May 31, 2011
By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter
Although a young artist, musician and songwriter M3rcedes Diaz is no beginner to the music industry. Having written over 120 songs, M3rcedes’ pop/rock-electro pulse continues to beat strong. This Berklee College of Music major has recently released five new titles that shed light on some of society’s most heinous crimes-rape and social injustice. Her reason? To empower and encourage others, even in the face of adversity.
When and how did you begin your professional music career?
I started singing and developing as an artist when I was five-years-old. I was in musical theatre productions from the moment I was allowed to step on the stage. The church was also another performance developer for me. I opened and sang for numerous Christian acts as a young teen. I would say my own personal and professional music career didn’t begin until last summer when I finally decided to put my own music and songs on display for others to listen to. This is when I truly fell in love with my own music and style.
You currently attend Berklee College of Music with your major being songwriting. Has this training enhanced your innate talents? How?
Most definitely! Berklee has definitely given me the tools that I needed to feel confident enough as a solo singer/songwriter to put my music out there and identify not only as a performer but also as a musician.
What artists have most influenced your music? Do you model your “style” after any one particular?
Gospel, Blues/ Jazz (especially Latin styles), RnB (specifically soul/neo-soul), & Reggae are the top rhythmic and melodic influences of my music. My lyrics are all based on my own personal experiences. As far as overall performance style, I don’t necessarily model [it] after anyone particularly, but I do admire a collection of artists in those styles and try to learn from them- Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Dinah Washington, Elis Regina, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Crystal Lewis. Those are a few off the top of my head but there are just so many talented writers and singers out there!
How have your life experiences made you a better artist?
I have had quite the life! I feel that as a singer/songwriter the most difficult job we have is writing music that relates to our listeners and then being able to deliver it in a way that will emotionally affect or speak to them. In my short life, I have lived so many different experiences that there are very few feelings I haven’t felt. I grew up in the foster care system. I was placed in eight different homes throughout my child hood. This made me feel like I never belonged and was “unwanted.” Growing up, I lost some very important mentors in my life and music was an escape from all this loss. I joined the Army in 2007, which forced me to really grow up and stop feeling sorry for my past. Joining the Army challenged my values, my mental strength and made me feel like I could do anything-anything to include fighting for my own dreams and pursuing music, not only as a healing for myself, but for others. This definitely has allowed me to become closer to my fans at a quicker pace which, as a result, has made me a successful artist.
In three words, describe your music.
Soulful, groovin’ and inspiring.
What can Pride attendees expect from your performance?
Fun! M3rcedes & The Boat Crew will bring a set of fresh new hits that will have the crowd dancing and singing.
This year, Boston Pride’s theme is Equality. No More. No Less. What does that theme mean to you? How does it apply to your life and/or music?
Equality is a topic that can be so easily stated and preached but hard to live by. I think having “Equality. No More. No less.” as the theme for this year’s Boston Pride will remind the LGBTQ community and its allies that we have come far in our fight for equality but we will not rest until the LGBTQ community is seen as equal. My music most certainly reflects my own personal struggles with this issue but celebrates the journey of becoming the woman I am.
To date, M3rcedes is touring with her band, The Boat Crew and collaborating with artists that have her similar mission for music in mind. In the meantime, you can catch up with her at Boston Pride 2011 as she is set to take center stage. To find out more about M3rcedes, download her music, and check out her latest news, visit, www.m3rcedes.com. Her music is also available on iTunes.