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Interview: Megan Lee releases debut EP 'Origin'

Megan Lee 'Origin'

2017, Perth Racecourse on a windy and wet day in May was where I first heard Megan Lee perform as part of family band Blue Genes. I was impressed by the young girl with so much talent and confidence, giving her parents a run for their money! Last week, that young girl, now a young woman, released her debut solo EP ‘Origin’, featuring five sensational songs.

Those early years playing side by side with her mum and dad, Megan cut her teeth in the industry. “That time was a time for me to learn about the industry, learn about performing,” she tells me. “Mum and dad have always been musicians since I was a baby. My mum was always a country artist, my dad played more blues and rock and roll. I remember just always thinking, ever since I learned how to talk, I was like, right, this is what we do, we sing. And I went to my first day in school, and I made a best friend, and I asked her where do your parents sing on the weekend? I didn’t know any different,” she laughed.

There was hesitation at first when it came to learning guitar, an instrument Megan is now more than at home with! “My dad bought me a little guitar one Christmas but I said no it hurts my fingers. I left it and left it and one day on my own accord I picked it up and started to learn. After about a year I started trying to write songs and told my mum and dad I wanted a band and we started Blue Genes. Wayne Hadlow gave us our first proper gig at FSA, actually at the fort. We did festivals and gigs and toured the country as Blue Genes.”

Megan’s fanbase has grown with her through the years but stepping out on her own, though still guided and supported by her parents, was daunting. “It was daunting at first. I had confidence, especially since I said I wanted a band at 11 but I had that safety net, knowing that if I forgot a word or forgot a chord, there was always someone there to pick me up and then all of a sudden I was on this stage and I had to do it myself.”

Megan Lee

As well as forging a successful career in music, touring the country with her family, Megan was juggling education through her formative years. “I still went to college and finished all my A-Levels and did the things that teenage girls do so when everybody else in the industry was in the studio, I was revising for exams.”

However, for the last two years she has allowed herself the time to focus on her music, working on this EP for her fans that have been with her from the very start. “I’ve been a full time musician now for two years which has given me time to write and record and really focus on this EP. Now when I go to festivals and when fans ask me if I have a CD I can give them a hard copy that they’ve been waiting for.”

‘Origin’ has been a long time coming for all involved in Megan’s career, she teamed up with a couple of long time friends and producers to help bring the songs to life, Tom Wright and Stuart Landon. “Both of those guys mean a lot to me personally, it’s not just work, they’ve been a part of my journey from being a child. They’ve seen me from the very beginning when I was learning to play, learning to sing, learning to write. I’m 20 now, they’ve learned about me, they’ve learned what I want out of my career and the kind of music I want to make,” she says. “As much as I appreciate all sorts of music, I like my music to be authentic, old school and traditional and they’ve listened to that and I feel really lucky that I’ve come out with a product that suits me and suits my style. I don’t think I could have achieved that with any producer, I felt I had to do that with two people who have watched my development.”

Together, they took the songs Megan penned with her mum and dad and treated them as their own individual projects, finding ways to best serve each track. “‘Hey Danielle’ was so simple, we lay the vocals down and it was right first time, I didn’t want to touch it. But ‘Church On A Sunday’ is such a big production, it’s a gospel track. We didn’t know how to approach that at first, we thought about getting a choir in at first to do that but obviously getting lots of people in a small space together around one microphone is a bit difficult so it ended up being me and Tom in the studio doing backing vocals for about three hours doing vocal after vocal from however low he could get to however high I could get. Each track has its own personality, I have a sound which I stand by but each track sounds different.”

Lyrically, Megan drew influence from her own life experiences, as a good country song usually does. The first taste we got of the EP was the single ‘Light of the Moon’, an uptempo track exploring the theme of pursuing dreams outside of the confines of a small town. Megan reflects, “I live in a little Welsh village, it has a small town feel. It’s lovely sometimes, it’s a safe, close network but there can also be a negative to that. People get into a small town mentality where they think everyone is competition, that not everyone can succeed. All of a sudden you’ve got people watching you, waiting for you to fail. That song is just a reminder that no matter where you are there’s room for everyone to succeed. Nobody wins from waiting for other people to fail. If we all just love and care for each other, wish each other the best, that’s the best way to encourage everyone to succeed.”

Megan has a busy end to this year as she opens up for Jade Helliwell on her UK tour and embarks on her own tour alongside Tom Wright. I was keen to know what goes through her mind on stage! “I’ve always been a Dolly Daydream since I was a child,” she laughs. “At school I’d be tapping my feet under the table, singing something in my head not maths related! I’ve never had a great concentration span. I’m on stage thinking I wonder what I’ll have for tea tonight and all of a sudden you zone back in and you wish you’d have stayed in the zoned out zone! When you’re zoned out, you know exactly what you’re doing but the moment you zone back in you’re like, how many choruses have I sung? Where am I? What am I doing?”

Make sure you go and buy/stream Megan’s new EP ‘Origin’ and get your tickets ready for her tour!

Bonus Question!

In a movie about your life who would you cast to play yourself and what would be the opening theme tune?

It would have to be someone as dittsy as me! Someone with zero common sense. But I feel like I surround myself with people who pull me up and encourage me along the way and fix all the silly mistakes I make along the way so I’m the spirit of that and everything going on in the world at the minute, the theme tune would be the friends theme tune.


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