LeakyNews: How did you get started in music? How long have you been performing?
Meghan Tonjes: Honestly, I liked a boy in college and he played guitar. I think somewhere in my mind I thought if I could start playing music, he would like me back. That didn’t exactly work out! But, before I knew it I was writing music, putting videos on YouTube and playing shows. I’ve only been playing guitar and writing songs for the past six years, but so much has happened in that time that I can’t imagine a time before I was doing it.
LN: What instrument(s) do you play?
MT: I play acoustic guitar. But, in my videos I’ve used everything from perfume to popcorn shakers as instruments!
LN: How did you get involved with the online music community?
MT:It was an easy transition from just being apart of the online community as a whole to being apart of the online music community. I watched a lot of YouTube videos, so when I started writing music it seemed natural to put up videos of what I was doing. At the time I didn’t really think about being a musician or doing this for a living. I was just excited to be creative and wanted to share that with the people I enjoyed watching. In the past year things like being on Ellen Degeneres or meeting Adele (who knew me from my YouTube videos!) have been these amazing moments that have made what I’m doing a little more public, but it all comes back to me being a girl with a guitar who makes videos in her bedroom.
LN: Tell us about This Year.
MT: This Year for me was really about growing up. As a musician and a songwriter I definitely pushed myself on this album. I think it’s easy when you first start writing songs to want to write about all of the heartbreak, but these songs weren’t just about being heartbroken. These songs were really about figuring out the things I want and deserve. Yes, sometimes those expectations and people not meeting them beget heartbreak, but you learn how to fight for the things you want. “This Year” was the perfect song to sum everything up for me. “This year I’m gonna be better and you’re gonna see/I’m gonna be stronger and a braver me.”
LN: What is your favorite song to perform?
MT: My favorite song off of the album to perform is “Maybe We’re Not Meant To Be.” The whole vibe of that song is different and playful, but the lyrics are pretty serious. It’s one of those songs I want to dance and cry to as I’m playing it.
LN: What’s next?
MT: Right now just trying to balance touring with putting out the best videos and music I can. I’ve been writing a ton of new songs, so recording a new album is a big priority. For me, though, it’s pretty important to my musical life to also focus on living life in general. When I put the time and energy that I put into my music into traveling, family and falling in love… well, that’s going to make me a better musician and a better person in general.
LN: Who is your favorite musician/group of all time?
MT: I’m a huge fan of William Fitzsimmons. His lyrics are so simple and beautiful and they kind of make the world stop for a bit.
LN: Favorite book?