Young, talented & certainly eccentric, Meresha entered our interests with her very unique style of music and the maturity she exhibits at the age of 18. It also helps when your press kit bio starts out saying you’re an alien loving vegan. She recently released an EP on new social media site TSU and believes artists’ control of their music & essentially their own destiny is key to making this music thing work.
AEMNYC welcomes you to the UNDR.GRND.
“When I was in Las Vegas last year (June 2014), I saw a billboard for the 2015 iHeart Radio Awards program there. I said I would be there. On stage. Haven’t gotten the invite yet, but maybe in the coming years…”
Meresha.com … Trust Us.
Ok, so let’s start with Meresha. Who is she as an artist?
I’m a composer and performer who is trying to make it as an independent artist. I hope I can set my own path – creatively and with fans. Macklemore showed that musicians can control their own destiny if they worked at it hard enough. Since the majors can no longer really invest into new artists, it really is up to us. I hope to create high-quality, somewhat eclectic music.
Is what Macklemore did something you envision for yourself or do you see more?
Macklemore is one of the role models for independent artists. In today’s music industry, his may be the only model for a lot of artists. He does his radio promotion with the help of a part of Warner Brothers, but otherwise has all control of his music. He controls the masters, copyrights, etc. and decides what to release when. Most musicians will never make any money with the old-style music contract these days. The old model also leaves artists without much control of their careers. Macklemore’s model seems much better if you can make it work.
For me, I would prefer to decide myself what to do when. I do like to collaborate and work with the best people I can, but would prefer to do this on my own terms.
Now tell me about the aliens. 😉
They are among us… Seriously, who knows? Ever since I saw E.T., I was fascinated by Aliens and Outer Space. At some point, I wanted to become an astronaut. After realizing the road was through Physics and Math, decided to use the other half of my brain more. Guess moving from Europe to the States 3 years ago made me a bit of an Alien in another way (though I’m American too). As someone new in town, focused on music, and a vegan, it did sometimes seem I was from another planet.
I’m in Europe right now. You see a ton of history just walking down the streets. People are very polite, even in the big cities. Sometimes in the US, we are in such a rush we forget about being kind to others. You can easily get by without a car in much of Europe, but not so much in Florida where I’m based now. Only a few places in the US like New York, San Francisco and Boston are like European cities as far as seeing them by foot goes.
Despite all the advantages of Europe, I really wanted to move to the US. For someone starting their music career, it’s still a great place to get going.
Was the transition hard?
I left behind all my friends and had to find new ones. That’s never easy. This week, I have been able to see some of the old ones. It’s as if I didn’t leave 3 years ago. Other things were not that bad. I had traveled a lot to the US growing up, and did some of my studies in English. What really helped was that I quickly got involved in singing, playing in bands and being in dance and theater groups. I didn’t have much time to be bored, and I quickly got to know a lot of people.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I like a bunch of different eclectic music (see some of my recommendation on YouTube or Spotify). Led Zep, Queen, Bjork, Paramore, Jimi Hendrix and Parliament Funkadelic are some of my old school faves. A series of Paramore concerts got me hooked on pursuing a music career. Recently, I listen more to artists like James Blake, Haitus Kaiyote, Willow, Sza, FKA Twigs, Aphex Twin, Glass Animals, Tinashe or Alt-J.
You’re still young & have a lot more music to create, but how’d you get your start?
My first song was “Fool Don’t Be”. I recorded it when I was 12 in a CD recording booth in Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall near Miami. People who heard it encouraged me to create more. I got more active in music at school and outside. I learned how to play different instruments – esp. keys, guitar and drums; and to develop my main instrument – which is my singing. I kept writing and taking notes of different musical ideas.
2 years ago, I bought Ableton, which is pretty much a music studio in a software program. During about 5 weeks in the summer of 2013, I recorded a half dozen songs with it at home. To get it out, did a Kickstarter campaign which went pretty well. Having been through the full process from creation to recording to performing, I knew it was what I wanted to keep doing. I’m 6 years into my adventure. It’s no easy, but hopefully I can spend my time mainly on music.
Where do you see yourself musically in 10 years?
That could be a peak time in my career. I’ll hopefully have a broad catalogue of music, have worked with some more amazing musicians and be able to draw a bunch of fans to my concerts. When I was in Las Vegas last year (June 2014), I saw a billboard for the 2015 iHeart Radio Awards program there. I said I would be there. On stage. Haven’t gotten the invite yet, but maybe in the coming years…
You’ve performed with a couple of bands. Tell me about that.
I worked with various ensembles while growing my music skills, e.g,. Led Zeppelin or Ramones tribute concerts. I had the chance to perform some Queen music in Poland’s main musical theatre with 40 dancers. More recently, I put together a band called The Alien Invasion to help me launch my first EP 1.5 years ago.
How does working with a band differ from being a solo artist?
Performing with a full band is awesome. You can get an urgent exciting sound. Getting the band ready to play live, though, is a lot of work. For The Alien Invasion, we had to take apart songs that I recorded myself and put sometimes 20 sounds into parts that 5 people could play. Folks get sick, busy, grounded, etc. so just perfecting songs took much more time than we thought it would. It was worth it though.
Has your solo career been more successful than with the groups?
I’ve really enjoyed playing in various groups. You get a lot of energy and inspiration, especially live, from having so much talent in one place. In between concerts and recording, though, it can be a challenge to keep everybody together. Everyone has their own lives and goals. I’ve been lucky to be able to write, play, produce and record a lot of my music myself. I’ll be in the Northeast US for most of the next few years, though, so I think I’ll have a lot more opportunities to work with other musicians regularly and play with different bands. It will be fun to mix it up a bit.
You launched your first EP with the new social media startup Tsu.Co. Elaborate on the partnership you have with them.
I heard about tsu.co early on. I think I was one of the first 30,000 users. They pay out 90% of the artists revenue. That sounded a lot fairer than 0 which you get from other social media. I liked the idea of being early on something that was trying to change the world in its way. I went to their offices and met the CEO and team. During about 90 minutes we recorded 6 videos with them, and a leading charity that happened to be visiting, that i used to promote my EP on tsu. I ran quizzes for 30 days that were quite popular. The album was then available only there a week before the public launch. Tsu ran some sponsored posts (that all people saw in their posts) and I got a lot of support from users. When I posted my video for “you” there, the post got 28,000 views, 6,000 likes and about 350 comments. It feels really good to be so welcome in a new global community. My EP is called “New Revolution”. tsu is pretty much a new revolution too. If all creators were paid for their creations in social media, it would be huge.
Where can we find you?
Start at my site Meresha.com. You can always find the latest there, and links to all my social sites (tsu, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Behind almost every musician is a bunch of people who helped them develop. The people who helped me get involved in various artistic things after moving to the US deserve a special mention, though. I do feel with their help that I’m now on the right path.
What’s next for you?
I’m starting Music Business studies in the fall. I do want to know enough about all aspects of the industry to decide who to work with for different parts of it. I make new music all the time, and will continue to do so. You can always check my Soundcloud for the latest demos. I also have some live gigs planned. Later this summer, I’m thinking about making another video for one of the songs on my EP “new revolution”.
Alien-loving vegan singer, songwriter, musician, composer and producer – at only 18 years old, Meresha recently launched her EP “new revolution”. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Haven’t heard Of Meresha? You soon will, if she achieves her proclaimed goal of taking over the world. She promises, though, to be a benevolent leader…
Like a younger (female) Prince with a voice compared sometimes to Joss Stone, Meresha composes and performs her own eclectic mix of provocative music. It’s as if a more accessible Björk was reborn and was influenced by Electro-Pop stars James Blake and Disclosure or legends like Freddie Mercury.
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 the age of 15, Meresha had convinced her family to move to the United States 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.
Now, with the release of her second EP, Meresha plans to take the world by storm. A trendsetter, on April 7, Meresha became the first artist to launch an EP exclusively on the new social media site tsu, one week before it was available publicly. She made videos with the CEO, prominent tsu users, the tsu leadership team as well as prominent charities ahead of the launch.
What makes Meresha’s music extraordinary is her determination to utilize each and every one of her talents. Meresha wrote and sung every song on her album, and as a pianist, guitarist and drummer, she composed and performed each song as well.
“new revolution”, the title track on her EP, is a celebratory song that Meresha hopes each listener will interpret to be meaningful for his or her own “revolution”. An upbeat song that was designed to get listeners to dance and sing along, “new revolution” was written and composed to lift spirits and simply have fun. “I created this song as a celebration of the past, creation of the new and a respect of the classics,” says Meresha. “But it really can be about many things and people can interpret it in many ways. It can be applied to music, innovation or even technology.”
Meresha’s favorite song on the album, “you”, is more personal. She invites you to witness her “softer side” and tells a story she’s crafted about two individuals who admire each other but don’t know how the other feels. A powerful ballad that demonstrates the range of her voice, it is a bit mysterious, but ends well for the song’s heroes.
Other songs on the EP include the cool “lemonade city” and smooth “august”.
Meresha plans to study music business in college this fall, She believes in order to be successful in such a challenging industry, she needs to get to know all aspects of the business.