Meresha (@Mereshas) is very talented multi-instrumentalist and producer that’s had the opportunity to share the stage with Adam Lambert, Third Eye Blind, and her Music video “New Revolution” was directed by David Rousseau. Who has worked with artists such as, Pitbull, Magic!, Enrique Iglesias, LMFAO, Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Wayne. Meresha’s New Revolution was nominated 5 times at the 2015 MTV VMAs, plays on over 30 video stations including MTV properties, and held the number one spot on the Mediabase Charts in the “United States” for a Month. In addition, most recently Meresha, was dubbed by Billboard the 6th emerging global artist.
The Hype Magazine had the opportunity to speak with the “My Love Has Come” hitmaker about her first single “Fool Don’t Be” which was created in a CD booth at a mall. The Talented artist has also drawn comparisons to artists such as Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Björk, and Lorde. In addition, she has made several versions of her singles “Together” and Juntos, which is a Spanish version, but some of the meanings do not translate fully. Finally, she talks about how the Black Eyed Peas and Paramore inspired her to pursue a career as an artist.
How old were you when you first exposed to music and who were some of your favorite musicians growing up?
I heard a lot of music growing up including Pop, Rock, Soul, R&B, Jazz and Classical. I grabbed some great music from my parents – vinyl, and CDs from Led Zeppelin, Queen, Parliment Funkadelic, Björk, and others which I still have.
What really got me into thinking about doing music as a career was seeing some great live acts – especially concerts by the Black Eyed Peas and Paramore. This was in my pre-teens and made me want to amaze on stage like they did.
You recorded your first single “Fool Don’t Be” in a CD booth at a mall. Can you tell us what mall it was and what some of the emotions that you were feeling at the time?
It was at Sawgrass Mills in South Florida when I was 12. I wrote the lyrics one summer when I just started writing songs as a main hobby. It was all for fun, though, and not serious. On a whim, I recorded the song during a visit to the mall. There used to be booths that were mini recording studios for voice. Out popped a CD. People I played it for encouraged me to keep pushing, which I did. I rewrote it a bit a few years later and recorded my first music video with a friend. The song ended up being the lead for a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign I did and got me going.
You have been dubbed a multi-instrumentalist. Besides the guitar what other instruments are you familiar with?
I compose mainly on keys. I can also play drums. In general, all the sounds you hear on my songs are made by me in one way or another. I do the production and original mix, though usually have some help recording final vocals and harmonies as well as final mix and mastering. I’m looking forward to opening things up and collaborate more in the future. Some remix competitions I’ve done for my songs are the first step.
This past December Billboard named you a Top 10 global emerging artists. What were your initial thoughts when you first received the news?
What a great honor. Not many people ever make it on Billboard charts. There are literally millions of us Indie musicians out there. Now it’s a lot to live up to. Being on Billboard has opened some doors, but in the end, all depends on how good your songs are, and if they connect with people. That’s what I’m working on now.
Can you describe how much of a culture shock it was for you at the age of 15 relocating for Europe to Florida?
Things are a lot different. Where I lived in Europe is a bit more formal, but people were very kind and open. Florida is much less formal, but it also takes a long time to really get to know the people behind their smiles. Luckily I had a few people who pulled me into music, theater, and dance and let me push my boundaries, exposing me to new things. I still do most of my recording in Florida and did a video with David Rousseau, who has worked a lot with Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, etc. I’m able to work with people now that have an impact globally. I’m also a fan of Latin culture. I speak Spanish and even have a song in Spanish called “Juntos” which has been played on Spanish and Latin American radio.
You have drawn comparisons to artists such as a young Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Björk, and Lorde. If you had to pick who do you believe your sound and style is more aligned with currently?
I guess people have compared my voice to Annie Lennox, and my style to a danceable Lorde adding some even more esoteric elements. I’m a big fan of British electronic musicians like James Blake and artists like FKA Twigs and take a lot of inspiration from them.
Can you describe the crowd’s energy when you performed live in concert with Adam Lambert and Third Eye Blind?
It was great. I didn’t know what it would be like to open for such acts. My thought process was would people show up in time for my set and would they pay attention, which something that I was thrilled to see. There even was a flash mob of dancing to my last song of the performance I’m itching to get back on stage, though need to record a few more tunes first.
What was some advice they have passed along that you have taken heart?
Work every day. The best of the biggest artists do. You have to keep improving your musicianship. For me, that mean training my voice daily and also playing, at least the keys. I also spend a lot of time staying in contact with my music with friends and fans on social media, email, messaging. etc. There is a lot that goes on that people don’t see that needs to get done for your music to be heard. It’s a profession, not a hobby.
You released your two singles “Together” and “Juntos”, In late 2016, how long did it take you to come up with the concepts?
“Together” and “Juntos” are called for togetherness in today’s divided world. Watching all that is happening in the US and Europe can be discouraging. We have to stick together no matter our skin color, national background, religious practice, sexual preference or other beliefs.
Creating the songs took several months. “Together” was first. Once I had it, I got the idea to also do a Spanish version inspired from recent trips to Costa Rica and Spain. In the end, I made 4 versions – English/ Spanish and 2 in Spanglish. I’ve also gotten over 70 remixes done of the songs which take the music in various directions including rap, jazz, duets, etc.
“Juntos” is the first song you have composed in Spanish can you describe tell us the difference in preparation tactics compared to composing a song in English?
“Together” was the basis for “Juntos”. It’s not identical, though. Some things don’t translate exactly. Spanish is such a beautiful language. Some things just sounded better with a somewhat different meaning. After I recorded it, I played it for some Latino friends. They liked the singing even more than the English version. There’s something about Spanish that draws out your emotions. It was my first but for sure not my last song in Spanish.
How many hours a day do you spend in the studio producing and critiquing your own music?
My days revolved around music these days, so its hard to say its limited in any way. I’m always taking notes of ideas, observations, etc. Sometimes this comes with lyrics and/or music. Some things then take months or years to really develop into full songs. The main thing is to stay creative and excited while working every day to make better music.