New York or Chicago neighborhoods. It has to be a big city, but I’m not sure yet which one. Any ideas?
Kendra: Also, where do you see yourself musically over the next year or so in terms of recording, releasing and touring?
Meresha: The EP is just out, so my focus right now is getting it heard. I’m still getting new first plays on further FM stations every week. I’m reaching out to fans through social media, including tsu where I has an exclusive premier of the music a week before it was out publicly. I’m starting to think about some remixes and another video or two. I am doing some live shows, for example tonight, but don’t plan a full tour until I finish a few more songs. Have a bunch I’m working on in between.
Kendra: You’ve gotten to perform stateside and overseas. What were some differences between the crowds that stood out immediately?
Meresha: There are some cultural differences. Crowds might be more proper and polite in some parts of Europe, and more laid back in the US. What I noticed too, however, is how music brought people together. Whether it was Paramore in Warsaw or FKA Twigs in Miami, the audience came together in a joint experience for a few hours. People shared some great sounds and emotions together that they will remember for a long time. That’s the type of experience I hope to create with my shows.
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape to send to an alien that best represented music’s current state, what five songs would have to be on it?
Meresha: I have an over 18 hour favs lists up on Spotify which is close to golden for me. Certainly a worthy collection for an alien. The top 5 I would choose is changing all the time. I’m discovering great new music continuously. I guess if I had to choose right now, I would pick in no particular order: