By Bryan Stengel
With the release of her first self-titled EP in July, Brooklyn-based singer-songstress Meghann Wright hopes to share her story with music enthusiasts all over the world.
Raised in Hawaii, Wright was always surrounded by a “melting pot” of cultures; some of which breathed new life into instant classic songs like Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” In a family full of musical influences, from dad’s simple fandom to mom’s professional opera voice, her childhood was saturated with music from all different avenues – music became the Pacific Ocean to her island home.
During a recent interview conducted by The Pioneer, Wright explained how the move to New York challenged her both as an individual and a musician. With an eclectic metro scene, the “big apple” is a hard place to adapt and standout from large group of aspiring musicians coming from a sea of genres. Her soulful, gritty voice puts her on the hardcore punk rock platform one night, and the “freewheeling” folk scene the next. “People who restrict themselves are hurting themselves since they’re missing out on something that could be fun and exciting,” said Wright, referring to the importance of embracing a collage of musical styles.
One of her three EP songs, “Can’t Carry Water,” takes the listener on an overwhelming journey dampened by the sense of loss, and then remedied with empowerment and hope later on. Wright stresses the need to move forward, and accept issues that aren’t meant for safekeeping. Her second song, “Left My Heart in Brooklyn,” the same theme of hope in the midst of loneliness is reimagined, as Wright talks about leaving her adopted hometown behind to chase her dreams.
On the polarizing end, the third and final song on the EP, “Cocaine,” can put on more than one dress. Listening to the poppy, edgy instrumentals, you might think back to your very first Reel Big Fish concert, given its upbeat, “Skatanic-like” qualities. But, as Wright remarked, “Some people don’t necessarily realize it, but it’s a song about pain and loneliness.”
On the surface, her lyrics foster stories of vacant hearts and unembellished, rough courage. The innate rapture of Wright’s voice garners new meaning as it touches the soul from all angles. Wright expressed that she not only finds self-gratification in her own music, but also finds that her songs open the doors for other female singer-songwriters as well.
In the winter of 2012, Wright founded an organization called “The City & the Heart” dedicated to supporting these new artists who are looking for an outlet to showcase their talents. By building a sense of community and direction, she hopes to give artists the opportunity to explore their musical parameters without any distractions along the way. Last year, Wright organized a series of 14 showcases to raise money for its inaugural compilation record, which features an original song by each “TC&TH’s” 30 plus contributors. The record can now be listened to for free on BandCamp.
From behind the scenes to center of the stage, Wright plans to be invested in her musical travels for the long run. Whether it’s New York or Hawaii, Wright’s home resides within her music as she takes refuge in her songs. The stark reminder of Dolly Parton’s country grit or Dolores O’Riordan’s superb range is embodied in Wright’s hybrid of styles. Stripping the creative pulse felt in Wright’s songs could be like wiping away the soul from her existence – it’s just not possible.
Wright’s music can be found on her BandCamp page. She can also be found on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Soundcloud, and on her website meghannbwright.com.6