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Megan Arial Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Megan Arial Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer:  I call my type of music and genre California country music. I grew up with two amazing parents with two very different ideas of good music. Whenever I was in the car with my mom we would listen to artists like Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. With my dad, we would listen to the great rock bands of his time like The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and STYX. I found my love for music in all of these artists and different genres. When I started writing my own music I found that there were a lot of influences from a lot of different genres. When I moved to Nashville and I got to choose the production of my songs, I found that I kept going back to those artists that I grew up listening to. With my first single “#41,” you will find a lot of those influences which has created my California country sound.  

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Answer:  Oh My! My last year was absolutely crazy in the best way possible. I moved to Nashville about a year ago not knowing anyone and barely having visited the city. I think I was just excited to be in the heart of a city where anything seemed possible.  There was a lot of setbacks over the past year that I believe have made me stronger as an artist and as an individual. I started in Nashville by going to open mic nights and shows almost every single night of the week and just putting my name out there. Through these times I met some amazing artists who are still my friends today. I was also struggling keeping up with life and the balance of working and trying to be a musician at the same time. I would co-write all day and then work at a restaurant by night. This was also the time where I was part of the Nashville Rising Star competition. I was blessed to make it to the finals and finished with the popular vote win. Because of the competition, I was able to record some of my music with Jason Wyatt Productions, which I am releasing now. I just released my first single “#41” and can’t wait for the world to hear it! 
    
Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

Answer:  My favorite song that I have recorded currently is my song and new single “#41”.  “#41” is about one of my very first nights in Nashville. I went to an open mic night where I found out I was #41 on the list of participants. This meant that I didn’t play my song until around 2:00AM. Honestly, for me it was my first experience in Nashville that showed me what it was like to live in a city full of people chasing their own versions of the American dream. That very night I started jotting down the lyrics to the song by writing down what I saw around me. When I was lucky enough to record it, I felt like it was the first song where I had total creative control.  I based the production off of some of my favorite current female artists such as Maren Morris and also ZZ Ward. I was lucky enough to work with producers who trusted my vision, even when I decided I wanted to add both harmonica and ‘oohs’ on the track. The song has turned out better than I could have ever expected, and I couldn’t be happier. I hope in some way it may help someone else struggling to live their own American dream. Sometimes you will be #1, and sometimes you will be like me…#41 but it is all about the journey that takes you there. 
  

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Answer:  Ever since I was a little kid, all I could remember was my love of being on stage. I loved the feeling of performing and giving my heart out and feeling the energy of the audience. I still love this and I am lucky enough to do this every single week in Nashville. With my first single “#41” I was surprised how much I loved the recording process. It is a completely different way of expressing yourself creatively. 

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Answer:  I started songwriting when I was around 12 years old. It was a time in my life where I didn’t have a lot of friends and I felt like a complete outsider.  I was trying to be myself, but for a 12-year-old girl that wasn’t enough — and I was bullied.  I had always liked poems, but never put them to music until around this time. It was a way to relieve stress in a healthy way.  It was writing these songs that gave me the strength to go about my life and be who I was, no matter how dorky or weird I might be. 

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

Answer:  I think what drives me is the desire to be a role model for others. I have lots of younger cousins who are growing up in a world with so much hate and violence. A lot of this hate comes internally from the pressure to be somebody you are not. As a society, we are surrounded by visions of what we should look and act like. I want to be someone who my younger cousins look at as someone who worked really hard and never gave up on her true self. The person you see on stage is the real me and being there makes me happier than anything I’ve ever experienced. If I am lucky enough to do that for the rest of my life, I can’t think of anything better. 

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Answer:  I think that everyone’s biggest critic is themselves at some point or another.  I am not different. I would definitely classify myself as a perfectionist to a certain degree, which doesn’t help with this category. I think the most important thing is learning when to let go of the unnecessary pedestal you might put yourself on and love yourself. This is a lot easier said than done and it is something I still struggle with. 

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Answer:  I always love seeing live music. In Nashville, whenever I have a night off I love seeing live music and supporting my friends and fellow artists. Some artists get jealous or get intimidated seeing other artists perform and do well. For me, I think that every chance to see someone live is a chance to learn something. Also, Nashville is such a great community in the way that we all try to show our support for other artists and promote each other’s uniqueness. 

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

Answer:  My fans can expect to see a ton of fun and more importantly — honesty.  There is something that is so sacred to me when I am up on that stage. It doesn’t matter if there is one person or a thousand, I promise to give every single thing I have on that stage every single time. 

Lamitschka:  What's your favorite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Answer: Whenever I had writers block, I would put on Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”  This song has three completely different songs in one, but somehow it all works together in the best way possible. It is so simple, but brilliant and fun and exciting and romantic at the same time. If I could ever write that much emotion into one song, I would call it a success. It is still my one trick to combat the songwriter’s slump. 
    

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show 








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