Meagan De Lima tells us About her Single & Video 'Unfold Me', the creative process behind it, Toronto’s creative community & more
R&B singer-songwriter from Toronto releases her single ‘Unfold Me’ along with incredible visuals. She tells us this song is intended to be a soulful, intimate and raw song that describes what it feels like to fall in love when your guard has been up for a while. We got to ask her a few questions about herself, the creative processes behind this song,Toronto’s creative community & more! Check it out below:
Tell us a little about yourself and when, how and why did you start to pursue making music?
My name is Meagan de Lima and I am a 25-year-old R&B singer-songwriter from the GTA. I grew up in a very artistic family where everyone either pursues music or visual art as a career. I didn't think about that much as a kid, but now that I am older, I can definitely see how being surrounded by creatives really made me into the person I am today. I started singing around 5 years old, and my parents always supported me. If it wasn't for them and all the music they exposed me too, I wouldn't be where I am today.
2. What is the inspiration behind you writing ‘Unfold me’?
This song was inspired by my boyfriend when we had just started dating. This song is very special to me because it is the first song of many that I would write about him. I wrote "Unfold Me" at a time where I was scared to fall in love. I had been through a lot at that point and I was really afraid to let anyone into my life.
I quickly learned that being with him was what it is supposed to feel like when you fall in love - absolutely free. He loved me for every part of me and I am truly grateful for that to this day. It was like everything that happened up to that point lead me to him. "Unfold Me" can be taken a lot of ways, but to me, it is about realizing the best things are waiting for you if you are willing to let your guard down, and maybe when you do, you will be lucky enough to the meet the person that will change your life forever.
3. Tell us a little about the creative process of the video for ‘Unfold Me’? What were some highs and lows during this process?
I wrote "Unfold Me" back in 2015 on the dock at my cottage. The cottage is always a great place to create because you can approach whatever you do with a clear head. With my guitar on the lake, I jammed some chord ideas, hummed melody options and lastly added lyrics. It was so excited about this song that I released a very stripped down version of it on my 2015 EP "Like You Do."
It wasn't until 2018 that I got advice from my good friend, Wil Van Zyl (Nova Music Group, Full CC) to re-record "Unfold Me" and have it properly produced. With his guidance, I created the song with the fam, 80 Empire (Lucas and Adrian Rezza) at there studio in Niagara on the Lake. They really brought this song to life. The highs of this process would be getting a FACTOR Canada grant to help fund "Unfold Me", having a team of incredible people to help me along the way and really just dedicating my year to being creative.
The lows of this process would be mainly dealing with myself.
4. How do you feel about Toronto’s creative community? And how do you hope to influence it?
I love Toronto, and I feel really lucky to have grown up here. I believe its creative community comes from the amount of cultural diversity we have and our overall kindness. Due to this and more, the GTA provides an ideal atmosphere to create and thrive. Other then the fact that there are so many places to connect and perform with like-minded individuals, you can also have a drink at a jazz bar, dance at an electronic nightclub or attend a rock concert all on one street if you wanted too.
Where do I fit in this community.. my goal is to use my songwriting to help move people. Music has always been what pulled me through the hardest points of life, and at the end of the day, I really want to be able to do that for others.
5. Are there any experiences that opened up your eyes that you’ve faced as a female artist industry? Positive or negative. If so, please share your story
Positive - In 2013 I was in the all-female Toronto Showcase "Honey Jam." This was a positive experience for me because Honey Jam provided an inspiring space for me to surround myself with strong, talented and beautiful artists (inside and out). Artists like LU, Phoenix Pagliacci (The Sorority), Jordan Alexander and more who I am lucky to call family today. Other than these women being great by simply just being themselves, they helped me grow mentally and physically as an artist in the music industry.
Negative: "Oh wow! look at you! you can tune a guitar"- Employee at Music Store.
"Don't say I'm easy too loud, people might get the wrong idea" - Crusty Festival Sound Tech.
"Shouldn't be in music, hopefully she can cook" - Awful Random on Facebook.
6. If you had to give women one piece of advice for pursuing any creative endeavor, what would it be?
From the brilliant Kathryn Stockett "You are kind. You are smart. You are important."
7. What else should we be expecting from you this year?
As I get the word out about "Unfold Me," I am going to be prepping for 2019. Applying to showcases and festivals. Writing grants and making connections and most importantly writing and recording for my EP in 2019. I am excited for what's next.