To say we were excited to be able to interview Megan Hamilton is a major understatement. She brings a dynamic and fresh sound with her funky compositions that stand out in an over saturated music scene; We’ve been huge fans of this talented lady for years now. We were honored that she took the time out of her busy schedule to catch up with us after her performances at STS9‘s Wave Spell Festival in Belden CA last month. Megan Hamilton the “jack of all trades, and master of none” has been staying busy dropping new music and performing all over the country. In the interview Megan talks about her dual performances at Wave Spell and how she got to experience it with so many fellow friends and performers. She explains how she bypasses writers block, chats musical influences and more. Read on to learn all about this amazing musician!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Euphoric: First off how was Wave Spell?! You played two sets out there. Can you tell us a little bit about each of those?
Megan Hamilton: The STS9 crew did a fantastic job, it was extremely well organized for being a first year festival. The lineup was totally over the top, so it was great to be able to see so many homies and get to watch them do their thing. It was scheduled so there would be no overlapping sets as well, and it’s not often that you get to see your homies when you’re playing the same festival so that was super refreshing and inspiring.
Spinning on the river is always a blast. Playing two sets has been something I’ve wanted to do for a super long time. I’ve been featured on several house tracks and labels throughout the years, and it’s one of my favorite genres to mix. It felt refreshing to be able to express that side of myself, and I think you’ve always been able to hear that influence in the midtempo music I produce. I definitely hope to do two sets at other festivals in the future!
What were some of the other highlights from the festival?
The production at every stage was some of the biggest I’ve ever seen at Belden, so watching friends of mine slay the stages was dope to experience. Spending time with them was probably my favorite part, however. Shows/festivals are always a whirlwind so it’s always great to get a moment to have some quality conversation with your peers and share touring experiences, tips, production stuff, etc.
You seem to be very dexterous when it comes to music, doing everything from production to vocals. Did you grow up in a musical household?
Neither of my parents were ever much into music. My dad used to be an old school hippy with “hair down to his butt”, and the only remnants of that stage of his life seem to be in the ‘Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival’ CD’s on repeat in his car. My mom was always a fan of the oldies (Aretha, the Supremes, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, etc) but neither of them play any musical instruments or are into singing. They were, however, very into letting me try any activity I could dream up. I started violin lessons at age 7, but was quickly bored and decided I’d rather play the drums. After that I decided I wanted to play the clarinet. Then the guitar. Then the bass. Then the drums. Then the piano. Learning to sing seemed to come in time, just like the other instruments. Same when I learned to produce. A jack of all trades, a master of none. 😛
Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from both musically and non-musically?
Some of my biggest production influences are probably Oliver, WBBL, Brasstracks, FKJ, and Anomalie.
As far as vocals go, Amy Winehouse, SZA, Cristina Soto, Whitney Houston, MO, Lorde, James Brown, Khalid. I could really go on and on here.
From original tracks to remixes to collabs – you’re very prolific with your releases. What’s the your secret to staying fresh and consistent with your music? Do you have any tricks for bypassing writers block?
I’ve felt like I’m writing and releasing at a slower pace within the last year or so – but I think this is only because I’ve begun scrutinizing the quality of every part of my music so much more. It’ll never be perfect, but I definitely spend more time trying to polish things than I used to. It’s resulted in less volume, but in my opinion, better quality. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what’s popular and you can get carried away overthinking every decision you make. I can feel very stagnant at times trying to be certain that what I’m making is unique to me and not just another notch on the Top 40 bedpost. When that happens, I find that taking a break from that track for a week or so can really give some new, fresh perspective. When it comes to the day to day willpower to work on music – willpower is a muscle. If you develop good habit loops, you can ensure productivity regularly. I like to adhere to the 5 minute rule – if I’m really not in the mood to create, I’ll make myself sit down in the studio for just 5 minutes. Chances are, I’ll end up there for hours. Sometimes getting the motivation to get started can be hard, but I’ve found it much easier to navigate using this rule and maintaining the habit.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process that went into your remix of Static Panic’s “Lose You To The Night”?
I’ve known the lead singer of Static Panic for several years now; though they used to create a much different style of music. When I first heard their new project, I was blown away by the quality and specifically, the quality of the vocals. Ro did a fantastic job on their entire recent EP, but Lose You To The Night really stuck out to me. I felt like its poppy groove was calling out for some french, future, funk vibes. As I mentioned above, I really think you can hear a bit of my house influence in the midtempo drop of this track and it’s one of my favorite releases from the past year.
Who are some other artists you’ve been really into lately? If you could collaborate with any one artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’ve been really into Birocratic, Anomolie, whereisalex, SZA, Perfume Genius, Khalid, again I could go on forever haha.
If I could collab with anyone it would be Jamiroquai, Amy Winehouse, or Whitney Houston.
You’ve got a bunch of cool upcoming performances on your schedule. Anything on the horizon you’re extra excited about?
I’m super pumped for the Gravitas Showcases in Grand Rapids (9/7) and Chicago (9/8), alongside Psymbionic, Edamame, Cloudchord, etc. Also stoked to be in British Columbia so much this summer, it’s insanely beautiful out here (writing this from Kelowna). Definitely got some cool releases coming out in the near future and some dope show announcements on the docket as well, 2018 we just gettin started!
If you could go back in time and give yourself one bit of advice what would it be?
Don’t ever eat Scrubway before a show.
Thanks so much!
Thank you Megan!
Photo Cred: Taylor Wallace – @alivecoverage