A post shared by Megan Nicole (@megannicolemusic) on Mar 7, 2016 at 9:17am PST
Singer, actress and all around social media superstar Megan Nicole can now add 'fashion designer' to her ever-expanding resume. March isn't even halfway over and so far, the performer has already announced a brand new tour, donated her voice to a new animated Netflix show, premiered a new catchy song and launched an new merchandise line.
AOL.com was able to catch up with the singer at South By Southwest to talk about her passion for fashion and her plans for the future.
A post shared by Megan Nicole (@megannicolemusic) on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:02am PST
We got a peek at your newly designed shirt – can you tell us a little bit about the exclusive apparel you have coming out of this?
I'm very excited for the launch of this new merchandise, and just really taking the time to collaborate and work on cool ideas for fun apparel that I would love to wear and that my fans would love to wear. It's really cool that I get to be hands on with it. We had an hour long or a two hour long conference call the other day just discussing ideas and I'm excited to see them come to life.
What goes into creating apparel?
First, it comes down to me on Pinterest. I made a board, just pinning things and clothes that I personally enjoy that would be cool to inspire some of the merchandise. So from there, I talk to a team of people, who are much more talented in the graphic design department who can help bring those concepts to life. I also get to help pick out the style and color of the T-shirt. There are some cute sweatshirts I'm excited about too!
Where do you get inspiration for this apparel?
For my own personal style, I love, I guess you could call it Kawaii. You know, just fun and colorful and quirky. For the merchandise, I'm incorporating some cool things that incorporate who I am. You know, some of my favorite things to wear are T-shirts with really simple text that I think is funny or reflects who I am. Some about food and pizza – haha. But there are simple cute things you can pair with jewelry or a fun accessory and play those up. So the t-shirts I think will be kind of in that lane of things. And then there will also be some cool, colorful other pieces as well.
Do you have any current favorite fashion trends or anything you're most excited about for this year?
Actually, I'm really obsessed with the fact that suede is in in the Spring. It's really cool. I brought two suede things with me and I'm in Austin, Texas! Suede's really fun, and I'm also loving anything with marabou – faux fur, on shoes, I have like three pairs of different shoes with furry stuff on them. You know, they're simple but still quirky and textured. So fun, I love playing with textures and fabrics and stuff. Another thing I'm into is iridescent fabric. I think I'm going to incorporate it a lot into my tour wardrobe this year. When you hit the light, it just looks cool.
A post shared by Megan Nicole (@megannicolemusic) on Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18am PST
What is the songwriting process like for you –- specifically your new song, 'Mascara'?
When it comes to writing a song, usually the song evolves in different ways. It can start out being just a lyric, sometimes I'll have a little melody in my head. Other times, I'll go into the session and we'll start jamming and riffing until we find something that we want to roll with. Mascara kind of came together – I was on my bed with just my keyboard and all I have was this one lyric –- 'I don't want to waste any more mascara on you'. And I wrote it down in my journal. Then, a couple months later I was in a writing session and we were working on something, and I just wasn't feeling it, so I looked in my notes, and that line came up. I was like, 'Oh, I forgot that I wrote this down –- let's build a song around this.'
It was really cool to see it come to life. It's crazy too because that one line says so much. We've all been through those situations, and to me it can be more than just about relationships. It can be about any person or situation that's trying to negatively affect your life. It's kind of like saying, you know, this isn't worth my tears. Taking back control of your life and your happiness.
Is there anything else you're hoping to conquer in your career or any more big plans on the horizon?
I think this fun merchandise line is kind of a cool intro into hopefully having my own full clothing line, eventually. I want to have my own fashion line where I create other things like fun dresses, and skirts and shoes, and be a part of seeing that come to life. I also want to continue to act more –- I've been spending a lot of time on my music right now, but acting is something I still really enjoy. I still go to lessons and continue to work and develop in that area. It's fun! It's fun portraying different characters, like I do in my music videos, so it's fun to be able to do that on screen for a month or whatever and become something else.
How long does it normally take to shoot a music video?
It depends, We split this one into two day shoots. It can be maybe 12-13 hour days. We started at 1 in the afternoon yesterday and then we wrapped at 3am. It should be fun! I enjoy what I do. I enjoy creating, and I like to take a lot of time and put a lot of myself into everything I create. Even down to the lyric video that I did for 'Mascara', that was like three 14 hour days, plus prep of me and my mom painting the individual letters and painting the background -– just moving the letters. Stop motion is so much fun! The correct way to do it is to hire an animator, and it makes it way easier. We didn't do that because we were trying to do it in like a lower budget. So that made it like ten times more tedious for the edit, but God bless our editor! It was really cool though. It was just my mom and I and like two other people to bring that to life.
A post shared by Megan Nicole (@megannicolemusic) on Mar 4, 2016 at 8:12am PST
You lent your voice to the animated Netflix show, 'Popples'. What is the difference for you when it comes to performing in something like a music video versus an animated show? Do you approach each differently?
Whenever you're becoming a different character you kind of have to put on a different attitude and put yourself in the place of that person, for example, yesterday when I was the superhero – I'm actually an awkward and clumsy person, but I just had to look so 'bad' and, like 'know what I'm doing' and I'm so cool and collected. So yeah it was pretty funny. It's just about getting in that mind space of like: 'okay we have one shot, we have to be walking in slow motion. I need to get into the head space and own it, and pretend to be much cooler than I actually am, ahah. No, no but it was fun. And with the voiceover work, actually, I really really enjoy doing that. It was a blast! You have to get into even more so. It was funny watching it back, because they recorded behind the scenes, and I really used my hands. They were flying all over the place, and I was getting really into it. It was a cute show, and it was cool to be able to do something different. I like doing the kid show stuff because at the end of the episode it has a cute little life lesson for the kids – the way the show incorporates music as well, is very fun.
Do you have to do any vocal warm-ups for voiceover acting?
Yes, actually I would even do vocal stuff before I filmed my movie. I work with my vocal coach to just help with the way I would pronounce things and how to say things so that I won't damage my voice. I work with a really awesome vocal coach that trains me so I can go on stage one night for an hour and a half, and then do it again the next night. What I love about him so much is that he really cares about vocal health, which is just so, so important.
It's so scary to see so many artists hurt themselves, Adele, Sam Smith, you know. There have been so many incidents where people have hurt themselves, so it's awful to see. You don't want to see these people's talents go to waste. That's why vocal health is so important to me in all aspects of singing and acting.
A post shared by Megan Nicole (@megannicolemusic) on Mar 10, 2016 at 9:19pm PST
You just announced a tour! Can you talk a little bit about that?
I'm going on tour with Emblem3 and Before You Exit, which is really cool because I'm good friends with both of those groups of guys. So, it should be really, just, a fun tour. I'm just excited to get back on the road, honestly. I enjoy it. I like meeting people and doing meet and greets. I am trying to come up with – well I like doing fun ways to do our meet and greets. Last time I did one in our tour bus, and I did a song with them and took pictures. I had unicorns and stuffed animals everywhere. At the end of it, some of the people took the stuffed animals with them –- like someone took a llama. Someone mentioned that she really liked it, so I was like yeah, 'you can take her'. It was nice, and I had this GIANT bear. I could sit in it as a chair! I would have it on the stage every night and on the last night of the tour I gave it away!
What advice would give to young girls trying to purse their passions and wanting to succeed?
I may have said this before but it can never be stressed enough –- don't put limitations on yourself, because at the end of the day, you're the one who'd going to put yourself into that box the most. It's just being able to step outside your comfort zone and not being afraid to have big dreams and big goals, and work hard for those. Sometimes, or most of the time, it's not going to come overnight. You have to continue to work hard and grow in your craft. There's always so much more you can learn in whatever it is you want to do. Just don't give up on it.
Megan Nicole is a creator in the Fullscreen network.
See photos from SXSW:
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