Interview Across the Ocean : Meredith O‘ Connor

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Meredith O’Connor is a singer songwriter and anti bullying activist. She has four songs that are distributed worldwide and she speaks publicly about her experiences with bullying to high schools, letting kids know there are many ways to cope with it. Find her music on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon, https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/meredith-oconnor-ep/id596073152

We asked, Nicolette Smit, a school girl from North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany to conduct a virtual interview with Meredith, finding out about her music, bullying and her aspirations for the future

Nicolette/NBTMusicRadio: Hi Meredith,
I’m a sixteen year old teenage girl growing up in Germany, and I must say that I find it very impressive how you’ve managed to make people notice the consequences of bullying through your music.

1. How did you first get into music at such a young age?

Meredith: Before songwriting I was in a theater company that did original shows and classics, I started at the age of 8 so I was a part of that world for a while and loved it! After singing songs from shows, I figured I should try to write some of my own. Luckily, I made great contacts modeling and doing print work that gave me the opportunity to give it a try.

meredith

2. What made you want to write about bullying?

Meredith: After Celebrity came out, I got some attention both on and off the internet. I realized that with a viral song came a voice- and I also remembered how badly I wanted to change the world for the better. Ever since I realized I had a voice, I promised to use my experiences being bullied to help others

3. If you had the chance to change the bullying policies at your high school, what would you change, and why?

Meredith: I would make sure schools taught acceptance, and valued it a lot more then it is now. I would help the staff become more aware of it, and change teachers’ reactions to students who are different, because passing judgments isn’t fair, and (that Attitude) will be passed on if the teachers themselves do it.

4. What do you think about YouTube shutting down your song Celebrity

Meredith: It was hard for me because right as the media was looking into it, publication disputes were made and got in the way of the songs exposure. However, I’m still looking forward to the next anti bullying video, and m excited to see how people take to that.

5. What type of message do you want your music to bring across? Your new song is a typical break up tune channeling the likes of Taylor Swift. Does this mean it is more about writing what is on your mind than having an actual agenda of what you want to convey to your audience when you write the lyrics?

Meredith: Absolutely, ‘’Celebrity’’ does mean more than just revenge and success to me, it represents the heart breaks and pain we have to get over (like some songs channeling Taylor Swifts music) But I want the people who listen to my music to know that heartbreak, being bullied, being ostracized and put down cannot only break a person but also make you stronger.

6. How do you plan to carry on with your music in the future?

Meredith: I hope to tie music in with acting, and teach my message globally

You can hear tracks from Ms O Connor all over the NBTMusicRadio but especially during the following times:

During our ”Essence Of The Song” hours which go out at 3 PM Berlin Time (that’s 2 PM UK and 9 AM New York) and then again for our USA/Canadian Listeners at 10 PM your time (New York Time)
and ALSO in a more alternative/indie hour at 7 PM New York Time

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/
TuneIn (for Windows Phone, Blackberry and Android):NBTMusicRadio

iTunes: Click on ‘Advanced’ then ‘Open Stream’

and paste: http://listen.radionomy.com/nbtmusicradio.m3u

or search Under ‘radios’ /’eclectic’

stream thru your Media Player: http://listen.radionomy.com/nbtmusicradio.m3u

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RISE ROCKETED

water on canvass

by Helge Janssen

You can hear tracks from the Band on the NBTMusicRadio’s MirrorBall Sessions every night at 10 PM Berlin Time (9 PM UK 4 PM New York) http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com

Headlining the Easter Festivities @ the Bluff Yacht Club on Saturday 30 March was Durban’s dance Rock Electronica band Rise. It was a surprise to discover the Bluff Yacht Club as an idyllic oasis nestled amongst the core of Durban’s heavy pantechnicons and crate carrying trucks to and from the cargo holds of freight ships. The predicted rain backed off and the evening turned out to be a no-wind perfect out-door late summer event!

Opening the set was acoustic guitarist Tony Liddel. Tony has an ease of presence and good command of his cover material. A Crowded House and U2 fan, he soon had the audience relaxed and singing along! It would be wondrous to catch him singing his own material.

The last time I saw Rise perform was at Origin about two years ago at the launch of “Water on Canvas” when the line-up consisted of Martin McHale (DJ, programming), Kerry Wood (lead singer) and Colin Peddie (guitars, backing vocals). They have since notched up huge successes playing massive outdoor events and festivals. However, Martin (ex 330) has left the band and has turned his energies into managing the direction of Origin Nightclub. Filling this huge and difficult gap with aplomb is Donna Peddie (keyboards, backing vocals, percussion (including drum pad) and Dan Wilson (bass). Dan was absent from this Bluff gig as he was at Splashy supporting featured guest artist, Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby.

RISE,1

Rise has progressed to become the premier dance Electronica band of Durban…if not SA….and have rocketed their way into the ever present with their growing innovation, their layered musical constructions that overlap and extend the depth of the aural experience taking the discerning listener into an exciting multi-dimensional territory. Delving into this most important yet largely neglected base (within the average S.A. band) has had a profound effect on Rise’s confidence. With perfect vocal pitch and texture Kerry has thus been freed to spread her wings more broadly, allowing her voice to play with the instruments and richness presented, all of which decisively matches her gift at every level. Added to this, Kerry has a performance energy of unpretentious earthiness and drive and she is exuberance personified. At this gig she had the audience begging for more…and more…and more….

Colin’s guitar work startles! Taking the jangly bits of the Cure influences and mixing it with the driving rhythms of the best of New Order he has found a sound unique to Rise. This live version of ‘All We Have Is Now’ was electrifying! In the highly competitive world music scenario this transformation is no mean feat and it would be interesting to see if this groundbreaking work becomes the well earned stepping stone towards an international stage.

COLIN PEDDIE - lead guitar

Of deep import too have been the subtle yet compulsive melodies of Donna’s discoveries, and her percussive range wings a relationship within the rhythms that are inventive and fresh. She is quiet and unassuming yet displays great strength and focus.

The expansive, inclusive lyrics (“Be The Change” still seems largely under-rated in my humble opinion!) gives body to their work enabling the band to find an important niche in the current politico/social context. “Pop Tart” has been cleverly contextualised to deliver a decisive blow to the shallow meanderings of the corporate music scene by surrendering completely with the pay-off line: ”I believe all the lies…” and deserves to be their next big hit!

Rise is rock solid! They have transcended their respective influences and are creating a unique contribution to the South African music scene.

I could not agree more with a fan statement on Reverbnation: “There are no borders in music when looking for beauty. Feel the beauty of music forever.” Respect and support from I&SON.

Buy their album: “Water on Canvass!” Support their live performances! You will be uplifted and energised!

A live album surely would be the next best thing!

https://www.facebook.com/letitrise?fref=ts

www.riseband.co.za

Lou Gottini (0824589653) booking agent and general manager.