Nashville singer/songwriter Megan Davies recently played at the Rumba Café in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 26. Cindy Hurt spoke with Davies one on one for Music Life Magazine. Find out what they had to say…
CH: You are a powerhouse when it comes to social media. Do you have any advice for the up and coming young talent?
MD: I think focus on what your creating as opposed to like going with the following … like just focus on making the best things you can, whether it’s taking pictures for Instagram, which, I’m not a photographer, but I know a lot of photographers use that medium. And then like with the YouTube thing, for me, I wasn’t really expecting to build a following, I kind of threw my first video up for my friends and family and then I saw some cool reactions and I’ve always been very focused on making just a great video that people can enjoy. I don’t really follow trends or anything. I never really started vlogging… you know, that’s like the big thing on YouTube. Like taking the camera with you wherever you go. That’s not really my style of work. I have a lot of respect for people that can do that, but I just kind of focus on doing my music videos and just making them the best they can be and so I think that’s the thing, just constantly trying to be better and learning more about it.
CH: Do you find there to be any downsides to the social media scene?
MD: Oh absolutely! There’s enormous good sides, like, for me, to be able to go to cities that I’ve never been to before and have people come out to my shows. That’s a beautiful beautiful thing. And they know my music. I got a record label, fifteen years ago that wouldn’t have been possible. Um, so that’s amazing, But, yeah, the downside is, um, there’s a lot of opinions. You read a lot of things about yourself. Especially YouTube. I think YouTube comment’s section is notorious for being kind of blunt. Every adjective you can think of is there. I can go there and read the greatest comments about myself and I can go there and read the worst terrible things about myself and it’s a bit like reading someone’s mind. So I’d say that’s the hardest part, like handling a lot of opinions.
CH: You strike me as the king of person that always has something going on, and something on deck, and something just finished. Do you have any secrets to staying so driven and motivated.
MD: Hmmm, I think, for me, it’s a lot of times my circle of friends that I have around me. Like moving to Nashvile, that was a decision I made when I was young, to go to Nashville instead of staying in Pennsylvania where I was from. And I’m surrounded everyday with people playing music and people with incredible work ethic. Like a hustle, a drive, to do what they love to do and in a way I think after I moved to Nashville, I became even more of a hustler and I started just working all the time. I think when you have people around you who are working just as hard, you just kind of build each other up and support each other. There a really cool singer/songwriter scene down in Nashville and one of my favorite things is touring with my friends. Some of my friends, they’re road wariors and you know, I may schedule a few days off, but they’ll just, like, schedule weeks of shows solid. Going on the road with them, I learned a lot. So I think just the people you surround yourself with that support you and believe in what you are striving for.
CH: The “This is Me” challenge… how cool was that?!
MD: That was the most surreal thing I’ve ever done, especially coming from Nashville where there’s definitely big musicians, but not a ton of movie stars, I guess you could say, walking around Nashville. Singing in front of Hugh Jackman and Zac Effron, … Zendaya even, she’s enourmous as far as like, her popularity. It was just surreal, it almost felt just like a weird dream. But it was one of the cooler opportunities.
CH: And you got to go to the premier of The Showman?
MD: I went to the premier as well. Yeah, YouTube for the most part is my experience… working in Nashville, editing on my couch. The reality of it is not as glamorous as people would imagine, but getting to do something like that, to go to LA, to sing for the cast, then to go to New York for the premier, getting dressed up, walking the red carpet. I’ve never done anything like that before. I felt like Cinderella or something.
CH: I read that you were a guitar major when you injured a nerve in your arm?
MD: Yeah, so I was a guitar major at Belmont University. That’s kind of what I thought I would end up doing in the music industry. I thought I would be a guitar player, playing behind people in the studio. And it was midway through my Junior year I injured the nerve in my left hand and my elbow. I had to have surgery to give it a little bit more space because it was swelling and then creating like pins and needles. I was losing my hand strength actually. All of a sudden I couldn’t hold down my guitar strings with two of my fingers, which changed everything for me. I couldn’t play for like eight months I think. So I had to switch my major, it was kind of a big life change for me at the time. I just kind of took it in stride and started taking songwriting classes. I got an internship in the music business and learned how money works in the music business. I kind of just diversified my skillsets, I guess. I learned how to record during that time. All things that I use right now, everyday, in a lot of ways… it’s just one of those things. It could’ve been the worst period of my life, but I think it actually had a huge impact on where I’m at.
CH: Describe your experience in Nashville as a singer/songwriter in 3 words.
MD: Three words… my experience as a singer/songwriter in Nashville. That’s tough, I think. There’s like a, I don’t know if this is quite the term but this is coming to mind… It’s like it’s a historic nature. I’m explaining this as I’m saying it.. There’s a history in Naxhville of people in Nashville on stage with a guitar singing their hearts out. And, I feel that a lot of times I think there’s a culture. It’s a historical history, or something, a passion. I’ve met so many people my age move there the same exact time. I moved there when I was 19 and kids across the country who grew up in different places and did the same exact thing as I did. Same exact dreams. There’s a lot of passion for music. I’d say there like a collaboration there that happens. Obviously, when you make a record, there’s only one person’s name on it because they’re the artist, but in reality there’s musicians that play on it, there’s engineers. Like the Beatles wouldn’t have sounded like the Beatles without George Martin. And I think there’s so many great collaborations that come out of Nashville just by virtue of having a lot of really amazing creative individuals in that city.
CH: Biggest influences?
MD: My biggest influences… I grew up listening to Cheryl Crowe, Amy Mann, and Sarah McLaughlin. Just strong female singer/songwriter. That was early on. Today I love Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Chris Martin, Coldplay.
CH: What’s next for Megan?
MD: Next, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be telling you this, but I just found out I’ll be playing at SXSW this year so I’m really excited about that! I have one more show in LA and then it’ll be probably a few weeks of recording some new originals I’ve been trying out on the road actually. So it’s kind of nice to play them for an audiences before I actually start recording them.