Like many others, I’ve always loved stories that inspire and help us reflect on how we can do more good things, not just for ourselves but for people around us as well.
Not so long ago, I had the privilege of getting acquainted with Meredith O’Connor, a singer, songwriter and activist. Her journey began at the tender age of eight, when she discovered her true passion in performing. Like many of us, she had issues with self-image while growing up, and unfortunately, was on the harsher end of bullying.
Having dealt with these issues first hand, Meredith uses her perspective to not only tell her story (like with her new music video, “Just the Thing“) but to empathise and most importantly, give hope and inspiration to those who are currently experiencing them.
Today, headstrong and hitting the stratosphere with her success, she continues to be the voice for those who have none.
Read on for our Q&A; “10 Questions with Meredith O’Connor”
1. How long have you been a singer?
I have been a singer for only a little over a year. Once Celebrity went viral, it was the start of the whole thing. I never expected it to become what it is today, but I couldn’t be more excited.
2. What inspired you to become a singer?
When I was 8, I started acting in small community plays. I realized that being on stage was my passion, and from there I joined various theater companies as a child.
3. How did you start out?
Working in the New york theater scene as a child got me on stage acting and singing in a group, and thats where I learned everything. It was hard work, sometimes eight shows a week, but worth it! Later on, around the age of 14, I was scouted to be a model. That became my new job, andeventually led me to meet my manager Rick Galvin, at a womens cancer benefit fashion show.
4. What was the turning point for you?
The single “Celebrity” was testing the waters, but the response locally, and globally was much bigger than we even anticipated. Australia, middle america and of course my hometown, (Long Island, where I grew up) shared and supported the video, helping it become well known amongst young kids, especially preteens. The song that started out as something we were just trying became the anti-bullying brand and movement that is is today, overtime. Having seen success from that song inspired myself as well as Rick Galvin to write “The Game” which became the anti-bullying anthem that I went on tour singing.
About Just The Thing
5. What prompted you to write “Just the Thing”?
Just the thing was co-written by Heather Holley and [I], who has also written with Christina Aguilera, and just like her song “Beautiful” we applied concepts of accepting yourself for who you are to the song “Just The Thing.” The song is about finding someone that you not only accepts you for your differences, but admires them, and is attracted to them. It isn’t just intended for a couple, the song could be for a best friend, or someone in your life that loves what makes you unique.
6. What do you hope for people to take away from the song?
The lyrics are intended to show girls who might be feeling insecure, that they should embrace their quirks. I used words like “Weird” and “strange” because thats how others might react to those who stand out, but when you find someone who is a true friend, they will appreciate it.
7. How did you prepare yourself for the song? You were bullied before; how did you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to present the song to the public? It’s not a topic that is easy to talk about, how did you cope?
After releasing the song The Game, I felt that the people who listened to my music, weren’t just fans, they are in a way like friends, because they knew the narrative thats so close to my heart. Coming out with just the thing was exciting because I knew there was a lot of anticipation and I am I a point where I am comfortable enough with myself to revisit issues that were once so challenging for me. I was bullied throughout elementary school and middle school. It was everyday, and even when I was young it was intense. I was called Spider legs, because I was tall and thin, and yes, bullying others for being too thin is also a thing apparently haha. But it was also vulgar slurs, violent and just horrible treatment that no kid should ever experience growing up. Its enough to tear apart someones self esteem to say the least, and my goal with this song, similar to the game, was to help kids everywhere realize that they aren’t alone, like I felt I was.
8. Tell us a little more about the 2 moms that you are helping out with “Just the Thing”
75% of the proceeds for “Just The Thing” are going to two mothers with stage four cancer. Cathy Marino, and Diana Polinco. They are two amazing women, and represent strength that mothers endure all around the world facing similar battles. The Carol Galvin Foundation is the foundation Rick Galvin runs on the side, in name of his mother who passed when he was 11 due to cancer. The goal is to help women personally, and inspire other families to stay strong as well.
For the readers
9. Any word of advice for people struggling with bullying or self image?
My biggest advice to victims out there is to realize that you have done nothing to deserve it. Thats hard to realize when you are a young child, but bullying is unfair and completely random at choosing victims. Don’t let it ever bring you down. Its a hard task, but looking to the future will help. Have faith that it gets better, because I promise it does if you stay strong.
10. Any message to the fans?
Thank you for your support! I love you guys! Cant wait until the album comes out
It’s simple! Answer this question in the comments below: What is the name of Meredith’s latest single?
The lucky winner will receive a beaded bracelet from Abloro🙂
As always, thanks for reading!❤
Photo credits: http://www.laceysmithphotography.com
Special thanks to Meredith for the interview!
Check her out below!
Link to her new single on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/just-the-thing-single/id843495558?ls=1