Artist Spotlight is a series whose basic aim is to highlight promising and interesting up-and-coming recording artists. From relative newcomers to underrated veterans, from mainstream to underground, we simply want to shine a light on talented musicians that are making great music.
Mereba (full name Marian Mereba)
A self-described “rolling stoner,” Marian Mereba, currently known as Mereba, has spent much of her life on the move, having taken up residence in at least five different states. She grew up mostly in Philadelphia, where she discovered her talent for singing and writing, and moved to North Carolina in her teen years before moving to Georgia for college.
While attending Spelman College in Atlanta, she worked for a brief period of time as a songwriter for a Def Jam Records subsidiary label, where she honed her craft and developed a unique songwriting style, which was lauded by the artists she wrote for. Meanwhile, Mereba simultaneously focused on her own music career and involved herself in Atlanta’s indie and hip-hop scenes.
In 2013, she dropped her debut project Room For Living EP, which displayed the full range of her artistic repertoire — she can write, sing, rap, produce, and play various instruments, like the piano and guitar. Her ethereal vocals, poetic lyrics, and cathartic vibes caught the attention of Ebony magazine the following year, who lauded her as a “Black, Fresh & 20-Something” that “everybody needs to know” in 2014.
Most recently, Mereba dropped her major label debut album The Jungle Is the Only Way Out for Interscope Records. The album features a noticeable change in style, with glossier production and Mereba embracing the sounds of hip-hop more than she has before on her previous work. Nevertheless, the album contains some of her most realized work from a songwriting and production standpoint, and I think it’s safe to say that The Jungle Is the Only Way Out is already one of the best albums released so far in 2019.
Why You Should Know Her:
Well, if you like listening to great music, and you’re even remotely interested in Atlanta’s music scene, then there’s really no reason not to know Mereba. She’s a member of a thriving music scene in Atlanta and has already collaborated with a few of the city’s finest talents, like J.I.D, EARTHGANG, and 6LACK. (If you listened to J.I.D’s breakout debut album The Never Story, then you probably heard her sultry vocals on the song “All Bad.”)
Mereba is also making some of contemporary R&B’s most eclectic music; in fact, I’m not sure it’s fair to simply classify her into one genre. Mereba dabbles heavily in New Age aesthetics, combining a variety of elements from genres like folk, r&b, neo-soul, hip-hop, country, and psychedelic music. Her artistry and lyrical content, which is also significantly influenced by her Ethiopian heritage, sets herself part as a truly distinguished artist.
3 Songs to Get You Started:
Displaying elite penmanship and a voice that will make you feel like you’re floating, “Rolling Stoner” — from Mereba’s debut project Room For Living — might be one of the most beautiful songs in her entire catalog.
On “September,” Mereba fuses reggae, r&b, a lovely voice, and absolutely beautiful lyrics for a melodious track about leaving an old lover behind.
“Black Truck” was one of the first singles off Mereba’s latest album, The Jungle Is the Only Way Out. A slight pivot away from her signature New Age sound, she tags 9th Wonder for a song about embracing life’s hardships and following your heart.