2017 is shaping up to be a year of firsts for young alt-pop musician, Saint Mesa. Following his first tour earlier this year with label-mates Nightly, the self-taught artist has just released his new single, "Beads," which serves as a teaser for even more new music and hopefully an album to follow up his Jungle EP. "Beads" finds Saint Mesa at his best, exploring vulnerable lyrical content by touching on anxiety and finding a new musical landscape with a more R&B groove. Get a taste of "Beads" and read more about Saint Mesa's exciting year so far below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
Yea so my name's Danny. I'm a brown Chilean kid who makes music and catches lizards.
Being a self-taught musician, how and when did you first get involved in music? What was it that first appealed to you?
I taught myself bass at around 10, but just for fun with friends. It wasn't until around 16-years-old when I started teaching myself piano that I really understood the draw to music, and the potential there was for creativity. The first thing that appealed to me was that that music was a lot like painting, which at that point in my life was my main creative outlet. Silence is canvass, and sound is your medium. The options and combinations were endless.
You’re just gearing up to release your new single, “Beads.” Lyrically, what inspired this track?
“Beads” was lyrically inspired by my insomnia/anxiety. The feeling of drifting off into a hazy subconscious, but not fully asleep, and slowly drums creep from the background of your ears. Slowly they grow louder, until it's a pounding rhythm in your head, and you realized it's your heartbeat. You wake up from the half slumber and you're covered in beads of sweat. That's the whole root of the song at least.
I feel like “Beads” has a very R&B groove to it. Musically, was there anything you wanted to accomplish with the song?
Yeah I definitely have been listening to a ton of R&B lately since the EP. Musically I definitely wanted to shift the vibe into way more of a groove than rock. That was an important shift for all this new music coming out.
“Beads” is your first new song after your Jungle EP that you released last year. How do you feel you’ve grown or evolved following the writing of those songs compared to this one and the material that you’re currently working on?
That's actually a really important question. As a writer and a person I feel like I've grown so much in the past year. Like an incredible amount. Comparatively “Beads” is miles ahead of any song on the Jungle EP in my opinion. I wanted “Beads” to feel like an evolution of the organic animal that was the EP. We're moving from an introduction to a species, to the second form, more capable and adapting to its environment. At least that's my goal. Hopefully I've accomplished at least a little of that.
It being your debut EP, was there anything you wanted to accomplish with Jungle?
I really was very happy with Jungle. It was an introduction to Saint Mesa, which is just a look into my head. Every song marks a very important season in my life. It's like looking through old photos on Facebook and being like – woah! - that was three years ago, how times flies. Also why the hell was I wearing that, and who let me get away with that?
Looking toward the future, do you have any plans to release some more new music soon? What can fans be on the lookout for?
I can definitely say that I've got so much more music to share with you guys. Keep your eyes peeled past “Beads” for more stuff on the horizon.
You also just wrapped up a run of tour dates with Nightly! What was the highlight of those shows?
Yeah just wrapped up the Nightly tour, and that was incredibly fun and had a blast with all those guys. Some highlights I would say would be dancing to Nightly’s every show, or learning how to live in a van.
Do you have any other big plans for 2017?
2017 is going to be the year of beginnings. First tour, new singles and aesthetics, beginnings of an album. Very excited for the rest of this year.