ONE of the really cool things regarding new music is…
unearthing someone making their first steps – eager and ambitious. Megana hails from Liverpool but is based in the south - preparing to release her E.P., Feel Alive. She is excited about what is to come and how her music will be received. If previous originals and covers are to be taken into consideration: the E.P. is going to be a stunner and cement her place as one of the strongest young songwriters around. With a voice that has been compared with the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse; a broad and impressive lyrical palette and a natural live presence – be sure to watch the young musician fly. I have been fortunate enough to learn more about Megana’s past and what will go into Feel Alive; she talks about fashion and how the remainder of this year is looking.
HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Without a Landmine
Hey Meg. How has your week been? What have you been getting up to?
Yeah. Good, thanks. I have been very busy in preparation for my single and E.P. release but I’m enjoying it!
For those new to your music, can you introduce yourself, please?
Yeah sure. So. I am Megana and I write Soul/Pop music with flavours of Country as well. I write songs which tell stories, of which I hope, connect and relate to others and also evoke emotions in people.
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I believe you just successfully funded a music video via Kickstarter. What was your reaction to that and can you tell us a bit about the video?
My incredible followers on Facebook helped my raise just over £400 for a music video (released this Sunday along with my first single What Is the Cure). I was so shocked at the willingness to help me: I feel like we really came together as a little community.
I was overwhelmed and so thankful! The video is so good: we filmed in quite a few different locations; it’s very emotional and moody that’s all I’m saying, haha.
You have spent a lot of time recording (originals and covers) at Lark Studios in Surrey. What is it like recording there and what is about the space that keeps you coming back?
It’s great. Lark' is such a great place to record. It’s only small but it’s a space which allowed me to feel very free and comfortable when recording my E.P. here (as well).
Originally from Liverpool, you are now based in Surrey. What compelled the move from Liverpool and what is the main difference between the two areas in terms of the music scene?
So. I moved to Surrey just over two years to study Vocals at the Academy of Contemporary Music. When I moved, I noticed quite a few differences to be honest.
For one, there is a lot more competition and the standard seemed to be set very high - which initially was very daunting.
However, there are more opportunities so that’s better! I’m glad I moved I am enjoying getting more engrossed in the London music scene.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lark Recordings
How was it playing the Buskers’ Stage at Always the Sun Festival recently?
So much fun. It took me out my comfort zone a bit as I decided to play acoustic versions of my tracks on my guitar - which I don’t usually do but I think it paid off. I had a great response and there was such a good vibe in the tent.
Looking at your fashion and style, it seems like you are inspired by the ‘60s. Have your parents had an influence on that and have you any particular style icons?
I would say I just love anything vintage or aged. I love the character in some old garments and so they have always interested me.
From a young teenager, I would always raid the charity shops in Liverpool for unique buys. My mum has always had a cool style as well so perhaps I got it from her, haha.
In November you’ll be releasing your first E.P. What can we expect from that and is it a mix of covers or purely originals?
So. My debut E.P. is out on the 13th November and it’s called Feel Alive. The E.P. consists of four tracks which were all written by myself. The songs explore heartbreak, romance; self-exploration as well as my spirituality.
Following on from the E.P., what does the rest of 2016 have in store?
I have a very few busy months leading up to the New Year. I want to really promote this E.P. and play live; but as well as this, I am part of a group called Urban Voices Collective and we have many exciting gigs in the pipeline leading up to Christmas. I am preparing myself for a very busy period.
Having appeared at a number of festivals this year and recorded at some great studios: what have been your fondest and proudest memories so far?
This year I was proud to play at Wembley Arena - performing a song as part of a variety show for two consecutive nights.
I was also delighted to be flown over to play an extremely fun beer festival over in Austria. And, not to forget, the hard work that went into my upcoming E.P. I am so proud of the finished music.
Of all the songs you have written, is there one that stands out as is particularly meaningful to you?
Yes. My first single What Is the Cure. It was a song written in one of my lowest moments over the past two years and it was a song that really helped me to find my feet again. I hold this song very close to my heart.
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As a musician, how do you think you have changed and grown over the last couple of years?
I have grown massively. Through studying, I have developed my vocal technique and songwriting ability; but also throughout my writing process for the E.P. it has allowed me to grow as a person. I have written down my feelings and explored my emotions way deeper than I ever thought I could.
Do you get time to switch off from music and wind down, and if so, how do you spend your free time?
It’s quite hard to switch off sometimes because so much of an artist’s success (these days) is determined by their presence online - so I feel I am forever posting.
You have to be persistent and determined. However, when I can switch off I love shopping for vintage gems, baking and sewing my own fashion pieces.
Are there any fellow local artists or mainstream artists you feel we should check out?
I really love a lady called Lissie. She inspired me a lot in my writing. She is an American Country/Rock singer, and boy, can she sing! Check out her first album Catching a Tiger.
For anyone reading that wants to follow you into music: what advice would you offer?
Please do join the Megana family: your support is so appreciated.
I tend to use Facebook as my main social media - so if you find me on there you will be fully connected to all I do in terms of live gigs, releases and any of crazy stuff on my agenda.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song (other than one of yours as I’ll put that in) and I’ll play it here…
Lissie – Loosen the Knot.
PHOTO CREDIT: Without a Landmine