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INTERVIEW: Mesa Jane

How would you classify your music?

I think it’s crossed a few genres over the years but I’ve called in alternative vibe pop recently.  It’s got electronic and analog elements and has a blend of mostly alternative and pop flavors.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

That’s really not enough to scratch the surface and I think my top 5 rotates among all my influences over the years but…. In no particular order:  The Beatles,  Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, The Talking Heads and Prince.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

A peek into my heart and soul and mind.  Hopefully they can relate to my thoughts or feel my emotions.  I think there is a certain intimacy between songwriter/artist and listener when that connection is made.

How’s the music scene in your locale?

Philadelphia has a rich history of music and still has a busy, vibrant scene.  There are tons of cool music venues, amazing local bands all over Pennsylvania, and some great community radio stations, music curators, and music fans!

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Jimmy Cliff at the Stone Pony is pretty memorable.  Also Sublime at the Ogden Theater before the lead singer died.  I like smaller intimate venues where you can get close enough to the stage to really feel the energy of the artist and maybe even make eye contact for a minute.  I saw St. Vincent last year and she was stunning live.

Is there a single song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

I like “It’s Still Free To Laugh” because it’s just fun and puts a smile on my face.  Also “Waking Up to the Sound of a Machine” because it covers a wide sonic landscape, I love the 808s in the chorus, and I think it’s just a unique song for me.  I’m lucky to get to work with a great producer, Tim Sonnefeld, who really takes my demos and produces with me.  We have good chemistry in the studio for the most part and I’m always excited to see how the songs evolve from demo to finished song.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

I think 2014-2015 was a big year of change for me as an artist.  The release of Level established a more electronic and cohesive sound that my debut album.  It got some great press and radio love and I got to tour the USA and got to Canada to play those songs.  There were some great festivals, award nominations, and radio interviews that came as a result of that release.  I think I was focused more on songwriting and current events than performing when I wrote “This Is How The Meek Riot”.  Sadly, I had to cancel my Fall tour dates and have had to put some things on hold.  I still have behind the scenes songwriting opportunities coming my way though, and I’m hoping that people get to hear the new songs from this EP.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Bob Marley seems like a pretty peaceful guy to be around and was a brilliant, deep soul in my opinion.  So does Bob Dylan.  I would want to hang out with either Bob.  I would love to co-write with Max Martin, John Lennon, Carole King, Diane Warren, or Joni Mitchell.  I would love to open for St. Vincent, Sia, Warpaint, Haim, Tori Amos, Annie Lennox, Norah Jones…lots of female artists I wouldn’t mind sharing a stage with!  And The Talking Heads and Radiohead are just so cool and kind of mysterious.  I would do any of the above with David Byrne or Thom Yorke.

What’s next for you?

I guess the most honest answer I can give is time will tell.  I’m kind of living one day at a time right now.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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