Meiko on “Playing Favorites”

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We were first introduced to Meiko on the Guitar Center Sessions in December of 2012 and have been fans ever since. Meiko grew up in the small town of Roberta, Georgia and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her musical career. She has since moved to Nashville, married, had a child, and we discovered will soon be relocating to Germany.

Photo credit:  Rebecca Ward

Her albums include her eponymous album which she self-released in 2007 and was re-released in 2008 by Lucky Ear, followed by The Bright Side (2012) which featured hit singles “Stuck On You” and “Leave The Lights On,” Dear You (2014), and Lovers & Fighters (EP – 2015) on Fantasy/Concord Records. In 2015, Meiko self-released her EP Live Songs From The Hotel Café and followed that up with Moving Day in 2016.

Her singles have been featured in popular television shows, Grey’s AnatomyOne Tree HillPretty Little Liars and the film 10 Things I Hate About You.

On May 25th, Meiko will be releasing a full-length album titled Playing Favorites on Chesky Records and Co-Founder David Chesky says this “may be our best sounding vocal album ever recorded.” First on the album is an acoustic version of “Zombie” where Meiko pays tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan. Meiko said, ” Even though it’s a heavy song, I wanted to slow it down and play it a bit more delicately because I wanted the energy to match how the lyrics make me feel. I hope I’ve done it justice.” Other luminaries including Otis Redding, Erykah Badu, Duran Duran, Blind Melon, and even Rick James (among many others).

“I’ve always wanted to record these songs and thought it would be cool to make a record of all of them in one go. I chose these tracks because I’ve loved them for years. Some of these songs have gotten me through some hard times. Quintessential songs that are always playing in my head…or [in my] car.”

It’s been a couple of years since we last chatted and you had just gone through some major changes – left your record label, a cross-country move, new baby. So, let’s catch up! First, how about motherhood? I saw your post on Facebook about traveling to SXSW with your Boppy Pillow. Certainly adds a new dynamic to touring! Has it affected your approach to songwriting?

Yes, definitely… I’ve been focusing on writing more healing songs for myself. Songs about forgiveness, mainly. It’s been a real cathartic experience.

You moved from LA to Nashville, but I think I saw you’re moving to Germany! Is that true?

Yes! We’re going to check it out for a year or so… I’m really excited because I’ve always loved Germany and their way of life there. I’m looking forward to being a fish out of water and finding out new things about myself – and writing about new experiences. Life is short. Have an adventure, right?

Now on to your music. You’ve released a couple of singles this year, one of which is a cover of the Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Tell us about why you chose that song.

I am and have been a huge Cranberries fan since I raided my sister’s Case Logic CD book when I was in 6th grade. I discovered many amazing artists like Sade, Edie Brickell and Flemming and John… When I listened to “No Need To Argue,” I felt like Dolores was singing just for me. As many people did. She along with the other artists I mentioned, helped heal my little-broken heart after my mother skipped town when I was 12. My sister’s CD book was my bible and I was saved.

You also released another single called “Back In The Game” which you describe as a ‘’going-out’ anthem for the broken-hearted.’ You co-wrote this song with Erica Driscoll. What inspired this song, and can you share with us the writing process?

Writing with Erica was and is so easy. She gets me. I actually wrote this song with her and her husband, Wally Gagel, who also produced it. It was our first writing experience and when I walked in the room they had this little musical idea going and I was like “Woah- This is dark but powerful.” I instantly imagined a girl going out after a break-up and being hopeful about her new life. I imagined her a little tipsy by the jukebox, dancing alone, sipping on a vodka cranberry.

This is all leading up to your new album which will be released soon. Will there be more singles which you’ll be releasing leading up to the release?

There will be a few new singles which will be released leading up to May 25 when I’ll actually be releasing a covers album that I recorded in an abandoned church in Brooklyn recently. I was able to record about 12 covers of my favorite songs from high school! It was glorious!

Tell us about the album- what can fans expect to hear, when can fans expect to hear it, and where can they find more about it?

The covers album will be called Playing Favorites. It’ll come out May 25 and it’s super intimate – just me, my standup bass/ keyboard player, Ed Maxwell, and my drummer, Josh Day. I’m so happy with how it turned out and can’t wait for people to hear it!

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