We had the good fortune of connecting with Meresha . and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meresha, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Q: What was your thought process behind starting your own business? I wrote my first song when I was 12 and was hooked on making music soon afterward.
Seeing Hayley of Paramore and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas on stage made me want to do the same as them. So I put out my first album through a Kickstarter campaign at 16 and have not looked back since.
Q: What’s one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
To be an indie musician, you have to do a million things consistently. That includes being creative with your music and the art around it, being active on social media and in communications with fans, pitching your music to various gatekeepers, booking gigs, rehearsing, etc.
Some see their idols and the aura around them but don’t see the years of work to achieve their main milestones.
Q: Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
The choice to be an Indie musician is, by definition, a risky one. Out of the millions skilled enough to release music on places like Spotify, only a small number will earn enough from their craft to do only that.
Q: Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Never giving up. By definition, you will be rejected almost all the time as an indie musician. Playlisters will say no. Bloggers will say no. Concert bookers will say no. Many people you contact will not respond at all.
I’ve been lucky to play for 40,000, be on various Billboard charts, MTV, etc. Next to those successes, though, there are innumerable times when things did not work out.
Q: What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?
I’ve learned just to be myself. Whether meeting fans at concerts, communicating on social media, or interacting on Twitch, people want to connect with a real person, including the good and the bad.
Q: What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
Moving with my family to the U.S. from Europe when I was a freshman in high school was a significant step. I wanted to move to pursue music, but transitioning to a new system near the end of the school year caused a lot of challenges. Luckily I was blessed to be supported by different music, theater, acting, and dance coaches that helped me develop in those crucial years.
Q: Work-life balance: how has your balance changed over time? What do you think about the balance?
Work-life balance is essential for me. I try to eat well, exercise and sleep enough while training my voice daily and developing my music. I just had a great gig in Brooklyn and plan to play L.A. next month, but luckily can return to a bit quieter climes in between.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation? What does it mean to you / what do you like about it?
Freddie Mercury said, “I love the fact that I can make people happy, in any form.”
I once shared the stage with Adam Lambert, who now guests as the Queen lead singer in Freddie’s place, and who also is skilled at making his fans happy.
Nothing beats sharing joy. Being able to perform live again after two-plus years of lockdowns is a gift, and I try to give back the incredible energy it gives me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a creator, performer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer. I call my music Alien Pop. It’s sort of like Pop, but also sort of out of this world. I’m an indie musician and compose my own tunes, but also collaborate regularly.
My music has been on Billboard charts, MTV, etc. and I’m blessed to have a following globally.
I’m back to playing live now for the first time since Covid. I loved playing the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn recently and am looking forward to my first L.A. concert Saturday July 9 at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood.
In the past, I have opened for 40,000 ahead of Marshmello and played festivals like SunFest, No Snow Ball and Gov Ball in New York.
One of my albums was named a Top 20 of the year globally by AllMusic. I’ve been blessed also to work with brands like Disney, Adobe, Citibank & Casio.
For every achievement, there were at least 99 failed attempts people won’t see. Despite that, need to keep pressing forward.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m just back from Brooklyn. I would catch a gig at The Knitting Factory, where I recently played. A lot of really talented musicians have come through there. Nearby, you can get some Pierogis in Greenpoint, the traditional Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Of course, no visit to Brooklyn would be complete without visiting Dumbo and catching a view of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mrs. Salivar lead the arts program at my high school. I transferred in Junior Year and she immediately adopted me for various shows. I had probably 11 roles in the school’s big variety show. I literally had to keep changing outfits all night long and scoot between set pieces. Not only did this help me integrate with the school, but it also helped me develop my skills very quickly.
Other: Music & other links: https://linktr.ee/meresha