Q & A: Megan Dawson on her Path to Pursuing Country Music, her Latest Single, “Influence” and her Goals for 2022

Hailing from Calgary, Alberta is country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. To kick off 2022, Dawson released her catchy new single, “Influence”.  Penned by Madeline Merlo, Dave Thomson and Emma-Lee and produced by Dan Swinimer (Madeline Merlo, Tim Hicks, Jess Moskaluke). “Influence” is a song that speaks about falling in love and moving beyond one’s comfort zone.

Recently I spoke with Dawson about her path to pursuing country music, her latest single and her goals for this year.

Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become a pop-country artist and songwriter?

Megan Dawson: Music has always been a huge part of my life. Starting as a fan of music and then progressing to singing in my bedroom and writing songs even though I didn’t know how to play an instrument. When I turned 18, some family friends who were performing in many events throughout Stampede heard me sing at one of their house parties and asked if I would come and sing with them for the events. This was when I really started to fall in love with singing and sharing music on a stage. When I realized that I could potentially bring people joy through my music in the same way that my favourite artists did for me, that was the point when I decided to pursue a career in music. In September of 2016, I bought my first guitar and started teaching myself how to play chords through Google and YouTube tutorials. From there I started writing a catalogue of songs that I began performing on stages throughout Alberta and have been doing so ever since!

One thing that has always stuck with me is that I love hooky melodies. Pop-country definitely has felt like the place where I can incorporate all aspects of why I love music into a sound that feels like a solid representation of who I am as an artist. Some of my biggest influences are Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain. I have found over the last couple of years I have been able to write songs and try out different sounds that have ultimately brought me to where I find a home in music. Pop-country definitely feels like the right fit.

 

Kyla Pearson: When it comes to your music, what is the central message you want to share with your fans and why?

Megan Dawson: I want my music to be able to reach my listeners and become a source of relatability for whatever they are going through. Whether it’s the happiest times or some of the hardest, I have found that there really is a song for everything. As a music lover myself, some songs have helped me to find an understanding or formulate the words for how I truly feel about what I’m going through. My goal is definitely to do the same for my listeners as if being a friend that they didn’t know they needed.

Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.
Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.

Kyla Pearson: To kick off the New Year, you released your single, “Influence”.  The song was written by Madeline Merlo, Dave Thomson and Emma-Lee and speaks to falling in love and moving beyond one’s comfort zone. What made you want to record this song? Can you tell us a bit more about the recording process and how you put your unique artistic twist on the song?

Megan Dawson: I am so grateful for this song and for the amazing team of writers having me be the voice on it. When I first hear the song, it immediately resonated with me. The melodies have such a dynamic feel and bring about brightness and excitement through the concept and lyrics that I just could not get out of my head. The concept of this song really felt like a great representation of where I am at in my life. Stylistically, as soon as I sang through it, it felt so natural. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed the recording process of this song. Working with Dan Swinimer was such a great experience. I felt that with the support and talent of Dan, I was able to learn so much about my voice and what I could do as a vocalist and it was so inspiring and motivating to continue to create new music. Stepping into the vocal booth, my goal was to sing the song in an authentic way that felt aligned with my personal story through the song concept and melodies created by Dave, Emma-Lee and Madeline. Working alongside Dan, I feel we were able to find moments with vocals and production that made the song feel unique to me and my sound. I couldn’t be more excited with how the final product came together.

 

Kyla Pearson: What do you hope fans take away from this song?

Megan Dawson: I hope fans can listen to this song and find their own story within it. I also really want it to make people feel that it can be a part of the soundtrack for wherever they are in life and the memories that they’re making along the way.

 

Kyla Pearson: As a songwriter, you co-write often. How do you feel the different skills, perspectives and experiences of your co-writers add to a write? What has been one of your favourites co-writes to date?

Megan Dawson: I love co-writing so much. I feel that working with different writers with so many different styles of writing, I have been able to learn so much about myself as a songwriter. The coolest thing about co-writing is that you can go into a write with one idea and it can morph into a whole other beautiful idea with a new take and perspective. I have so many amazing co-writers and memories from writing sessions. One of my favourite sessions was with Hannah Gazzo and CHELC. I brought this concept to them about outlining all the feelings of confirmation that you’re falling in love. I didn’t fully know the direction to go with this but they brought such a fresh take to the idea and the melodies. The song is called, “To Fall In Love” and it has become one of my favourite songs to perform.

Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.
Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.

Kyla Pearson: You’re also a part of the Alberta country music scene. How has being actively involved in a skillful and supportive community of rising artists helped your personal growth as an artist? 

Megan Dawson: I am so grateful to be a part of the Alberta country music scene. From very early on in my career, through Country Music Alberta, I have been able to meet some of the most supportive, uplifting and inspiring individuals. Going from being an artist who felt very new to music and was nervous about what steps to take in the music industry, the sense of community and support was evident right from the get-go. I feel that the opportunities, education and support provided by CMAB have allowed me to grow as an artist. Through meeting other artists, musicians, co-writers, mentors and friends, I feel that I am able to continuously take new steps as an artist and as a person knowing that I have a wonderful community of people behind me.

 

Kyla Pearson: Moving forward in 2022, what is one goal you hope to achieve by the end of the year?

Megan Dawson: My goal this year is to release lots of new music! With so much uncertainty with everything going on, I have been so grateful to have connected with so many supporters of my music through social media and streaming platforms and I want to be able to continue sharing songs with them. Following this, I would love to be able to share the new songs in a live show. I am so excited to share this new part of my journey with fellow music lovers in person and jam out together. Hopefully soon!

 

Kyla Pearson: Lastly, what is one thing fans might not know about you?

Megan Dawson: One thing that people might not know about me is that one of the first songs I sang on a stage solo was “Someone’s Watching Over Me” by Hilary Duff in my grade 4 talent show. I sang to a karaoke track and was absolutely terrified, but it’s still one of my favourite memories!

 

The official music video for Influence premieres TONIGHT at 9 pm EST! Be sure to catch it here: https://youtu.be/X01Rie-8n7Q

 

Listen to “Influence” now: 

 

Stay up to Date With Megan Dawson: 

IG: @megandawsonmusic

FB: @MeganDawsonMusic

Twitter: @MegDawsonMusic

Spotify: Megan Dawson

Apple Music: Megan Dawson

Amazon Music: Megan Dawson

Website: https://www.megandawsonmusic.com

 

Works Cited:

Dawson, Megan. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jan. 14, 2022.

Unfolding Creative Photography. “Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.”. Photo courtesy of Megan Dawson.  Accessed Jan. 14, 2022.

Unfolding Creative Photography. “Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.”. Photo courtesy of Megan Dawson. Accessed Jan. 14, 2022.

Unfolding Creative Photography. “Featured: Country-pop artist & songwriter Megan Dawson. PC: Unfolding Creative Photography.”. Photo courtesy of Megan Dawson. Accessed Jan. 14, 2022.

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