It seems that, as of late, the entertainment industry has been infiltrated by a certain population from across the Pacific–and the music biz is no exception. Sia, Iggy Azalea, and Vance Joy are just a few of the powerhouse Aussie acts that have climbed to the top of their respective genres in 2015, and we're betting that Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Meg Mac is next to join the ranks. "I think Australians like to stick together," she tells InStyle on a visit to our N.Y.C. offices to discuss her new E.P., appropriately titled MEGMAC.
While the five-song debut dropped Stateside in March, it features three tracks that charted on Australia's prestigious Triple J Hottest 100 list in January. What's more, Mac (short for her last name, McInerney) shared the cover of InStyle Australia's 15th anniversary issue, alongside other big-name stars including Miranda Kerr, Bella Heathcote, and Isabel Lucas (Kerr handpicked the mag's 15 cover girls). Oh, and she's just been announced as D'Angelo's opening act for his upcoming tour, kicking off June 7. So in a way, she's already arrived.
We chatted with the singer about her E.P., the inspiration behind her soulful ballad "Roll Up Your Sleeves", and her favorite D'Angelo song. Here's an excerpt from our conversation:
How does it feel to be handpicked by Miranda Kerr?
I've actually never met her, but I'm flattered. It's pretty freaking cool.
Do you know the other women on the cover with you?
I went to college with Abby Earl, and I know Isabella Manfredi (frontwoman of The Preatures) because we've played a few festivals together.
The story mentions that you were playing boardgames when the Hottest 100 was being announced. Are you a big boardgame player?
It was a really rainy day–it was Australia Day, but now it's become known as Hottest 100 Day. One hundred songs get played and everyone listens and votes. It was a bit gross out, so it was great to pass the time!
How has your life changed since the Hottest 100 was released?
Everything's slowly been getting bigger. Especially social media–after the Hottest 100, I got thousands of new followers. I try to reply to every comment. Sometimes it takes ages.
And you're opening for D'Angelo on tour! Are you a big fan of his?
Yeah, I'm so excited. I love "Send It On." All of his harmonies are great. I'll get to watch him every night, so hopefully some of his music rubs off on me.
Who did you listen to growing up in Melbourne?
My dad played a lot of soul music–Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Him and my mom are both Irish, so they would always sing old Irish folk songs to us. There was a lot of singing all the time. The first song I ever learned was how to spell my last name: McInerney. We put the letters to a melody. I changed it to "Mac" so it's easier to spell!
What was the inspiration behind "Roll Up Your Sleeves"?
I was trying to get to the idea that it's easier to pretend you don't care about something and put the situation aside instead of dealing with it, so it's about facing a problem and dealing with it head-on. When I'm a bit sad I tend to hide and not tell anyone, so I needed to tell myself that everything is going to be okay.
Watch the music video for "Roll Up Your Sleeves" below, and purchase MEGMAC for $7 on the iTunes Store.