Surrounded by a legion of strong and talented mates, Merpire wanted to celebrate her musical community. So she set out to share the music of her friends and collaborators – artists stretched out all over Australia. In her words, they’re the people that “Motivate the Merpire every single day.”
Ainslie Wills, Slowcoaching and Mimi Gilbert are artists in Merpire’s community that are particularly meaningful. In this piece, she details why.
Back when I didn’t know any musicians personally, choosing music as a career seemed to be beyond my reach. To break down that wall, a very important mentor for me told me to reach out to a local female musician I looked up to, who was where I thought I could be one day. Ainslie Wills was my first and only pick. Her songwriting, vocal melodies and layered harmonies will forever move me.
Ainslie not only took the time to write back lengthy and informative emails, she went out of her way to meet up for ‘advice over coffee’, and eventually took me on her ‘Running Second’ single tour as support. Fast forward a couple of years and she’s one of my best mates and still someone I look up to as a strong and empowering mentor in my life.
Pillars Of Salt
When I moved to Melbourne a bit over a year ago, these guys were the first band I supported. I was pretty dang nervous. I didn’t know many people at all when I moved down and the Melbourne music scene was something I held, and still hold in a high regard. I remember being pleasantly surprised by how kind and thoughtful these guys are. It wasn’t long before the room filled with all their closest friends, singing along to all their songs, all of them so stoked to be there. I’d honestly never seen anything like it close up before. I somehow knew their song ‘Pillars Of Salt’ and so piped up and sang the chorus at the top of my lungs, surrounded by – unknowingly to me at the time – all my closest friends, including the Slowies, who’s support continues to inspire me every day.
Also known (not so) secretly to me as Myriah the Messiah – the saviour of our souls. If this sounds dramatic, you haven’t been to one of her shows. I met Mimi after a friend put is in touch, knowing we’d both just moved to Melbourne. After one jam, I was very very lucky to call her the first member of my band, on bass and backing vocals.
Mimi is unlike anyone I’ve met. She’s a gentle reminder that you don’t need to be a loud person to capture the attention of others. Her poised manner on stage, her wise and emotional songwriting is the true meaning of magic in music. I actually need a little time on my own after watching a Mimi set to recover from what she gives to the world. Sometimes I sing her harmonies for her and it’s one of my favourite places to exist, every time.