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Star Power: An interview on growth, connection, and music with MegaGoneFree

Are you ever scrolling online and get a song from your feed stuck in your head, and the whole day you’re wondering who it was that made something like that, lo and behold I introduce to you a peek behind the curtain into one of the most stylized and revolutionary sounds making their way to the top today, Mega.

You have such a unique style and vibe, not only in your personal essence but also in your music and the way you allow such freedom of expression to the things you create; what ways do you nurture this type of individuality? Well, I've always pushed myself to be unapologetically me! When I was younger, I was very different from my peers in school/ the neighborhood, so eventually, I just grew used to being the odd one out. I found escapism in being my most original self. Individuality is so important to me because why would you want to be someone else? I nurture my individuality by reminding myself, "Your uniqueness is your greatest strength".

In your Instagram bio, you have “you say singer, I say storyteller”, what does that represent for you and your journey in the music industry? Around 2021, I started to grow very popular on TikTok for singing covers of popular songs. However, I've been songwriting since I was 15 (2016). My message, what I have to say, is the reason I create music every day. I've struggled to get my following to notice more than just how my voice sounds. I love telling stories and sharing my opinions in my music. I think it comes from frequently being spoken over in the past.

Recently you played Rogue Music Fest, what was that experience like for you? IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE! I was so elated to have the opportunity to play. It was the first festival I've ever performed at and the biggest set I've ever produced. It was my first time with a full band and no backing tracks. Also, the first time, I incorporated dancers into a set. I met my Music Director and Guitarist "Marc LeGrand" a few gigs ago, and he introduced me to the rest of the band. Noah Amick (Bass), Kevin Murray (Drums), and Andrew Links (Keyboard). They are the most talented guys I've ever met. Also, my choreographer, Mike Gilbert, brought the whole second half of my set to life. Roni, Natalie, and Amy (Festival Organizers) were great to work with. The whole day went exactly how it was supposed to. Also, I got to meet some amazing artists! Overall a great experience, dare I say, the best day of my life lol.

You’ve released two singles this year, one being hills you’d die on, which tells an emotional story of heartbreak and the impact of something so deep as letting go, The other being ” In the Kitchen,” an almost Dolly Parton-esque power anthem, that completely takes its own form of being loud, proud, and unafraid, I’d love to hear more about what these songs mean for you? Well, “Hills You’d Die On” is a story about a past relationship I had. It was the only time I’ve ever been in love. I mainly created this song to display my versatility as an artist. I usually make a lot of hard-hitting, loud, powerful music. However, I also have a soft soulful side, and “Hills You’d Die On” was the start of me sharing that with the world. I created “In the Kitchen” for a lot of reasons. As I mentioned, I love sharing my opinions and outlook on life in my music. In today’s media, it’s becoming very popular and normalized to talk down on women. Specifically with podcasts and among content creators. This song reflects how today’s rhetoric of women completely mirrors the ideals of those from the early 20th century. People are constantly putting expectations on women and telling them what they "should" be doing. This is very harmful for naive young girls using the internet. I’ve had experiences in the past with people, judging my character solely based off of my biological gender.

Bouncing off of that, both of these songs give complete whiplash from one another in comparison, I mean seriously I went from crying to partying almost instantaneously that’s how awesome they are, my question is, what was that like for you, creating such fine-tuned yet opposing tracks and releasing them within months of one another? I love experimentation. I’m always looking for something new. I truly write music around what I’m feeling the very moment that I’m writing it. I think part of my appeal as an artist is that you never know what you’re going to get next. I don't even know half the time haha. My audience has grown to expect the unexpected from me. I love creating such diverse music. It makes my live performances much more fun, thought-out, and interactive. I’ve been releasing different types of singles within months of each other for a while now. Earlier this year, I didn’t have a sense of direction as far as what I wanted to do with my music. Since starting live performing, I now have a better understanding of how to use music to grow on my particular path in the music industry Your earliest songs, broken flowers, came out five years ago, and U.V. Light amidst a life-changing pandemic, both incredibly good songs made what probably feels like lifetimes ago; how has ur style and sound evolved from where you started? My style and sound are honestly pretty similar to the way they were around that time. My biggest musical inspirations are MARINA (and the Diamonds), Melanie Martinez, old-school Billie Eilish, and 2015 dark pop. The only difference is that I’ve grown a huge interest in Jazz. The Internet raised me. I think my style of music roots in music that was popular from 2010s YouTube and 2019 Tiktok. Also heavily from old Disney Shows/Movies. My grandmother was a Disney adult. We had all the old VHS tapes, haha.

If I’m not wrong, you grew up in Baltimore, aka jazz city, one of the most iconic music scenes of all time, which brings up this idea of how many things can go into making us who we are; how has your upbringing influenced how you create now? I didn’t grow up in the part of Baltimore City that embraced Jazz Music/live music culture. My interest in Jazz came later in life after moving from Baltimore to New York. I’m from where the rappers of my city originate, which is why it’s so funny that this is the music path I chose. I plan on getting into rap in the near future, though.

You have a new single coming out later this summer, “Henrietta Hudson”, and I’d love to talk about the songs meaning and why it’s named after the long-running bar of the same name. When I first moved to New York City, I was only 20. The moment I turned 21, literally on my birthday, the first thing I did was check out the lesbian bars in NYC. I came across Henrietta Hudson and instantly fell in love. It had such a safe and freeing atmosphere. One of the bartenders knew who I was from the Internet, and we’ve been friends ever since. My entire 2022 experience was going to Henrietta Hudson every single weekend. I learned a lot about myself and my sexuality through going there. The staff there is like my second family. Henrietta Hudson is more than just a song to me. It’s a moment! It’s a marker of everything Henrietta Hudson has ever done for me. It reflects how secure I am in who I choose to love. I hope that the staff hears the song and really that they understand the impact that they make on the patrons that come through.

Regarding unreleased work, What else can we look forward to seeing from you soon?

I recently started the process of recording my debut album. Henrietta Hudson will be my lead single coming out on August 25. Which will be followed by another single, then the release of the album later this year or early next year. I’m currently planning a tour for the album's release as well. For right now, you can find me at one of my frequent live shows. The next big one will be August 16th, 9 pm EST, at The Bowery Electric in NYC! Links to all my next performances can be found in my linktree :)

If you’re not listening you’re behind, so catch up now with the links below:

Written and Interviewed by Toni Desiree

Photography by Mark Bluemle

Production Assistance by Ryan Murray

Sun Edit by Khami Auerbach

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