We had the good fortune of connecting with Pedro Meyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pedro, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My background might just be the single most important thing that contributed to where I am right now with music. I was born and raised in Brazil and took an interest in music early on in my life thanks to my dad who was a great musician and composer. I lived with my grandmother, who would take care of me and my brother while my mom, who was divorced, went to work. Therefore, I never had anyone to take me to guitar lessons, and because my neighborhood was too dangerous, my mother didn’t allow me to walk to lessons until I was 14, where I would play with my mom’s friends’ grandfather guitar. Because of tight finances, I didn’t have my first electric guitar until I was 16.
At 18 I decided to record my first few songs, with little to no money to my name. I would take a 2 and a half hour trip, between 2 bus rides and a 30 min walk to get to a person that I could afford that had a home studio and recorded my first song. However, that was early 2000’s; I had no idea what to do with that song.
By a strike of fate, I ended up moving to the U.S. at 23, after already pretty much giving up on a music career…I had no idea what I was doing and had no one to help me, but I kept playing and writing songs.
Once here I got a job at guitar center, which opened my eyes to music again, but it wasn’t until 29 years old, due to a medical issue affecting my throat that I decided to record my first EP, with or without a band. Turns out you don’t need a dedicated band to record your songs (shocker).
In other words, I am 32 and I feel like I am just starting. The moral of the story is that it is impossible to compare your road or your success (or lack thereof) to anyone else’s. We have no idea what their background is and what kind of support they had, or had not. Let the passion for what you do be your fuel and do it because you love it. Making it a career is just a matter of following the right steps.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Nothing worth doing is easy, but it is pretty damn easy to give up. I had many roadblocks and many distractions. Even a few other successes distracting me from a career in music. Honestly, to say that I have a career in music right now is an overstatement, but if I can’t stop thinking about it, then why should I stop? I had to learn everything I know almost on my own. Looking for resources, asking questions, going to shows. It is possible, although very hard. Finding a healthy and engaged community hasn’t been easy, no matter how much I engage myself, but I can’t stop playing, it’s just what I do. I might be part of the last generation who will never understand how frustrating it is to try to learn a song and not have the unlimited amount of information on the internet to teach you all the tricks. It has been more affordable than ever to record music, even if it’s just a demo. Everyone I know has an HD camera in their pockets and social media to spread their music. Even though it is not without challenges, this moment in time is the easiest ever to make music. Perspective is everything, I would never be able to have what I have now if I were still living in Brazil and I will never take it for granted. My gratitude for what I have always keeps me going, not bitterness for what I don’t have.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Most definitely start with a good patio and mimosas, the Historians or Hornet are both great spots. Moving on to cheeseman park or wash park to play some games, relax or play some music. For the night, Meadow Lark has some great live music or we could just hit the bars on south broadway, Canopy and the irish rover are always great!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To keep the list short, Michael Sandoval for producing my first EP, almost out of pure charity; Jami McNeil for always including me in her successful music endeavors and all the people who come to the shows and keep me feeling like my music matters, including Lauren Styler, Autumn Raynne and Kristina Buckingham.
Many people to thank and I am sure I’ll kick myself in the butt for not remembering some people right now, but oh well….
All but the live show one -> Katie Puc