Last year, I spoke at the United Nations. When I spoke, I met Meredith O’Connor, who is an amazing actress. She’s incredible, and is such an incredible young adult and inspiration to so many teens. Whether it be following your dreams, or body image, Meredith is the girl to look up to. I’m excited to speak with her at the United Nations again next month!
Enjoy her answers, and happy Friday!
A: What’s it like being a singer in 2017?
It’s fascinating to see how much has changed, I’ve only been signed for four year- yet my producers and manager always joke about how much the game has changed. I love it, meaning, it’s gain me the chance to be discovered directly by the fans. My first hit song became viral because the internet, at the time, let people share content they enjoy. Now, what makes it so great is the interaction I have with the fans directly. To see them tell me at my meet and greets how bullying has affected them as well, and then actually be able to continue to talk to them on Instagram, is really a new thing. The fans in 2017 are able to interact with artists, and I think its a great thing. I’m lucky that my following is so loyal and dedicated.
A: What sets you apart from the next Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez?
Ariana Grande is so sweet and talented, and I love the work her brother Frankie Grande does for the less fortunate. I’ve heard Selena is nice as well. But to answer the question, I remember being nine years old and feeling so alone in being bullied, because there were no pop-stars that I could look up to that shared similar experiences. I always remember feeling like if my dreams came true (long before I even knew I would have the chance to model) I would be the role model that kids like me didn’t have. I would be someone who they can look up to because I’m up for that task, not because someone put me there. That inspiration and drive reminds me everyday why it is important to be a good role mode, and to love what I do and not let anything go to your head.
A: What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
I would say that it’s important to not say no for an answer, and if you are lucky enough to be different, not to ever change. Things that make you think differently, will set you ahead and set you apart, (no matter what they about it in middle school). As a co-producer of an upcoming film, I can say there is no better feeling in the world than having creative freedom, passion, agency and drive. It’s like finding success without the superficial element that often comes with it. Pursue the business. Work hard, and then you will be able to have the power and voice to help others, and most importantly, use it and give back.
A: What is the hardest part of being in the business under 25?
Starting out in the professional work at age 15 (as a model) was tough, and I often faced- and still face- the same challenges. That being, finding people who may not have your best interests, thus having a hard time knowing who to trust. Time, age, and experience helps give you a better sense of knowing when something isn’t right, or someone has a bad agenda. To be quite candid with you, as I’m sure you have faced these issues too in finding success at a young age, I’ve been burned by people in the industry and it’s only made me closer with those I trust.
A: What has been your greatest success so far?
Selling out concerts in London, Los Angeles and New York on the world tour is what made me like- wait this is happening. Kindof one of those pinch yourself/take-a-step back moments. More importantly, the meet and greets all teaching me how I was never alone, millions also experience what I have, and together we can teach the world that things to get better, and not to give up hope.
A: What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to be in movies and produce them. I never thought that it would be a reality the way it is becoming thanks to Lakeedge Productions, Laurence Williams, 4 Digital Media and Rick Galvin. Stay tuned for their upcoming projects, as I know many are unaware that I used to act before I was signed. My goal for singing is to have my message heard by billions, so all people know that they are not alone.