“Stay true to yourself and f*** anyone else who says otherwise.”
Emerging from Nashville, Tennessee, is Meredith Shock. She’s blazing into the music industry with her infectious blend of country soul and pop songwriting, complete with a deep representation for LGTBQ+ and women communities.
Her newest single, “Trial Run”, is now available everywhere. Listen on Spotify here!
As For the Punks got to know Meredith, she showed us how truly inspirational she is.
The only thing more infectious than her music is her personality. That’s why she’s our next Women’s History Month Feature. Continue below to our interview!
Your bio says you, “want to be the artist [you] needed when [you] were younger.” Can you explain how that motivates you? And how important that sort of representation is for younger generations entering the music industry?
When I was younger, I didn’t know of any open and out musicians, especially in country music, the main genre I listened to growing up. All the music I was exposed to was hetero-normative, which is fine, but it shaped how I thought I needed to be. I felt like I needed to be the girl for a guy, but this isn’t what I wanted. I would hear guys singing about girls and I was jealous of them for that. I would write songs about boys but it felt more like an impersonation, rather than a representation of how I really felt.
Being a queer artist motivates me to be honest and stay true to myself within my own songs. I use female pronouns so the listener knows I’m singing about women. I’m not afraid to live my truth, and that’s what I needed to see as a kid growing up knowing that I felt different from most people around me. My sexuality isn’t my whole identity, but it’s important to show younger generations their experiences are represented in songs as well. They are not alone and I want them to know that. I sometimes wonder if I would have been less afraid to come out to myself if I had heard more queer love stories in songs on the radio. That’s why it’s really important for me to be part of that representation, to help others be less afraid.
Since it’s Women’s History Month, let’s talk about the women who inspire you. Who have been your biggest influences to pursue a career in music?
I grew up listening to Country music and during that time, especially in the 90s and early 00s, there were so many badass country female musicians played on the radio. You’d hear me singing along to the Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, and Faith Hill– the female representation was there. Although you hardly hear women on country music radio nowadays, I initially wanted to be a country singer because of these women. It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville and saw how the country music industry and the music itself was changing that I realized it was no longer the right fit for me.
Taylor Swift is one of my biggest idols, I have been a fan from the beginning. It was so important to see someone singing their own songs and playing guitar at such a young age. I saw myself in her– I thought if she can do it, I can do it. I had already started writing my own songs and playing guitar so seeing her made me feel represented in a way. I also love the way she was able to transition genres so successfully, how many artists can do that? She fights for songwriters rights and human rights and uses her platform for good which is inspirational. She is just such a cool person and I would love to be her friend.
What is your best advice for any LGTBQ+ musicians or professionals trying to overcome discrimination in the industry?
Although no one really tells us this– It may suck sometimes. Yes, it will be rough, you might feel judged, you might regret being out even, but I think it’s so important to not let anybody’s opinion ruin how you view yourself. Only you have the power to say who you are and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who will empower you and your music. Personally, I know not everyone is going to like me– which is the case regardless of my sexuality– but I like me, and that’s what matters. Stay true to yourself and f*** anyone else who says otherwise.
You’ve recently released a new single called “Trial Run” (which everyone needs to stream right now). Can you tell me a little about what the writing/recording process was like and what the song means to you?
LOL thank you! This song was never supposed to leave my notes app. I wrote it for a girl who I just started talking to. She was leaving so I wrote “Trial Run” for her to try and convince her to “Stay true to yourself and f*** anyone else who says otherwise.” give us a try, even if it didn’t work out. (Sidenote- write a song for a person you like, it’s a great way to impress them.) I wrote it in probably 30 minutes or less on my bed with my guitar, which is how most of my songs are written. I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I was still nervous as hell when I first played the song for her. But I knew there was no going back once I sang it for her.
When I sent my producer a rough phone recording of the song, he sent back a rough track. I was so blown away by what he did with it that I decided to record it. At the time I was still going through this “trial run” with the girl. Singing about it while all the emotions were still active and evolving was definitely a different experience than my other songs. I’m happy to say that we decided to continue to date and it’s been almost 9 months 🙂 best decision of my life.
When you’re not creating music, what are you doing? Are there other ways in which you get creative or reset yourself so you can return to music with a relaxed mind?
I’m probably always at least thinking about music but when I’m not writing or playing I am usually working, and I work with dogs so it’s super fun! But I like to have my chill time and just hang out with my friends or watch any streaming platform lol. I also like to work out to really clear my mind, it’s a good stress release and I always feel better about myself after it. I think it’s really good to find something that relaxes you whether it’s working out, driving around, cooking (not my strong suit), or even reading a book.
You definitely pull a lot of influence from Country music. Where does that influence come from? And, why do you love throwing hints of it into your music? Your blend of genres is gorgeous, to say the least.
Thank you so much 🙂 I credit my country music influence to my mom. She grew up in Texas, so she was always surrounded by country music. Growing up, that’s pretty much all I listened to (minus some classic rock from my dad). She had it on in the car and at home a majority of the time. I don’t listen to country music all the time now, I’ve expanded my taste, but the influence of that genre still sticks with me. I think the lines defining genres are always evolving and it’s important to transition through them as I feel it’s needed. The most influential part of country music I try to incorporate is the story telling writing technique. I like to tell a story with each of my songs.
What comes next for Meredith Shock? Where do you see yourself with music in the next 5-10 years? Tell me about what fans can expect to see soon.
Honestly, I ask myself that question every day. For right now, I’m planning on releasing a few more singles this year, which I’m super excited to share! I’m going to create more content for my fans and maybe even have some merch options! In the next 5-10 years, I see myself doing a lot more music, more writing, playing, shows, more everything. I truly can’t see myself doing anything else except music. But be on the lookout for a new single in the next couple of months!
If you want to keep up to date on everything Meredith Shock is doing, travel to the links below!