At any given place or time, anyone or everyone could automatically be inspired to be doing something else such as being inspired to finally take up that gym membership or even pursuing a career in music. This latter holds true with alt musician Saint Mesa who is making a name for himself this year. Previously, Saint Mesa discovered the idea of playing and creating music after years of medical treatment in his late teen years. And now, he’s here with his new song “Lion” which debuted recently just in time for your Fall playlist. Check out our full interview below.
The Young Folks: I read in various interviews that music was something you picked up heavily while you were sick, how did you go about making the decision to finally put your music out to the public for others to hear?
Saint Mesa: Yeah I think being so sick and discovering music during that season of life really made me value the impact music can have on people. I think it was a pretty natural decision to make. I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with people and hopefully have some kind of impact, whether big or small.
TYF: How do you go about creating new music? Would it have to do more of the lyrics first, rhythm after or vise versa?
Saint Mesa: Honestly it’s different every time. Sometimes a whole song will pop into my head, or just a line, or just a melody. Or sometimes I’ll be working on production and sound design or a drum ensemble and I’ll write a whole production, and then add a song to it. Or I’ll do both at the same time and write lyrics as I’m writing and recording the production.
TYF: I absolutely love the vibe of your music. Who, what or even where do you seek the most inspiration from when it comes to your music?
Saint Mesa: Inspiration can really some from anything. God, dreams, nature, old music, new music, paintings, sculptures, even stuff like costume designs and movie concept art. I try and pull from a lot of different mediums so that my music is never repetitive. I do draw a lot of my imagery from nature and natural things.
TYF: The music industry in general could be a scary place. How were you able to navigate your way through it? What did you learn that you wish you knew about earlier?
Saint Mesa: I’m definitely still navigating my way though the industry [laughs]. I would say I wish I had known just how long things can take to get done.
TYF: What was your experience like during your first time hopping on stage performing to a crowd who was just getting to know you?
Saint Mesa: My first show was really interesting. I played the Bardot in LA for School Night, and it was a tiny stage, my keyboard was nearly falling off the front, my bassist was hitting me with the end of his bass because we were so close. And then we played. And it was such a blast. There were more people than I expected and they all seemed genuinely interested and into it. I love playing shows and can’t wait to play more.
TYF: How did you prepare yourself for that moment? Up until now, how do you prepare yourself getting on stage in front of new or old fans?
Saint Mesa: Honestly I have no specific ritual I do before shows. I’m sure as I play more I’ll discover something that helps, but I think I’m still on that path of discovery.
TYF: I heard you [performed at] festivals for the first time ever [this year]. How was Bottle Rock and Sasquatch? What was the biggest thing you learned after being in that atmosphere?
Saint Mesa: Absolutely loved both Bottlerock and Sasquatch. The biggest thing I took away is the vibe of these festivals is so welcoming and positive. Everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy music and each other, and in that way people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and ideologies can unify.
TYF: Is there a festival on your mind that you would LOVE to be part of?
Saint Mesa: I would love to play Outside Lands. That and Coachella are cool career milestones for me.
TYF: How do you hope to see your career by the end of the year or at least in the future?
Saint Mesa: That’s a tough one. By the end of the year I would love to just be on more people’s radar. I know I’m fairly new and fairly unknown, so my biggest hope is that this project can grow and we can welcome more people into the tribe.
TYF: You know a gosh darn lot about overcoming obstacles. What’s your bit of advice for someone who may be in a similar situation as you were or someone who just needs some motivation?
Saint Mesa: I would say, as cliche as it is, never give up. Light is always preceded by darkness. Use the darkness to soften your hard heart, and to toughen your thin skin. Also don’t be too proud to reach out to people for support and help. Love comes from unexpected sources.