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An Interview with the Rising Alec Meza

Alec Meza, a young-rising artist from New Jersey, is creating alternative hip-hop and rap music that plays around with the style through the implementation of pop, rap, and indie rock components. Meza mixes many elements into his sound, making it impossible to pinpoint his sound, but I guarantee these are songs you can dance and groove to, relate to, or not relate to, but ultimately respect his exceptional craft. Meza has been crafting and releasing music for eight years and has gained an abundance of technical skills, showcased through his creative lens, that isn’t exclusive to his sound but also his music videos and fashion style. His sound is a beautiful embodiment of his life, making him vulnerable through music and live performances. After selling out his first headline show in NYC, Meza is receiving the attention he deserves while rising in the music scene. 

47Magazine caught up with Meza to talk about his musical journey, writing process, live performances, and so much more!

1. You’ve stated music has always surrounded you, through family and friends. What is your earliest memory of music? Whether that is listening to music or creating music.

- My first memory is car rides to and from church. When I was around 2/3/4 it was always

gospel and worship music playing. However, I do always remember my father listening to

80’s dance/house music. He used to DJ those Lisette Melendez records. He’s also played

the drums forever so there was a lot of Mötley Crüe getting played. Very all over the place,

but yeah, first memory is probably the worship music in every car ride.

2. Does the New York and New Jersey environment affect or have an input in your music?

- I think the cadence and swagger of my rapping is definitely NY/NJ influenced. You can’t

really fake where you're from. Especially in rap. It’s very easy for people to see when someone is trying to be like someone else or from somewhere else. Can’t fake the confidence that is built through living around here. That confidence definitely allows me to be secure in trying new things. I’m not afraid to fail. I’m not afraid of judgment. I know every word I speak is authentic. That is thanks to my environment and upbringing.

3. Who are some of your influences for your music?

- Tyler, the Creator for sure. Love Alabama Shakes and Brittany Howard's solo work.

Obviously guys like Ye and Frank. Can’t forget Pharrell and the goat, Justin Timberlake.

4. You have a sound that plays around with different genres and instruments, how did you develop this?

- I truly think an ear/certain taste/the ability to feel is something people are born with. I’ve

always appreciated all kinds of music and been able to pinpoint exactly what it is that I like

about a record. Whether it be the synth sounds in a Stevie song or the tone of Zeppelin

drums. Even the writing style of an old Elvis song. I realize there’s something special about

music/art and what’s special is that whenever it’s truly good, it makes you feel something.

And because I know how to feel, I know what to be aware of while listening to a song. I just

take what feels the best and what I know will bring my idea to the clearest place, and run

with it. There are no boundaries or limits to this. I’m gonna do what feels best always.

5. What does your writing process look like? Do you sit down and write or write whenever something sparks up? Has it changed?

- I realize that the best music I’ve made always comes from honesty. A place of reflection and truth. In order to write like that, you have to go and live. You have to travel and work hard and do things that are uncomfortable. You have to have your heart broken and take risks of falling in love again. Sometimes you have to be the one who breaks hearts too, as tough as

that may be. You have to do it all and decide to live instead of just being alive. Talk to a

stranger, eat terrible tasting food with your friends. Stay up all night even though you have to work the next day. When you live, you start to understand things. You realize that, the mind doesn’t create reality, instead, it does its very best to get in touch with reality. The reality is - that it’s not all about me. When you live you find out that other people are alive too. They matter and feel all of those things that I just described. So I go and I live. And I write it all down. Everything. Not necessarily a song. But every day, I write a word, or a sentence of a conversation that I overheard while eavesdropping at a restaurant. Or I record a nice melody that pops into my head while driving. Everything gets written down or recorded. And then I leave a little space for God. When its time to write a song, because my spirit is convicted and drawn to a certain place, I now have a plethora of writings that I can pull from. Like ammunition for a gun. It becomes easy for me to write about certain things because I’ve lived it. Or I was open enough to hear from someone else who has. All of it is the same because real life makes me feel. So all in all, my process is usually; Live, Listen, Be aware of as much as I can be & write it all down. Whatever feels the most honest usually becomes a song. No matter what, though, I write every single day. It’s not tasking for me. It’s necessary. It’s not my identity being a “writer”, but it’s most definitely something that brings me closer to my purpose each and every day.

6. Is there a song that you are lyrically or musically most proud of?

- MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL is definitely one of my favorite songs that I’ve released thus far.

The lyrics and the production are both something that I’m proud of. It’s just one of those

instances where the outcome, based off of my vision for the track and the feeling I wanted to

portray, absolutely exceeded my expectations.

7. You have been releasing music for many years now and a lot of your music is about how you have grown into yourself, how has your music evolved with time?

- I think, more so, just being secure enough with myself to try new things and take risks. I

know that I can write a song. So now that I know that, what don’t I know? Where can I take

what’s already there, so that I can become an even better artist/human being? My music has

opened so many doors for me where I’ve been able to meet new people, travel to new

places and see and learn new things. When you start to experience more, you’ll always find

new aspects of you. Or even better, you’ll start to shed off the excess weight from yourself

and you’ll be aware of what’s good for you and what you like. The goal is to eventually get to

the purest form of yourself so that you can share the true essence of your being with the

world. I’m not necessarily evolving, I’m just becoming more aware of who I’ve always been.

And that’s an artist. If I am that, then all of these creations need to be made. No matter if it’s

new or uncomfortable or if people like it or not. If my spirit is telling me to make it, it must be


8. A lot of your songs are personal. Are there any songs that you wanted to hold onto and not release? If you don’t, how do you make yourself vulnerable to release all of them?

- Maybe when I was younger I’ve hesitated. But I’ve realized through time that it’s not for me.

The personal songs are for all the people who feel what I feel but don’t know how to express

their emotions. Some people don’t have the friends or family or environment to express

themselves or even understand the emotions that they feel within themselves. That hurts my

heart. I know I’ve been absolutely blessed by God with the ability to not only feel, but to

understand the emotions that are constantly visiting my head and my heart. All it takes is

one line or one song to open someone's heart up. To awake their brain and conscious. To

hear exactly what they’ve been feeling for so long but could never really put in words. That is

my job. I know that if I’ve truly felt or experienced something in my life, there’s somebody

else out there who has felt it too.

9. You just had your first headline show in New York City, what was that like? How did that day

look for you?

- That was awesome. In the purest sense. I was in awe of what I saw. Of what I heard. It was

so much love in one place. Strangers, friends, family. All in one room enjoying life. That’s my

favorite aspect of this music stuff. Bringing people together in one space in time, forgetting

about everything “out there” and just enjoying life, in the present. Singing, dancing, laughing,

and trying their best not to break sh*t.

10. What happens before and after a set? What do you tend to do? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

- Always pray with my family before I leave the house. For all my friends, bandmates, and

every single person in attendance - to get to and from the show safely. Will usually link up

with the homies and either grab some food before or after sound check. Walk through how

everything should be filmed, where we should all be on stage and, of course, just extra

encouragement to have fun and make sure people see our energy on stage. Right before we

go on, it’s usually another prayer. For peace of mind. To take away any nerves or fears that

anyone in the band may have. And mostly, no matter what, to ground ourselves in gratitude.

These people are here to see us. They paid money and went out of their way to be at the

show. It doesn’t matter if we mess up or sing the wrong notes. We’re blessed to be doing

what we love to do and that alone gives me all the confidence I need to give it my best

100% of the time.

11. You have a captivating stage presence, what goes through your mind while performing?

- Truly, we usually come prepared to these shows... I’m not worried about the band or myself

messing up, but one thing that always goes through my head is: “can the audience hear me

well?” & “is anyone looking bored?” Those are, especially the second thought, the things I

mainly think about.

12. Are there any shows that have been memorable to you? What made them memorable?

- Definitely my first headlining show at Pianos NYC. Sold out. Mad.

13. You had an incredible detail of the blue corduroy suit, in your LIFE OF THE PARTY! The music video, how did it occur? What was that like for you?

- That was awesome! I got to link with my fam over at KIDSUPER, where Lucy and AJ helped me pick out wardrobe for the music video. I love fashion probably as much as I love music,so to be able to incorporate one of my favorite brands into one of my favorite rap songs I’ve ever written was extremely fulfilling. Its beautiful looking back at that video and realizing the moves that we’re making.

14. As for the future, what can we expect from the music you are currently working on, like your album?

- As for the EP we’re getting ready to release, just be ready to sing and have some fun. In the future, however, don’t expect anything. There will always be music made. ’Til the day I die.But I can’t tell you for certain what the next song or project will sound like. That’s the best part about this.

15. Do you have any favorite albums, songs, or musicians/ Who are you currently

listening to it on repeat?

- There’s definitely a long list I can write out but I’d rather go with what I’m listening to right now. Cleo Sol’s album Heaven has been nonstop. Been a lot of the Flaming Lips. Missy’s Under Construction album. And of course... Dave and Central Cee.

16. Are there any musicians you would want to collaborate with?

- André 3000. My only goal in life... Clairo would be cool too.

17. Any dream venues you have yet to perform at?

- Red Rocks in Colorado for sure. MSG would be mad.

18. Favorite venue, you've performed at?

- Did a small festival in New Jersey near the water once. That was cool as hell.

As someone who makes music that evolves with him, I can’t wait to hear what comes next from Alec Meza and his new chapter.

Interviewed and Written by Veronica Anaya 

Photography provided from Magus Entertainment

Special thanks to Kyle Stuart

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