Hello and thanks so much for having me! I have been great! It’s been a very busy time recently as my debut EP is finally coming out on December 4th after a long time in production. Feels like the end of an era!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Black”?
“Black” is the closing track of my upcoming EP “Wrong Side of the Road”. All 5 songs on my EP were actually written when I was in high school , so I wrote “Black” back in 2006! It’s definitely one of the deeper and darker tracks on this release. It’s a pop-punk track with elements of post-hardcore featuring screamed vocals from my producer Karol Stanczak.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
This song came to me during a very difficult time, after a break up with a person that I really cared for that had an impact on my close friendship group. At the same time I was into a lot of pressure to take responsibility about things that would determine my future. Writing “Black” helped me let all of my unspoken feelings out partly calling out the person that was dishonest to themselves and to me and left me behind, and partly expressing how distressed I felt as I was trying to stay strong and not lose my focus on what was important. A revisited meaning that “Black” acquired more recently during the production process, was the grief and regret that builds up in some of us as we grow older, as we are expected to leave our old selves behind and adjust to the reality and responsibility of the adult world.
How was the filming process and experience for the music video?
This was my very first music video shooting. I always have a very strong idea of the visual concept, style and feel I want to accompany my songs with, and I love video production, so finally having the opportunity to bring a music video to life felt like being in a playground. I worked with the very talented team “Moments Visuals” that did such a good job understanding what I was going for and kindly let me co-direct as well! I totally fell in love with the procedure.
The single comes off your new album Wrong Side of the Road – what’s the story behind the title?
The title reflects on how I always found it hard to fit in at school and in my hometown’s mentality. Growing up in a small town of a Greek island I often felt I was in the “wrong” place. Certain kids at school seemed to think it was “wrong” that I liked Anime and that I wouldn’t care about dressing to attract boys or go to clubs but would prefer being artistic instead. It’s still hard sometimes to be honest! Surprisingly my mermaid colored hair does cause cultural shock to some people when I visit my hometown in the summer! But I do have a lot of love and nostalgia for my hometown too (how very pop-punk!). I decided on this album title very early on and later even ended up writing a song of the same name that further explores those feelings.
How was the recording and writing process?
Recording and producing this EP was the most challenging but probably the most rewarding thing I’ve done with my life so far. Holding on to these songs that I wrote so long ago meant I had to find ways to keep them relevant to my current self as I was trying to bring my teenage self’s dream to life. I revised their meaning a lot during my time in the studio in order to find the best way to deliver them vocally. Having the right producer was vital to this whole experience and I am grateful that I crossed paths with Karol Stanczak, who not only worked with me on creating the arrangements for the songs but also performed, recorded and produced for this project. Our common music influences and outlook on making music gave my songs the depth and feel I always wanted and helped me shape my individual sound.
What role does London play in your music?
I moved to London from Greece in 2011 only to pursue my music. Since then I have met and have had the chance to work with so many wonderful and talented people and have grown so much as an artist. I feel the London music scene is a vibrant place that embraces alternative music and independent artists. Where I come from my style of music is not particularly popular and it’s hard to find people that are passionate about it to work with, which can break your spirit. This was one of the reasons I wasn’t really able to produce my album until I moved here. My time in London has made me realize that many things I considered impossible are actually just a little bit of research and a couple of emails away and this has revolutionized my life as a musician.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
“Wrong Side of the Road” is kind of like taking a peek into my old teenage diary. Every song has a very distinct story behind it. The opening track ‘Step Up!’ is actually the very first song I ever wrote after I made my first real friends at school and realized the importance of feeling empowered and that there was no point feeling down because of negative peer pressure, ‘A Songfic’ is a narrative song that hides some of my earliest encounters with suicidal thoughts and depression, ‘Until my Wings Burn’ is an emotional, self-reflecting track I wrote after a classmate of mine lost his mother to cancer and it’s dedicated to her memory, the title track ‘Wrong Side of the Road’ lays down my feelings about growing up in a small Greek island town and looking forward to the future and ‘Black’ is letting out my frustration against the pressures that come with growing older. It’s all very personal and nostalgic and it comes from my then life in my hometown.
Any plans to hit the road?
There’s always a secret plan to hit the road!! At the moment I am fully focused on the preparations for my release but as soon the EP is out I would love to shift the target to getting together some band mates and getting out there to play these songs live.
What else is happening next in Megan Valentine’s world?
I am dying to film a second music video so I have already started planning for that!! At the same time I am working to launch my first merch line in collaboration with fellow Greek artist Avgi Kanaki. The line will be inspired by Japanese Anime and Manga and will feature concept artwork inspired by each one of the songs on my EP. We also have a one-shot Manga comic book in the works that expands upon the narrative of my song “A Songfic”.
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