Today IKIGUIDE has the huge honour of interviewing M E R I! We find out what inspires her songs, who her role models are, and her inspiring dream chasing process. Read on! 🙂
IKIGUIDE: Dear Meri, Thank you for accepting our interview!
Meri: Thank you! It is really cool to take part. 🙂
IKIGUIDE: You are just so inspiring, energetic, and the we LOVE your voice!! Tell us, what inspired you to become a singer-songwriter?
Meri: Thank you! So glad to hear you have found inspiration in my work!
Music has been a big part of my life since childhood – my dad is an old blues singer and I have heard a lot of good music since my early days. I wrote my first song at the age of 11. Expressing myself through music simply felt most natural. The most inspiring moments still are when someone who has heard my music or seen me perform comes to say hi and tells it made them feel something. That’s when I know I have succeeded. Since there is no point in climbing on stage just to show off.
You got to have something to say, you want to give something. I think I became singer-songwriter since I think imagination and emotions are very important to people and I wish my songs would give people something to mirror their own experiences and feelings against or enjoy a story.
IKIGUIDE: We hear that you have a business-school background too! That is pretty refreshing for someone who is into music. Why business school?
Meri: Yes, I have studied marketing at Aalto University. Music and marketing have actually a lot more in common as one would believe. Both require a lot of creative skills. High quality content is always in the very center and brands and images are very important on both fields. I felt that some solid marketing knowledge would be beneficial to better be able to understand the business side related to music and participate in building my image as an artist.
IKIGUIDE: Who are your greatest role models in life?
Meri: This is always a though one because there are so many! My parents, of course, who have always loved and supported me unconditionally and given me the best start-kit for life including many skills and a positive, entrepreneurial attitude. I look up to many energetic and hardworking people around me who have bravely chosen their own paths and adventures.
The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Tori Amos and Ray Charles have been some of the extremely important idols on my musical path.
IKIGUIDE: Share with us some of your music inspirations!
Meri: I think the beautiful and funny thing with inspiration is that it can come anywhere anytime. Most important is to keep your senses open and pay attention to the little details on your way. Was the sky especially blue today? How did the smooth spring wind feel on your skin? What kind of a secret hides behind the smile of a stranger on the street?
Use your imagination! Play! Like many things it get’s stronger by practice.
Of course I get inspired by other artists work in music, theatre, visual arts and on all the other fields. But very often just bringing ourselves back to the moment and consciously using our senses is enough. Find slots in your day when you can just let your thoughts float endlessly – let them come and go and if you discover something interesting – dig deeper! You might be surprised what you can find.
We all are creative and have this gift of imagination. Unfortunately some of its worst enemies are pressure and fast criticism that are very common in any work nowadays. But you have to find the materials before you build, right?
IKIGUIDE: Can you tell us how the music scene in Finland is like? Are there any differences in the music scene between Finland and Sweden?
Meri: I can of course only talk about my own perception of things. I’d say the biggest difference in pop music is that in Finland the music industry seems to have more focus on producing music for the Finnish audience whereas Sweden is very strong in exporting music. Sweden is very good at coming up with fresh and commercially successful pop music concepts. Finland is more known for professional and skillful jazz and classical musicians.
IKIGUIDE: We admire your courage in pursuing your dreams bravely. Are there any advice you would like to give to IKIGUIDE readers in pursuing their dreams?
Meri: Everyone has their own path and there is no “take these 10 steps and you’ll get there” –kind of way to reach where we want to go. But one thing I can say that is inevitable and we all can do in our own way.
Get started. If you’re not sure what to do, do something that feels right and takes towards right direction. I have heard people say “the best day to start was yesterday. The second best is today” and even if it might sound kind of rough it is true. The dreams do not become reality while you are waiting – you have to make them happen. And you can. I believe everyone of us makes best what we love doing. So let’s work with passion and pursue the things in life we believe in and see value in!
We hope you love this sharing as much as we do! M E R I ‘s brand new single “Book from Budapest” is out NOW! You can listen to it here.
Photography: Lisa Raihle
MUAH: Sophie Litzen