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Songtrust Spotlight: Meiko

Meiko is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Roberta, Georgia who now splits her time between Nashville and London. Her songs find common ground between indie pop and coffeehouse folk as her distinctive alto vocals share the spotlight alongside acoustic guitars, pianos, and unique arrangements.

A long-time songwriter, Meiko has released six critically-acclaimed albums and numerous EPs through MySpace/DGC, Concord Music Group, Universal Japan, and independently.

Her new, as-yet-untitled full-length is due out later this year.


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

I come from a pretty musical family. Both of my parents play guitar, and sang and wrote songs, but not professionally. My dad bought me my first guitar for Christmas when I was about 13. It was perfect timing because I was going through so many emotions at that age. I remember him telling me “Sometimes when you feel alone, your guitar is your only friend.” I started writing songs immediately after that.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?

I guess I would describe my music as bedroom folk-rock-pop. My style has always been emotional, with catchy melodies and sometimes cutting lyrics. I love performing to an audience and connecting them with the stories behind the songs… 

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?

I create because it’s how I deal with things. It’s cathartic. It’s also all I know. It’s all I’ve focused on for so long. It’s my hobby, my passion, and my career. I feel very lucky.

Success, to me, is feeling proud of something I’ve created (and treating myself to sushi and a pedicure every now and then). 

THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST WITH DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT?

I have pulled from lots of different people and experiences, good and bad. People who said I couldn’t do it made me try harder. My manager and friend, Mike Savage has probably been the most influential overall. We don’t always see eye to eye, but that’s what I like about our relationship. He’s always making me see things from different angles and I feel like if I really want something, I need to believe in it and fight for it. This has made me stronger in my mind and my convictions about my music. 

SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND NOT SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF?

I think age and time have made me care less about what others think, and at the end of the day, it’s me who I have to stay true to. It’s me who has to sleep at night in peace. I try to remember to be kind, be helpful, and not be so selfish about money and material things. They come and go. Nothing lasts forever, so I might as well enjoy the ride (while not being an asshole). 

HOW DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY CAN DEVELOP INTO A MORE EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN MUSIC CREATORS?

This is a good question. I think the industry has made great leaps forward recently and I hope it continues to do so. Highlighting more women more often would be nice – across the board. It’s a sausage fest out there! There are lots of talented women music creators, but for some reason, our voices, faces, and stories get drowned out (whether intentionally or not). 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN MUSICIANS JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS, BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED?

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it will make you better and better. Play as much as possible to anyone and everyone who will listen. This will make you a better performer. Don’t sign anything until you get a first, second, and third opinion. Always pay for studio time, musicians and producers. Try not never to be in debt to people - friends, or not. 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP IN 2022?

I just finished an album, and I’ll be independently releasing it sometime in the spring/early summer with a few singles leading into it. It’s a collection of songs I’ve been working on since the beginning of the pandemic. I produced a bunch from my bedroom and then took it to a proper studio to be finished. I’m so excited to get it out to the world!

Also, for folks in the L.A. area, I’ve got a one-off show happening at my “musical home base”, the Hotel Café, on March 25.

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