On a post-university downer in 2019, I unintentionally stumbled across what can only be described as a heavenly performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert – this is how I discovered the soul-warming music of Mereba. Three years on, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Mereba during her visit to London, in which that familiar soul-warming feeling returned.
Categorising Mereba as a singer feels inaccurate. She is a songwriter, guitarist, producer, rapper and poet, if not more. When describing her sound, Mereba echoes lyrics of her track ‘Stay Tru’ from her 2019 album The Jungle Is The Only Way Out, emphasising that as a black woman, people have often tried to put her in a box, testing her loyalties to herself and her sound.
“We’re always kind of forced to choose one thing that we are. As a black female artist, being forced to be a certain thing is a theme throughout my career. But I’ve always been blending genres. I’m pretty much a mix of folk and hip hop and R&B and soul and jazz.”