Meg Mac

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Meg Mac

As a kid Meg Mac was one of those children who was lugged into a van with her four brothers and sisters to take on the annual 12-hour family road trip. “Every summer we would drive from Sydney to Queensland,” she says.
“Back then there was only cassette players, so my dad used to put movies on cassettes – the entire audio of a movie onto cassette – and he’d just play those for us and we’d have to imagine the movie in our heads.”
The past few weeks for Meg have been a bit of déjà vu, though this time around she’s traded the cassettes in for Wi-Fi and a TV as part of her tour of America: an experience that has been both a pleasure and an eye opener for the young musician.
“I was kind of interested to see if I’d be vocally tired, but I think I’m stronger now and it’s been a good test for working out my voice,” Meg says.
“I was really nervous at the start of SXSW. I did seven shows in one week and by the end I wasn’t even nervous anymore – so it was good practice to follow on with a tour.”
Playing SXSW is a huge achievement for an established musician let alone for someone so new to the industry, but for Meg Mac the moment she heard her song played on triple j she knew her career was possible.
“When I heard my song on the radio, it was when I realised that it’s not just me who’s a part of the world. People in their cars are listening and it then becomes separate to you, and it really makes you go, ‘Oh, I’m on the radio and there are other people on the radio that I think are cool.’ It just becomes real,” Meg says.
From that moment Meg Mac was thrown into the spotlight, and all without an EP to put her name to. Meg has since released her debut EP and says it to be her mark of her entrance into the music world. It’s raw, honest, and has set her up as a musician to build close ties with her fans.
Though what’s curious about Meg’s creative process is that she prefers to do it alone, with her thoughts her only company, as Meg tells me: “I hate it when people peek in, so even when my housemates are home I just do it really quietly or don’t do it at all and wait for them to leave. Otherwise I just can’t let it out, because I sing really loud as well. If I’m singing something that I haven’t sung before it can come out really bad and I just freak out. But if I’m by myself then I’m the only one judging myself so that’s fine.”
Listen to Meg’s vocal range in tracks ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ and ‘Known Better’ and you can imagine it would be hard to resist the temptation to listen to her singing behind a closed door. To praise her, make comments and be involved in its creation in any way possible.
It’s a wise move from the young musician, much like the close bond that she maintains with her fans. For other musicians it may be a chore, but for Meg Mac it’s a completely organic manifestation and something she gains much pleasure from.
“Everyone’s really nice and it feels like all the people I interact with have been there from the beginning and I feel like they get the same pleasure out of the cool things that happen to me as I do. People are genuinely excited with me so it doesn’t feel like I’m by myself. It feels like everyone’s a part of it and it feels like a little family. They’re the reason I do what I do,” she says.
Though there’s no denying from Meg that being a musician is something she’s wanted her whole life, and is a dream that is finally coming to fruition. Part of the dream just so happens to be playing Groovin the Moo next month.
“I was already super excited before I knew I was coming to America and now that it’s been so long I just can’t wait to come home and then the next week is Groovin the Moo which will just be this amazing welcome home,” she beams.
“I’ve never been to Groovin the Moo but I’ve heard it’s just one of the best festivals, with the best vibe and I love that it’s in six cities so I get to travel with it and each show will be so different.”
As the interview draws to a close I can’t help fight the feeling that there’s something different that stands out about Meg, all I can put it down to is that she is truly doing what she was born to do.
A loose conversation on her vocal warm ups turns into her giving a demonstration over the phone, while she’s on what I can only assume is a busy street. She’s certainly a musician to watch, and she sums up those slight feelings I had in one perfect sentence: “I like singing on stage better than talking to people”.
When & Where: Groovin the Moo Festival, Bendigo Showgrounds – May 2
Written by Amanda Sherring