Posted On 29 Sep 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, BB King's Blues Club, Bjork, David Rousseau, FKA Twigs, Fool Don't Be, Hayley Williams, High, James Blake, Jimi Hendrix, Kickstarter, Led Zeppelin, lil wayne, Lunatic, Magic, Marley, Meresha, Miles Davis, New Revolution, Paramore, Pitbull, Poland, Queen, Reggae, tsu, Washington Times, Wynwood, Years & Years
At only 18 years old, Meresha recently launched her EP “New Revolution”.
Born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, Meresha’s interest in music began at the age of 11 with both guitar and voice lessons. In just one year, music became her passion, and she began writing and performing for anyone who would listen. By 15, Meresha had convinced her family to move to the US so that she could fully pursue her music career.
Meresha got to work, and one year later she perfected songs for her first EP, “Lunatic”. Funded through Kickstarter, Meresha raised over 200% of her goal and used the extra money to host a launch party at BB King’s Blues Club. Adding fans around the world through her Kickstarter campaign, and drawing a large local crowd to her launch party, Meresha quickly recognized that her sound – a soulful voice with modern beats was a unique blend that people craved.
Learn more about this very promising singer in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s your summer been going? Ready for the fall to begin?
Thanks! Summer was great. I was back in Europe for the first time in 3 years. I saw a lot of my old friends. It was as if I never left.
When I got back to the States, it was back to work. I did a radio remix for my song “New Revolution” and after a long search for the right director, we shot a video for it in Miami’s ubercool Wynwood art district with David Rousseau, who you may know from all the Pitbull and Magic! videos, amongst many others.
Growing up, can you remember when you first decided that you wanted to be a performer?
I recorded my first song “Fool Don’t Be” when I was 11, about seven years ago in a CD booth – remember those? Everybody told me the hook was very catchy and that I should pursue this music thing.
Hayley Williams of Paramore took me over the top. I went to 6 tours in a row of theirs and was always in the first row. Seeing the raw energy she and the band shared with their fans convinced me that I wanted to do the same.
How easy or hard was it convincing your family to move from Poland to the US so you could pursue your music career? What was it like for you all to make that transition here in the states?
My family left a lot behind to support my dream. It’s crazy considering how it is almost impossible for a new independent artist to even get noticed. I guess we do crazy. The transition wasn’t all easy. I had to continue my studies in a US system after never having been in one before. Luckily I came across a couple of arts teachers that saw some potential in me. They got me involved in variety shows, theater groups, dance ensembles, etc. Think I had 11 different roles in one show. I got winded running to change from one outfit to another all night. On the plus side, though, this let me meet a lot of like-minded souls making my transition easier.
How do you think your sound has grown on this second EP, “New Revolution”?
My first EP was supported by a lot of cool folks from around the world through a Kickstarter campaign. For my second EP, I decided to try to go for it. The whole thing was about figuring out how to make it as good as some of the music I love.
My own music skills had developed a lot since. My first EP was recorded 5 weeks after I first started using a home studio-type setup. By my second EP, I had grown a lot in terms of song structure, lyrics, hooks, etc. I hope you like the result!
Can you talk about launching your EP on the new social media site tsu? What is that all about?
tsu is another “New Revolution”. Unlike other social media sites that keep all the revenue for themselves despite using your copyrights, tsu pays out 90% of ad revenue to users. That clicked with me immediately as something much more fair to content creators. I was one of the first users when it came out and got the idea to do an exclusive EP launch there.
The CEO and his team got fully behind it. We even recorded a half dozen promo videos together. The launch got huge support from the tsu community. They are now a big part of my “army”. Without a major label, I don’t have a big corporate army to support me. I had to recruit my own. You can see the behind the scenes shots from my video there at tsu.co/meresha.
What’s it like doing all the singing and instrumentation on your album? Do you think you will continue to work this way in the future?
I’ve done a few collaborations, and hope to find great artists to work with in the future. I really enjoy composing and recording my own music, but also love how ideas develop when working with others. Plus, when I want to play live I need to have a tight band with me to put on a big show.
Generally, where do you get the inspiration for your music? Are you constantly thinking of song ideas?
You are right that the creation process never stops. I’m inspired by great music I hear, by concerts I go to, by my travels, by things I experience, by great art I see and by nature.
How did you get David Rosseau to be the director of your video for “New Revolution”? What was it like working with him?
It wasn’t easy to find a great director. Asking around in South Florida, most people first asked “What’s your budget” before asking your name.
There was a great article about David in the Washington Times entitled “Miami director’s hustle hooks Lil Wayne, Pitbull”. It described how he got started sitting on a car outside concerts he couldn’t afford to go to near his home in Little Havana, imagining the visuals to match the music he heard.
He and Pitbull got started together. David worked for basically nothing to show what he could do. Pitbull said of him in the article “He was hungry”. David developed a reputation for making world class videos without an over-the-top Hollywood budget. That’s a “New Revolution” too.
I knew for me to make it as an independent artist I needed to have the best possible visuals as well. We sort of guessed what David’s email address might be, and to our great surprise, he actually wrote back. Sometimes a total “cold call” works. The rest you can see on screen.
Actually working with David was amazing. We shot everything in one day, which for me was 15 hours long. Everything was really well organized and stress free. The rain gods smiled on us too. The second David said cut after the last party scene, it started to pour and most of us ran to our cars.
What musicians have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
My collection of vinyl and CDs includes Queen, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Bjork and others. I draw a lot of inspiration from the “classics” and I’ve covered a lot of their songs live.
Besides those, I listen to a huge range of well-done eclectic music from across genres. This ranges from FKA Twigs and James Blake to Miles Davis and some Reggae deep cuts from various Marley family members. Right now I’ve got Years & Years’ “High” on my playlist. They’re a British electronica band.
What do you hope is the message of your music? Is there something specific that you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Everyone has their own “New Revolution”. There are New Revolutions going on in music, technology and even how we eat. I’ve got plenty going on.
I’m vegan. There is a trend among some people to go back to eating real, healthy food. It’s pretty revolutionary since all the ads are telling us to eat something else.
I’m a female, independent musician trying to make it on the charts. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you that is impossible. That’s why I’m doing it. (Or trying at least).
What’s your “New Revolution”?
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
If you read so far in the interview, all I can say is kudos. You are exactly the type of person new musicians need to make it in an impossible music market. Be sure to continue to support new artists. Tell your friends when you discover cool new tunes. Buy some music. Without you, the world would be much drearier and more tone deaf.
Turn it up!