Over two personal pizzas at True True (the trendiest pizza place in Toronto’s Financial District), I caught up with Megan Nicole, 22-year-old YouTube star and vocalist. She’s gone from covering Kings of Leon songs at her home in Katy, Texas to performing originals on a North American tour with three-piece boy band Emblem3. Between slices of cheese pizza, she talks Meganizers, music videos and what’s next for her booming music career.
How would you say that YouTube has changed your life?
YouTube has changed my life in a huge way. I mean, I wouldn’t be able to pursue music and do what I love each day if it wasn’t for the YouTube platform, and for the people who watch my videos and share them. It’s crazy. [Without it,] I think I would probably still be playing at the same restaurants I was.
When did you start posting on YouTube? Your first video was the “Use Somebody” cover.
“Use Somebody” I posted—it was the end of 2009, around Christmas. That was my first video.
That was a long time ago.
Yeah. It’ll be like, seven years at the end of the year. It’s crazy.
Your fans call themselves “Meganizers”. Did you come up with that?
They came up with it themselves. That’s what I love about it so much. I saw them using it on Twitter and so one day, I kind of made it official by using the hashtag in a tweet. They were so excited, and I loved it. I loved that they came up with the name for this little family that we have.
You have a very engaged fan base.
They’re awesome. I mean, they’re so supportive, and so creative and inspiring. Some of the stories they share with me, they just remind me why I do what I do.
How did you come up with the concept for the “Mascara” music video?
I’ve wanted to do a superhero video for a while. I have a friend who’s a director—Joseph Levi—we’ve done a lot of [my music] videos together. It was really cool to collaborate with him. He originally thought of bringing superheroes to this specific song, and I was all about it.
And so now you’re on tour, you’re here for a show in Toronto.
Yeah, the eighth show on the tour!
What’s the best part about touring with Emblem3?
I think the coolest thing is just getting the chance to meet new people, people that may have never heard of me or my music before. It’s really cool. I’m just so thankful for the opportunity to hit the road with them. They’re really sweet guys.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
I do vocal warm-ups: those are a must. Sometimes I’ll do a hot green tea—I love to have that. And I like to do a little stretching sometimes before, which I haven’t done as much these past few shows…maybe I need to do that to loosen up a little bit on my dancing [laughs].
Are there plans for after the tour?
After the tour wraps up, I’m going straight into working on music again. I want to get together an EP, or potentially an album. But starting with an EP first.
Do you already have stuff in the works?
I do! I’ve been working on music for a while now, but I’ve really been taking my time with this project, just wanting to make sure it’s right.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
Thank you! Thanks for being on this journey with me, and growing up with me.