PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Saint Mesa has a bright future ahead. The young artist, Danny McCook, was signed by Interscope Records last year, and debuted his first E.P. Jungle. The title track has reached over one million streams on Spotify, and has gained praise from Music Magazines such as The Line Best Fit, MiLK, Relix, Popcrush, and more. Fairly new to live performing, Saint Mesa will be showing what he’s made of at the Bottle Rock and Sasquatch! music festivals. I had a chance to connect with Saint Mesa to discuss the past, present and future of this awesome artist.
INTERVIEW WITH SAINT MESA
JOHN (HIGHLARK): First off, congrats on your success with “Jungle,” which has reached over 1 million streams on Spotify. It’s really a fantastic EP. Of the songs featured, do you have a personal favorite? What makes that one stand out?
SAINT MESA: Thanks so much! I would have to say my personal favorite would be “Head Clouds.” That one we really went in on and got incredibly creative with the sound design and musical parts.
JOHN: You’ve just released your new single “Beads” which has been stuck in my head all day (it’s so good!). What is the song about?
SAINT MESA: I’m really stoked you like it! So “Beads” was basically written when I was dealing with a ton of anxiety paired with insomnia. I wouldn’t be able to sleep for days, and when I would try to sleep it was a struggle. I would slowly slip somewhere between conscious and unconscious, and in the quiet I would feel my heartbeat growing louder, like a drum in the distance, and it would become overwhelmingly loud in my head to the point where I would wake up from the half slumber, covered in beads of sweat. Hence the name.
JOHN: You’ll be joining a ton of great acts for the Bottle Rock and Sasquatch! festivals. What’s your favorite thing about performing live? On the flip side, what’s your favorite part about being an audience member, watching an artist play? And what do you think might separate your performance from other artists’?
SAINT MESA: I know I’m so incredibly stoked about the lineups at both festivals. I’ve actually only preformed in front of people like a handful of times. Before this last tour with labelmate Nightly, I had only played 4 shows singing in front of people. I guess my favorite thing right now is just learning how to let loose and be fluid and free on stage. It’s definitely a challenge and a learning experience, but I’m really enjoying it. Watching an artist play as an audience member is such an incredible thing for me because I’m usually on the other side of the music, so being able to not think about what part comes next or worry about lyrics or tone is really freeing. I’m able to just enjoy the music. I really want to create an immersive audio visual experience for people. I want it to not only sound amazing, but I want to visuals to pair with the music perfectly, so you feel like you’re watching an in person music video. I think there’s a lot of work to be done to get there, but that’s my dream.
JOHN: What music have you been listening to recently? Who inspires you?
SAINT MESA: Man I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff lately. Phil Collins, The 1975, Glass Animals, Tame Impala, so many more. I’m inspired by people who pushed the envelope, and didn’t just make “safe” music.
JOHN: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently?
SAINT MESA: I don’t know if this is the funniest thing, but I thought it was funny. So I’ve been decorating my apartment with fake vines and plants (because I’m not responsible enough to have live ones, they’d all die), and I get home from tour a few days ago to find a tiny hummingbird has taken up residency on a vine in my balcony in a little tiny nest.
JOHN: So, like a lot of people, my music taste is pretty eclectic. I’m a big metal fan, I listen to everything from Metallica to Guns and Roses. I also LOVE Kelly Clarkson and One Direction. Which artists/groups would you say others wouldn’t expect you to go crazy for?
SAINT MESA: I’m not really sure if anyone would be like surprised by the music I like. Some of the more out of genre things for me would be Backstreet Boys, or Tamia, or this Brazilian artist Rodrigo Amarante. I never got into metal or traditional rock. One Direction gets me sometimes I will admit.
JOHN: If you could describe yourself as one instrument, which would it be and why? You can’t say cowbell, that’s mine.
SAINT MESA:Dang I would have to sayyyyyy the Balafon or the Kalimba. Both are percussive and melodic instruments from Africa. My first choice WAS going to be cowbell but you stole it from me.
JOHN: Lastly, I’ve read a lot about your journey. You’ve overcome some frightening obstacles, and It seems to have fueled your art. It was really moving to read, and I commend you for coming out the other side with a positive outlook. Do you have any advice for anyone that may face a roadblock in their journey?
SAINT MESA: Thanks, yeah it was definitely a hard ordeal to go through. I would say to anyone dealing with overwhelming obstacles, who feel hopeless at times, just to hold on. Because it DOES get better. Life goes through seasons, and seasons pass. Hold onto whatever hope you can, and find people who either are going through similar stuff, or people who support you through whatever it is you’re going through.
[+] SAINT MESA
// “Beads” is available to stream today.