At the age of just 16, Mallory Merk has hit the indie music scene with a powerful fury. She's definitely a force to be reckoned with and an artist we are bound to see making waves and emerge as a breakthrough in 2017.
Vinylmnky was lucky enough to get to chat with Mallory about her path into music, her modeling career, and her debut EP, MM & HH. Check it out, below.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Thanks for chatting with us, Mallory. First, you're great! You have such a unique sound. Who were some of your biggest influences growing up for both music and modeling?
[ Mallory ]: Some of my biggest influences come from when I was a child. I was always artistic, so I looked up to mostly artists naturally. My dad and mom put me on to Stevie Nicks, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse who are some of my biggest inspirations still to this day. For modeling, I don't really have anyone that I necessarily would call an influencer in my life. I'm honestly inspired by myself when it comes to modeling I actually surprise myself. I don't have a problem with being comfortable in the fact that I don't take notes from anyone when it comes to showing my soul through photos and music, too. That's all my real raw and uninfluenced soul.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Do you consider yourself more of a model or musician? Do you have any plans on following one path over the other?
[ Mallory ]: I'm Mallory. I don't consider myself either a model or a musician because the minute I do, then I'm dropped into one of those categories by society. I'm working on bridging my modeling and music career together to really just create ME.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Your branding is very approachable but also edgy and cool. Is the branding and aesthetic of Mallory Merk the artist organic or something that you are consciously developing?
[ Mallory ]: My life and the way I do things isn't an aesthetic to me. I wouldn't consider myself edgy, I just pursue my dream ruthlessly and all I'm focused on is pure serenity for me and the people I love and making music that will last forever. The only way I've tried to cultivate myself and my image is through choosing what jobs and people to associate with. My circle is small, and it's going to stay that way. I see through a lot, and no fake people stay for long. I guess that creates a certain air about a person when they are all real. I live my life in the realist way and I stay away from people who don't. I wake up and think what could I do to make myself better. What could I do today that will set me up to be successful for my whole life? I'm consciously developing, yes. But I don't limit my free spirit to any certain way of living because that would be hurtful to my inner light.
[ Vinylmnky ]: We are always fascinated how amazing artists create their music. Can you describe the writing/producing process for you?
[ Mallory ]: Writing comes at any moment. I'll write small melodies or think of a small phrase, I jot it down in my notebook and maybe record a voice memory on my phone. Then later in the studio I develop the song right over a track and refine it to make the best product possible. I value input from my mom and dad, and my close friend Dru Oliver (he's also my engineer and co-wrote and recorded our single, Baewatch) and the rest of my best friends. They are all capable of knowing beautiful music and helping me grow.
[ Vinylmnky ]: There are such strong emotions that come through in the song Emma. Were the two of you close friends and if so, how did that friendship begin? What does that song mean for you?
[ Mallory ]: Emma and I were closer when she was first sick. I met her through the internet, but we would talk all the time about life and its preciousness. I always found her soul spoke louder than her sickness and she continues to inspire me. She and I were a good pair. She made me smile in the same way I did myself. In a lot of ways, I think we were similar. Just like souls.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What has been the biggest challenge for you far as a young artist?
[ Mallory ]: The biggest challenge for me as a young artist has been to continue a productive high school education in public school. I make it work and I have good grades currently, but traditional school isn't for people like us. People who have brains that move in 10 directions at once instead of 1. Colorful minds. I love learning, and I want to continue my education into my adult life, but it's definitely a challenge to find the nirvana.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What has been the most rewarding musical experience so far?
[ Mallory ]: Releasing MM & HH was an indescribable moment shared with my loves, Hunter, Ian, Michael of "Herrick & Hooley" and Mom at my home in NYC. We were all in my room waiting until 1:11 to hit upload and when we did, I knew music was the rest of my life. I knew that my music was forever.
[ Vinylmnky ] Clearly, the HH in MM & HH refers to Herrick & Hooley. Was the group instrumental in the album or why did you decide to include HH in the EP title?
[ Mallory ]: Herrick and Hooley produced the entire album's instrumentals. They are responsible for capturing me and my sound at its best, Hunter, Ian, and Michael always understood how my music mind worked. We worked together as if we'd been lifelong friends. We will be. They mean a great deal to me and the album was an equilibrium of our artistry.
[ Vinylmnky ]: We are very excited to see what you do in the near future. What is next for Mallory Merk?
[ Mallory ]: Next in my life is finishing high school and working on my craft. Right now, I'm focused on being productive, happy, and not having anyone toxic in my path of destruction. I want every controllable part of my life to be serene and colourful. Right now I'm working on changing my settings and being inspired by true passion and love. I'm going to be focusing and nurturing me with no boundaries.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Well we definitely look forward to seeing what you do next and wish you the best in 2017!
[ Mallory ]: One love!