Can you talk to us more about your song “Could’ve Picked Me”?
Sure. I wrote this song based on personal experiences and observations. I think we all have these moments of wondering why we weren’t picked for something or by someone.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
Me and my friends have all experienced disappointment when we are not selected by teams, schools or friend groups. It has certainly happened to me more than once. This song is about the constant struggle of trying to fit in but not lose yourself.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
When I was writing the song, I was also writing the music “film” storyline. What brought it all to life for me was when I started working on the treatment with Monsee (the Director). Once I had the treatment, I pitched the idea to my friends (and my little sister). I also made a creative decision to have the video feature all girls because I felt if we added boys in the video then people would only hear the song as a girl does not get boy song when it is about so much more. It also needed to be inspiring, while I am not picked in class or for dodgeball in the end I get encouragement to take on the talent show. This gives the video a full emotional story arc.
What was it like to work with Kendall Vertes?
Kendall is one of my best friends and I think our friendship comes through in the video. While she plays the cool girl, it is clear her character cares about mine. With anyone other than Kendall, it may have read negative which was never my intent. Kendall’s acting includes an amazing ability to be authentic and she has one of the best “sympathy looks” of any young actor. I was very lucky to have her in my video.
How was the recording and writing process?
My approach is simple. I sit down at the piano with an experience in mind. For example, my first single, Bittersweet was about leaving my middle school of nine years and going to high school. I start with the chorus which I write on the piano, then I develop the surrounding cords and start to fill in the lyrics. I round out any rough patches with my producers.
How do you use Social Media into your advantage to continue the narrative in your music?
I am learning a lot about extending the narrative with social media (because I have some friends that are very good at it). Most important to me is that I am true to myself and my work. I am focused on building the right fan base, meaning people who like my music and don’t mind that I am not going to do anything that is too over the top just to get attention. My followers look at me as a role model and it is important that I honor that.
Does it tend to be a very difficult thing to accomplish?
It is challenging to build a relevant and meaningful social brand. I am working on a crossover media approach where my music videos tell a bigger story and my social media fills in the blanks around who I am personally.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how´s that coming along?
Yes! I am super excited that I have recorded my next single and am in process of writing the rest of the EP.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
My next single will come out in the Spring, and I hope to have the EP completed by next fall or sooner. Keep in mind, I am a full time 9th grader too.
Any plans to hit the road?
It would be awesome to get the chance to open for someone awesome, or to tie into a teen tour like some of my friends. I think once my following gets a bit larger I can pinpoint some cities and maybe hit some schools and fundraisers.
What else is happening next in Mercer Henderson’s world?
Thanks for asking! I feel super lucky to have a lot of cool things happening. I am working on my next video concept to support my next single. But right now, I have a Humanities paper due.