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NewTracks New Artist: Meg Theron

NewTracks New Artist: Meg Theron

Penned on the back of Meg Theron‘s hand is the scripture advice; ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ It’s the cover artwork for her new single Lost, a brief but charmingly rich slice of RnB that required her to push out beyond her comfort zone. NZ On Air Music added the song to their NewTracks compilation in October.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My name is Megan Maria Theron. I was born in Stratford, Taranaki but would say I’m from a lot of places!  Now being Wellington. My first instrument was actually the saxophone, but I’d say now my voice, laptop and guitar.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I only took music in my last year of high school, but through performing it definitely helped me gain confidence in my songwriting. At the moment I’m in the last month of my degree in commercial music at Massey University and it’s helped me learn a lot about the industry.

Any other previous projects we might know you from?

For the past couple of years, I’ve been focusing on live shows and releasing singles regularly which you may know like Dopamine, Till I Forget About You, Oceans, Fine, Anyone, Crush etc. Follow me on Spotify to keep updated!

What’s the background story of how your solo project under your name came to be? 

I can’t think of a time when ‘Meg Theron’ wasn’t a thing, the project and works have been growing with me for such a long time, and like in life generally there’s been a lot of people at different stages who have sewn into that. A big turning point though was meeting my best friend in the last year of high school, in 2018. He encouraged me to learn how to produce and helped me release my first couple of songs.

What made you decide to go with your actual name as your artist name?

I think just identity-wise. I toyed with just using my first name but there are so many artists with that name on Spotify. I’m the only ‘Meg Theron’, it’s unique to me and easy to find!

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

Oh gosh, thankfully a lot! I started writing music when I was nine, I think my first song was about my cat, haha. The cool thing about songwriting for me is it’s always been an outpouring or expression of what’s been on my heart, or things that have occupied too much brain space that I just need to get out. Looking back, you can see the themes of my life intertwined in my writing, which is both super cool and confronting. I think now there’s more skill and articulation that comes with time and practice, but also an emotional awareness that the music I make isn’t always just for me.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

I had a show a few months ago at SanFran and it was such an amazing night. While I was playing my song FINE the crowd started singing the chorus back at me unprompted, which was just… totally surreal.

What makes Lost stand out for you as a single?

I think with how dynamic it is, I definitely went out of my comfort zone with this song in a lot of different ways which is why I’m so proud of it.

What is the story behind Lost?

Lost is about not wanting to conform to the world around you, but feeling like in the process you’ve been succumbing to it. There’s a lot of noise at times and it can get confusing. It’s also a realisation and I guess declaration that I only want to live a life that God is in, but in the process accepting that things won’t always be easy because of that, and that’s okay.

Funny story about the album art actually… it’s a scripture (Romans 12:2) that I had written on my hand to remember one day, months and months before writing the song. While trying to figure out what the album art should be I stumbled on it and it couldn’t have fit more perfectly.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

The bridge is a highlight for me (and was actually the hardest to write) but it completely encapsulates the meaning. ‘Lost in the place that I thought coulda shown me the path that would lead me back to you.’

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? Got a fun story about the making-of?

It was produced by Ethan Jupe, and co-written with Benji Humphries at Parachute Studios Song Week! I was actually in Auckland for Shout Conference and they hit me up because there was an open spot for one the days (much love to them). It was my first time professionally collaborating, such a cool experience!

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

We all feel a little lost sometimes, whether that’s in life, in faith, in our careers etc. But it’s perfectly okay and I think just a natural part of finding our feet.

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

Usually, I’ll get this urgency inside that I can’t describe other than a gut thing. If I’m in love with it and haven’t got sick of it, that’s a pretty good tell.

Who else is in your team?

Currently, it’s just me, but there are some awesome people I’ve worked with on different projects. Shout out to Ethan Baldey who mixes a lot of my music, he’s the man!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

Yeah! I’m currently wrapping up a big project called Therapy that comes out next month. It’s a single and three-part documentary about some of my experiences with mental health. Follow my social media to keep up to date!

Can you name three other local tunes that would fit@ well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Wells: Therapy Summer
  • Zexii & Mikeyy: Tired
  • PaigeWaves

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice?

Yeah a couple, but my advice would be to always keep trying. It can be hard sometimes, but you never know!

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? 

I always struggle picking a genre for my songs, haha, but just went with what felt right.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I find a lot on TikTok actually. There’s this one guy who reviews new songs (bop or flop style) that I really enjoy!

Any last words?

Thanks heaps for having me!