Getting to know Mesmi the Musician
Mesmi – Getting to know the Journey Tree Sonstress.
Mesmi states this on her music channel:
Almost two years ago today, I had my very first show where I got to experience the joy of playing my own tunes with other musicians.
“I was so touched by the beauty of people that first night, coming back home from the show and reading each tag; somehow, that sense has only grown stronger with time, as I went through and photographed each one for this last album project. It is with a touched heart that I present to you the final #IAWIA video, bringing the EP ( i am (where ) i am ) to a close.”
The Interview: Getting to know Mesmi the Musician
1) Hi Mesmi, How many instruments do you play?
I mainly play piano and guitar (and sing). In the past, I’ve played some violin, clarinet and erhu, but I’m likely pretty horrible at all those now.
2) Mesmi, You have been recognized with awards over the years
- 2016 GRAMMY Amplifier Top 10 Finalist
- 2015 “The Deli” Magazine Artist of the Month
- 2014 International Songwriting Competition Semifinalist out of over 18,000 entries
Will you share a bit more on what was involved with winning such accreditation?
Sure. To me, songwriting is as important and as much a part of what I do as performing or singing, so The International Songwriting Competition was definitely something I wanted to try. I entered my song “Bright Shining Lights,” a track from my first 3P, and was very happy to discover months later that it had gotten through to the semifinals of the competition!
Later in 2015, I was nominated for “The Deli” Magazine’s Artist of the Month by an editor at the Los Angeles branch, Ryan Mo. He had come across my single, “Gloria,” and written a review on it earlier. Thanks to him and the support of many wonderful people, I had the opportunity to win that award. The GRAMMY Amplifier Contest was similar and was also for “Gloria.”
Those last two awards were especially heartwarming because “Gloria” was the first song that was me expressing on a deeper personal level, as well as the first single where I did absolutely everything. I always write and perform my own songs, but this time I also produced, recorded and mixed the record. General listeners probably don’t know all the stages and hours it takes to get that final product, and I didn’t before either!, but somehow within those years since I first started, I learned much more the process and was able to create something that luckily others seemed to like as well.
Yes, I’ve done several collaborations. A number of them have come from invitations from EDM/electronic producers, some of which have been released and some of which haven’t, but you can find a good few out online.
4) In your experience with the music profession, would you share some of the situations you have faced to get the word out about you?
That’s always the major dilemma, as an independent musician. You’re constantly learning, and meanwhile, the landscape is constantly changing. With technology and the music industry especially, things are often very uncertain, and with music itself, there’s just so much already easily available out there that to stand out from the crowd without a huge budget or some kind of “in” connection is really tough. Even the major record labels don’t have a foolproof way!
As an indie artist though, you’re usually wearing all the different hats and using your own resources, very much an “army of one” scenario, so you just try to keep up and figure out which one will be the best; this can be frustrating, as I find that all too often I’m spending time and thought on the business side more than the creative! I kind of dream of the day when I can pass the bulk of that off to some trusted team member.
But I know that my situation is very common to most indie artists or really any entrepreneurial creative, and I’m extremely thankful to be doing what I’m doing, to learned what I have learned and for the opportunities the internet does provide, the listeners it has allowed me to meet. There really is so much that you ultimately can’t control, so I try to stay focused simply on making good music (whatever that means 😉 and improving as a songwriter and musician.
5) What is your songwriting process? Where does your inspiration come from?
Each song is different, and as I’ve grown as a musician, I think my songwriting process has slightly changed or grown as well. Words and meaning are important to me, so I’m quite lyrics-intensive, and phrases will often pop into my head randomly. I’ll write them down on whatever’s available and try to go back and look through them periodically. The same with melodies or music arrangements — a lot of those tend to come to me when I’m about to fall asleep or waking up, so I’ve learned to keep a recording device next to my bed!
Like most songwriters will tell you, inspiration comes from everywhere 🙂 Daily life, things you overhear, things you feel, experiences with friends, family, a random meeting at the bar, or just everyday ideas/sights, like the way the sun suddenly hits as it comes through the clouds. Songs are such interesting things, and I’m always learning about them and trying to do them justice.
6) Do you have any other hobbies besides music?
Well, first I’d just like to note that music at this point is a little more than a hobby :), but in terms of things I enjoy besides music, there is plenty. I enjoy art, drawing and painting, cooking, crafting — if I had more time, I’d love to pick up more skills in woodwork, ceramics and textiles. I’ve always really liked making things, especially with my hands. I also enjoy nature, learning, exploring cultures, and I’ve been a voracious reader since I was very young. I’d get in trouble for it!
7) What effect would you like for your music to have on people? For example; do you just want people to relax and have a real good time or is there some message?
It’s not like every song I write has an agenda, but to me, music is a very meaningful thing, so I hope the songs I make can be meaningful for other people too. Whether it’s just for them to release and relax or to have something deeper depends on the song, though I have to admit at this stage my music probably tends to skew toward the latter.
8) Mesmi, I always like to ask if there’s a question you wish someone would ask but they never do? Please share with us the question.
I can’t think of one right now, but ask me again in a year?
Ooh I’d love to ask this question to other people actually! I always wonder how important music is to people in general nowadays. It would be great to do a survey on this!
Music, for me, though… It’s a big question. I find that it in its expression, it has elements of freedom, of healing, of crossing borders. For me, it has done all these things, and from that is probably why I feel it could be valuable to others. I love that even when you don’t feel like being with anyone else, you can feel like being with a song.
10) Any events and shows planned for the year 2017? List as many small coffee houses & large venues as you like!
Wow I’m out of it. For a second, I thought, “2017??” Yet 2017 is already going by so fast. It feels like a strange year that way!
Last year I was really preoccupied with finishing my EP, ( i am ( where ) i am ), which contained a number of songs from when I started out. The project kept getting backed up, but I finally got to put it out in the fall. As you can imagine, a lot of material got backed up in the meantime.
So now I’m focusing on the project that was growing while completing iawia, and a lot of my time will be spent working on that. I did a festival earlier in March and have some dates coming up, but I mostly plan on trying out some things by performing a bunch on the Santa Monica pier this summer. Come say hi if you’re around!
I’ve been toying with the idea of doing shows in different regions for a while now, though, so you never know where I might pop up! If you’d like to stay updated on the new project or catch a show when I’m nearby, it’s best to follow me on Songkick, check my website, or connect with me on my social channels.
Thank you Mesmi for your time and deeply moving songs/stories! We wish you all the best!
MESMI The Artist . Writer . Producer Websites
Get the EP “( I AM ( WHERE ) I AM )”
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2dpsdet
Getting to know Mesmi the Musician