Story on Finding Your Voice
City: Los Angeles
Junior year I found out my songs were the butt of an initiation joke for a boy's club on campus.
I've been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. When I graduated high school, my grandmother got me a guitar as a graduation present so I could “translate my poems into song.” I was so excited. I had never considered music as a medium for sharing my words before, since I didn't think I had a “good” voice. Nonetheless, once I got my guitar, I started performing at open mics whenever I could in college. It was a vulnerable and exhilarating experience to perform.
Junior year I found out my songs were the butt of an initiation joke for a boy's club on campus. I was very sad and retreated into negative self-talk. "See, Meredith, you were never meant to sing."
I told my Grandma that I wasn't going to perform anymore and that I wish I didn't take things so personally. She told me it was a good thing I was so emotional – without being in touch with my emotions, I wouldn't be able to write poems or songs.
Shortly after, for my birthday, she gifted me two voice lessons in NYC with a voice coach who also looks at the psychology behind singing. This voice coach helped me realize that though my voice didn't have the power of Adele or the range of Mariah Carey; it was honest and vulnerable and perfectly suited for the words that I wrote. She showed me the only thing holding me back were the stories I was telling myself about my singing.
With the help of this voice coach and the encouragement of my grandma I “came into my own” and have performed live, had my songs broadcasted on the BBC, and have done a tour with Sofar Sounds across Europe.