A Conversation with Megan Nash

Do yourself a favor this summer, get in your car, roll down the windows, and put on a copy of Megan Nash’s “Song Harvest Volume 1”. Drive south, take the road less traveled, breath in the sweet summer air. Let her voice encapsulate you; let her tell your secrets for you!

Megan has the ability to calm you and entrance you with her voice, while telling you an incredibly personal story with her lyrics. She epitomizes the ideals of a singer-songwriter — a consummate performer, and wondering sage. Her romantic ideals offer a cushion to what the real world has desensitized us to, telling us through her artistry that it’s all right to love, make mistakes, and suffer loss.

The Bicycle Gang recently chatted with Megan Nash about makes her tic, what the future holds, and her amazing plan for the Apocalypse. You can connect with Megan and check out tour dates here!

 

BG: Tell us who Megan Nash is?

MN: I’m a singer-songwriter based out of rural Saskatchewan. I’ve been writing songs for nine years. My sun is in Scorpio and my moon is in Aquarius — what an undercurrent!

I love open spaces and open conversation.

 

BG: When listening to your music, your lyrics and vocals are so personal. What inspires to write?

MN: When an event happens in my life, I have a knee jerk reaction to put words to it — whether it be heart ache or happiness. To create a little time capsule composed of bad grammar and common nouns.

I lost my best friend when I was twelve. I loved her so mush and I wish I had known more about her. Her past loves, her dreams, her fears — she was much older than I. I am creating a record of my human experience, so if I ever mean that much to someone, they can know how my experience felt.

 

BG: In a time where social media is so prevalent and human stories are so digital, there seems to be a revival of young Saskatchewan artists making storyteller albums. Why do you think this is?

MN: I’m not sure if Saskatchewan artists ever strayed from storyteller albums. We’ve got supper table tales in our bellies. Pickup trucks acted as book ends for small town stories told on main street. Dust from droughts hover in the verses of our songs to remind us to tighten our belts at any moment. Hard times could be just around the corner but we still celebrate what we have today. That’s Saskatchewan.

 

BG: What does the day-to-day life of Megan Nash look like?

Depends on the day.

When on tour, day goes like this: wake up in some random town/city/village, do some yoga, google a coffee place, load up on caffeine, hit the highway, listen to CBC One, load in to venue, set up, play, tear down, sleep, repeat. Emails and social media sprinkled in between.

When at home, day goes like this: wake up in the middle of nowhere, make coffee, check weather and emails, if it’s warm I’ll plan on rehearsing and writing in the church, if it’s cold I’ll focus on admin work (and there is a lot of it for an independent artist), cook, do some yoga, read, sleep. Repeat. Being self-employed, I find myself doing random things for money sometimes. Voice-over work, song writing workshops, studio work for other bands, every day is different which I enjoy. I love change; I like it when things constantly evolve. I’ve been quite fortunate that I have the ability to make money from my passion. It’s not as regular of a cash flow as a nine-to-five, but the money seems to come in when I need it. It’s taken a while to get to a point where I felt comfortable only doing music or music related things, but I have adapted to it. I am grateful that I live where I live and have the choice to do this for a living.

 

BG: Tell us about “Song Harvest Volume One”?

MN: In the summer of 2014, I experienced a creative gift from the ether, the Universe, God, whatever you believe. Songs came to me like they had never before. It was a spiritual experience. “Song Harvest Volume One” is a collection of most of those songs, recorded in the space they were recorded in. I’m big on that these days — recording where created. I’m sure one day I’ll take a bunch of songs to an actual studio and make full band version of songs. For now, I’m recording songs in unusual spaces in the cities, towns, or in the case of “Song Harvest”, the hamlet, that they are created in.

 

BG: What is next for Megan Nash?

MN: I’m trying to find that fine line between the EGO (promotion) and the SELF (creation). Wish me luck (insert smiley emoticon). This year I’m working on music videos and two records, one EP and one more full length. I’m working on a project called “Songs 4 Nature” where, alongside songwriter’s Glenn Sutter and Ryan Hicks, we will facilitate a songwriting camp at Last Mountain Lake for high school students. I believe it is a part of an artist’s job to share their passion with the community they live in, whether it be through teaching, facilitation work, documenting the communities experience through their work, etc. This idea of “giving back to the community” doesn’t mean “making it big” and then throwing money at a local charity. It can be done from day one in your career as a professional artist. It doesn’t mean doing shit for free either. It means showing initiative, thinking creatively, and feeling for your community. It’s a reciprocal experience. It takes a community to raise a child (and to support an artist).

 

BG: Where is your favorite place to play a show in Saskatchewan?

MN: I have had the pleasure of playing a lot of beautiful spaces in this province. One time I performed at Neil Jones’ art studio in Rockglen to over 40 people. It was packed. The man who made my grandfather’s urn was there. What are the chances? The power kept going out so it was a blessing that I had brought both my electric and acoustic guitar. We had an acoustic Fleetwood Mac singalong in the dark. I get goosebumps thinking about it. It was magical.

I also enjoy the Artesian in Regina, the Mae Wilson Theatre in Moose Jaw, and the Renaissance Gaiety Theatre in Gravelbourg. I have a soft spot for soft seat theatres.

 

BG: Where is your favorite place to grab a cold, refreshing alcoholic beverage?

MN: I’m a teetotaler these days (BUT TOTALLY STILL FUN, I SWEAR). I like drinking tea and coffee at all the hip spots like Chrysalis and the Common in Moose Jaw. There’s a cute cafe in Gravelbourg called Cafe Paris that I dig. They. have. the. best. sticky. buns.

 

BG:  Do you have a ritual before you go onstage?

MN: It depends on the space and event. Sometimes I just do vocal warm ups and deep breathing to become calm, focused, and present. Some shows I will visualize months prior. Never under estimate the power of your mind. If you decide the show is going to suck in your brain, it will. If you try to imagine your desired outcome, how it feels, what it looks like, chances are it will be a good performance. I try to make the stage a safe space for myself to be my true self. Imagining a circle of white light around my area helps me achieve that.

 

BG: What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

MN: Songwriting. I love the process, the way it makes me feel, how I can become entranced by it. When a song feels completed or at least ready to be presented — I get a high from it. However, I don’t believe songs are ever done. In some way they are alive and can continue to grow and develop over time. Songwriting had saved me from going down a self-destructive path. It’s a safe way to express the unavoidable sadness that comes as part of human existence. I guess it’s saved my life.

 

BG: We ask this question to all the artists we interview, the apocalypse is imminent and you can see one last show. Who would it be and where?

MN: A crazy festival of a bunch of my buddies playing music. I’ve been so damn lucky to share the stage with some amazing artists. If the world is going to end, I hope all of the people I have shared the stage with could get on stage for a “See Ya Later Earth” Fest. And we would end the festival with a Fleetwood Mac sing-a-long. In the dark. Fuck yea.

.BG.

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