YouTube singer-songwriter Megan Nicole has been up to a lot since she last stopped by Hong Kong at the end of 2014. She’s starred in musical film Summer Forever, which she also wrote songs for, and ventured into voice-acting as diva Squeaky Pop in Netflix’s animated children series Popples. But now she’s back concentrating on music and working on a new EP. Just before she headed off to see Finding Dory on a Monday evening, the 22-year-old gave Young Post the latest on her new music, and advice on what to do around your crush.
Hi Megan! We met back in 2014 when you stopped by Hong Kong. We did a seven-second challenge together.
Yeah! I remember that!
What do you like best about HK?
Oh my gosh, the food was so good. I loved the dumplings. We have a place here but it’s not the real deal.
How’s your new EP coming along?
I’m aiming to have it out in the next few months. That’s my goal. It has a cool urban influence, and I’m excited to share this new body of work. It’s going to be called Play It Cool. I don’t know if there is an overall theme except the songs take you through the different sides of a relationship. From Play It Cool, a fun song about when you first meet someone really cute and you’re just awkward and don’t know what to say, all the way to a song called Nothing, which is about a one-way love situation. A lot of the songs come from personal experience.
What tips do you have for when you’re around your crush?
It sounds super clichéd, but you just have to be yourself. Be real and honest and you’ll find the right person who appreciates you for who you are. Sometimes the best relationships can start off as friendships, so if you are able to hang out with your crush in a group setting, that’s a cool stepping stone.
Have you done anything silly in front of a crush?
Gosh, I do all the time! One time I was on a date and we were walking around. I drank way too much water and I needed to find a bathroom. And it’s no big deal, I know this area, there’s a bathroom over here. But I get over there and the bathroom is locked. And I go into panic mode. So I was walking, and all of a sudden I just started running. And the guy just started running with me, and he was like, “What are we doing?” Luckily there was a movie theatre nearby. And aside from that I always get food stuck in my teeth ... anytime things like that happen though, you just have to laugh it off. It’s the best thing to do. And if it’s something the guy doesn’t get, then he’s not worth the time.
How’s things with your boyfriend Cooper Green?
It’s been going good so far! He’s a musician as well, and it’s really funny because ended going on two separate tours at the same time. We had some crossover dates, so we saw each other in some of the cities we were in. He’s a super sweet guy, and he’s a keeper. He’s been around all those embarrassing moments and he still accepts me.
What inspired your latest single, Mascara?
Mascara was inspired by this really toxic relationship I was in where it was just one thing after another with this guy and I eventually came to this discerning point where I was done wasting my energy over him. In the music video I just wanted to capture the empowerment of that in a unique way, so we ended up going with a superhero theme.
The 7 second Challenge with Megan Nicole:
How did you decide on your superhero look?
I wanted it to be girly and fun and totally awesome-looking. I love the pink hair. Of course she had to have pink hair. It was cool because I like that it looked home-made. It looked like a masquerade that the character put on herself.
How do you write music?
It’s honestly always different, but I find the best way for me to write is to disconnect myself from everything else. For my first EP, Escape, I actually went up to a studio in the mountains, and the second you get up there you have no cell service, so it forces you to disconnect and reflect.
Tell us about a recent creative session that you really enjoyed.
Actually for Mascara, we started off doing a different song, going back and forth, and we just weren’t feeling it. So I went into my notes, and I found a lyric that I had written down six months prior to that - “I’m not going to waste any more mascara on you”. I felt inspired so we started working on that, we were riffing off each other with melodies and the song was done, written, and we also did the vocals in a day.
Who’s the favourite person you’ve collaborated with?
One of my favourites was Lindsey Stirling. I went to where she was living at the time, in Utah, and it was funny because it was a cover of Starships and we were dressed up as aliens. I just loved how awesome and creative her mind was. We were filming in this high grassy area and we were both wearing crazy boots, so we were just slipping on the grass multiple times trying to walk around. I think I was falling more than she was. And then we went to a shopping mall dressed as aliens. She had her violin with her too.
Do you still practice a lot to up your game?
I put in a lot of practice, mostly into my voice, increasing my range and playing with every side of that. I started taking voice lessons and I found a coach that was all about vocal health. Vocal warm ups are very important, that’s something that I take pretty seriously before every show, and making sure that I’m singing from the right place so I don’t injure myself. It’s really important especially if you want to have a long career, or even just being able to go out and do an hour-long set, and know that you’ll be okay 30 days into that.
How do you like to spend the summer?
It’s so funny because in LA it’s over [37 degrees celsius] and I actually I don’t mind it. I love swimming, going to the beach, and if it’s not too hot, to Disneyland. Also I love going to movies, I live for getting popcorn and a nice seat. I’m actually about to go see Finding Dory tonight, so that’s exciting!
Tell us your best and worst summer memories.
The little things make me happy, just friends coming over and having water balloon fights, or making the slip and slide - those are some of my favourite things in the whole world, finding ways to beat the Texas heat. Worst summer memory? I don’t know. I’m sure there are moments where I was sitting around trying to figure out something to do but I was always a very creative child. I would make up my own summer camp, or prank my poor little sister. We had these phones in our house that have little intercom systems on them, I put one of the phone intercoms on speaker and hid it in her room, and I made creepy voices talking into the other phone. I was just a strange child.
What’s your proudest achievement of 2016 so far?
Interviewing the First Lady of the United States was really cool! I got a call a week before, and they flew me out to Argentina for an organisation called Let Girls Learn, which encourages women to pursue their education. I love what their organisation is about, and then of course the chance to sit down and talk with Michelle Obama was insane. After we finished the interview we took selfies together. I think I had close to 30 minutes with her, and I asked her about the organisation, and what her family likes to do in their free time. She made a comment about how both of her daughters are teenagers now, so they don’t like hanging out with mum and dad as much. And that the girls love to make jokes about their dad. Ha!