• Mara Speech

BLOOMER x MECCA

Updated: Mar 29, 2020


"Be patient your time is coming."

- Mecca

Editor's Note

Bloemfontein, South Africa . In the midst of a digital climb, South Africa is producing more creative, free spirited, young artist. Among many, one stood out in particular and his name is MECCA. From Milk + Honey to Pink Clouds, Mecca proves to be a catalyst of tranquility.

Interview

Who is Mecca and where are you from?

Mecca: Well Mecca is a 18 year old artist from South Africa, he lives in a small city called Bloemfontein in the free state with both his parents where he records music in the garage or his room on his spare time.

How would you describe the South African music scene whether it be rap/lyrical culture or beyond?

Mecca: The South African music scene is changing and its amazing there's a new wave of artists that are younger and more creative coming and they taking a more digital route. In S.A it used to be all about getting your song on radio and appearing on TV but with this new wave coming TV and radio have become redundant everything is on the internet now especially Soundcloud its still kind of a new thing in S.A but it's growing fast. Listeners in S.A are becoming more open minded and it's really cool and makes it easier for artists such as myself.

Should someone like myself decide to visit South African one day, what are 3 places or things that you would consider must haves/sees on the trip?

Mecca: If you were to visit here the 3 spots I'd suggest for you is the Table Mountain out in Cape Town, Vilakazi street in Soweto and Gold Reef city in Johannesburg. And if you come to S.A you can't leave without eating a skhambane. It's a quarter loaf of bread stuffed with French polony, pickled mangos (which is a little spicy), sausage and fries it tastes amazing trust me.

When did music become a big component in your life?

Mecca: Music has always been a big component in my life growing up my dad always played jazz and old school R&B so at a young age I knew what music was but I only started listening to Rap when I was 8 years old when my cousin played A Milli by Lil Wayne in his mom's Volvo and I remember being like "Woaaaah, this is so cool." so yeah I started listening to rap music you know the Tupac, Nas, Pro Era that jazzy, boom bap sound I fell in love with it I related that kind of music because of my dad always playing jazz around the house.

What are some challenges that you feel you face as an up and coming artist and how have they built character?

Mecca: Some of the challenges I face are getting bookings and promotion. You see where I'm from people throw a lot of parties and let's be honest no one at a party wants to hear a song like "Milk +HONEY" you know they want to turn up and dance so I struggle to get bookings I feel like my audience are more the kids who like jam sessions, the kids who go to art shows and art festivals you feel me? And those rarely happen in my city. Promo is really a problem for me cause I don't have the funding for major social media promo so most of the time it's just my friends and family sharing my music and they can only promo it to a certain extent so that's also a problem. These challenges have helped build a lot of character because I learned how to work with what I got and work with it well so the challenge of not getting bookings. I taught myself how to adapt by organizing my own art shows and booking my friends as headline acts because we all have a similar sound and face the same struggle and with the promo I save up money to pay for promotion on social media especially American promoters I feel like it's easier to negotiate with them because they understand the whole Rand to Dollar situation.

Strengths as an artist?

Mecca: I think my strengths as an artist is that I'm always open to experimenting with new sounds and I'm versatile I don't like sticking to one sound my producer Boni can tell you I change the type of vibe I want for a beat almost every day I be like "Yo you heard that new Goldlink album I really wanna try out that whole house music sound" you know I'm always constantly trying to evolve my sound and I feel like that's a very good strength.

What artist would you say influenced you and your musical journey?

Mecca: When I started writing music, Tupac influenced me a lot I was 13 talking about "Yo I don't mess with police" and saying stuff like "Mr.President don't like black people" and I laugh all the time when I think about it cause I was only 13 and it was weird of a 13 year old to be talking about such things you know? But like as time went by I found myself influenced by people like Nas, Goldlink,Erykah Badu, Kota The Friend and Shane Eagle basically artists that make that mellow, jazzy music influenced me a lot.

Let's talk about your project Bloomer, what was the inspiration behind? I really enjoyed the project and was extremely shocked after discovering it.

Mecca: Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed it cause I enjoyed every minute of making it! So basically I struggled with depression growing up I was really sad and troubled so last year my mom (the love of my life) took me to see a psychologist cause she felt like it was getting too much and out of hand so last year was really a cool year for me cause I got to deal with a lot of issues and I planted a new seed so I said 2018 I'm planting a new seed, a new beginning, I finally found myself and I'm going to grow and in 2019 we blooming you know we growing, we becoming better taking care of ourselves and the people around us. So basically on BlooMEr I was introducing the new me I was expressing this new found inner peace you feel? Shouts to Adam for helping me come up with the name you can actually hear him basically explain the whole concept of blooMEr on the last song "OCEANS" I really love BlooMEr be