Singer Megan Black photo
Credit: Megan Black


Scottish singer/songwriter Megan Black self-released her EP Full Circle (Part 1) in September 2023. Her music combines ‘70’s blues rock with queer feminist pop and in December she played a Sofar Sounds gig in California fulfilling a dream to perform there. I caught up with Megan to find out about her experience, and the conversation took some interesting tangents, including reference to Miriam Margolyes.

The first thing I really want to know is how did you organise the gigs?
It all kind of came about a bit backwards. I was sitting at home and I realised that I was very addicted to social media. I’m addicted to my phone, I always have my phone somewhere near me. So I downloaded Pinterest and I started basically designing my dream Malibu house. I was choosing my carpet for the house and things. And then my partner decided, and I didn’t know anything about this, but they decided to save up money because they’d found cheap flights to go to LA in December. And then a friend of mine knew the rep for Sofar Sounds in California. And they were like “come and do San Francisco and LA“. That was great because it obviously meant I didn’t have to promote anything to try to sell tickets. It did feel like it all kind of happened backwards. The organising wasn’t really on me, everyone else did that!

What was it about California and San Francisco in particular, that you had this dream of playing there?
The first song I ever released was my coming out story. Up till then I think a lot of my songs were just about wanting things to be different from what they were. I live in quite a small town, and at the time I just had in my head is that San Francisco is where all the hippies live. And they’re all just chilling out. I was kind of like if I can get there then I can be clear and I can do all these things and no one will care. I knew that wasn’t entirely true, that I’d have to do that beforehand. I think I had this idea in my head of well okay, once I get to this place, it’ll be fine. And the song started out completely different, but I ended up rewriting “San Franciso” and releasing it. It evolved from being just about a cool place to be, but also somewhere where it felt like a sort of safe place to be a musician and travel and not do anything else. Writing the song really brought on wanting to actually go there. And my partner loves Grand Theft Auto! And then, yeah, it all happened.

So you did two gigs, one in LA and one in San Francisco. Tell me about the gigs. How did they go?
It was great. The first gig I had booked was in San Francisco, and that was sold out. And I met some amazing artists and I’m doing a collaboration at the moment with an artist I met. However, the second show in LA was cancelled as there was really heavy rain, and the venue had a power cut. I didn’t get to play this time, which was a shame, but equally, it’s given me a lot more scope to go back. The Sofar Sounds rep for California reached out to me 10 minutes before soundcheck to say the venue has a power cut, the gig is cancelled. But then from that it’s kind of been nice because they were like “You need to come back and do more shows”. It’s really solidified for me that that’s what I want to do. I really do want to just travel with music. I feel like that’s when everything else is fine.

When you play here you play with a band. Was an acoustic show in California?
Yeah, it was an acoustic show. Which was really nice as well because a lot Sofar Sounds shows are quite intimate. The show we played in San Francisco was in an Italian bookstore. It was like an old like library with the ladders – it was so cool. It felt really nice to actually get to talk about the songs and as well as play them. That was pretty cool.

You are a DIY artist, you do absolutely everything yourself. Do you have any advice for other DIY artists, particularly over this experience?
I think impostor syndrome was one of the biggest things and I don’t know if that ever goes away. I think that even if I was to have a label, I would still have impostor syndrome. When you’re a DIY artist, you have to motivate yourself to put yourself out there and then go after things and it might not work out. I think there’s a lot of fear and a lot of thinking “who am I to do this“, but I suppose my advice would be just do it. If you’ve got a talent and you’ve got things that you want to say, people who really love music will want to connect with your music, and that’s from all over the world. They’re not just in your city or whatever. So yeah, I think just like putting yourself out there.

Don’t you think as well, social media has its downsides, but it has its positives as well. I mean, to think you were able to arrange this gig in San Francisco.
Definitely. I mean, I’m collaborating with an artist who I met who was playing the San Francisco show, Trianna Feruza. She’s a solo artist and takes the same sort of view, of female empowerment, and political stuff as well. But her and I would have no way of communicating now if it wasn’t for social media and zoom calls. Yes, social media can be really hard in terms of seeing the highlights of other people’s lives. I read a quote along the lines of if you’re not inspired, learning, laughing or connecting then you’re using social media wrong. I think artists can harness that as well.

I think it’s harder for DIY artists as they don’t really get to just focus on making music and sometimes that can become an afterthought, because it’s so hard to keep up with what’s going on and what you need to do. Christmas and New Year for me was really nice because there’s nothing else going on. I was kind of like, oh yeah, this is the reason I’m doing this. I’m actually doing this to make songs that I like. Part of another project I’m working on is a song for a film soundtrack.

Can you tell me a bit more about that?
It’s a short film written by Samantha Grierson. I’ve worked with Samantha before and she’s a big advocate for autism and ADHD, and increasing awareness. But basically, she reached out to me during lockdown because she wanted to use my song ‘Fur Coat Queen‘ for an audio play she was writing which was about three neuro divergent women hiring a campervan and travelling around Scotland, and my song was just in the background. I didn’t know anything about it, I was just like, “sure, use it, do what you want“. And it came out and it was Miriam Margolyes that was staring in it ! Sam is a great example of DIY creatives putting themselves out there. I think she just messaged Miriam Margolyes, and she was up for doing it.

I’ve not even seen the film yet, but I’m super excited about it. It’s a film she’s written about navigating grief as a neuro divergent person. I think it’s a bit of like a dystopian kind of thing. So writing the soundtrack for that was a bit challenging, because it’s such a personal thing.

Did she give you a script? Was your inspiration?
The film was written in memory of her best friend who took her own life. It’s a beautiful thing that she’s doing for her friend, but for me, I was like, Oh My God. How can I write this soundtrack. It’s just impossible but after chatting to her it became that I was never going to replicate exactly how she feels, but it’s more the universal feeling of grieving someone. They are also such different projects, which has also been nice. As soon as I sent her the demo for this, she was like, I love it. And I think because of the style of music that I tend to write she can picture her friend headbanging along to it! So think it’s worked out nicely that both of us, we need to write from our own perspective and put it together. I’m so excited to see it, I think it’s going to be an amazing project and I hope it helps people as well, particularly as it’s through that neuro divergent lens. Handling any sort of emotion can be difficult if you are on the spectrum, especially if it’s grief.

What are the main plans for 2024?
I have a few festivals booked already, which is very exciting. I’m not doing any gigs for a while but I’m currently learning some choreography for a music video for a new song. I can’t dance! We had a rehearsal last night in my living room, and there’s two other dancers in it and they’re just picking up everything. It felt like something out of a comedy sketch. But that’s gonna be very exciting. It’s very different to stuff I’ve done so far. The filming for that is coming up. I wanted to do the choreography because the next single has a bit of humour. My favourite concert film ever is Stop Making Sense, I love it so much, just the awkwardness and playfulness. So it’s quite inspired by that. But yeah, I can’t dance! I want to have a bit of fun with my music as well. I want to challenge myself. That’s been my goal. That’s also some advice I would maybe give to other artists. I feel like the more kind of playful you can be with just making music, probably the more fun you’re gonna have. That’s what I’ve experienced.

I was so lucky last year. Every headline gig, I put on myself and there was so many people there and it was really nice to see. You think, no one’s going to show up. Putting yourself out there a bit and trying to just connect with people. It can be very scary, but then it’s so nice when it pays off. I want to actually enjoy what I’m doing a bit more. I think with going to California I’ve still not actually processed it. But it was the perspective I needed to be like, this is what I want to do with my life, and I can’t afford to be stressing about it all the time, stressing about how many tickets sold, how many streams. I just don’t think that’s the way that anything’s going to happen with that sort of mindset.

Are you considering an album next?
Full Circle (Part 2) will be a bigger project. I don’t quite know how I’m going to structure it yet. I want it to feel like albums that tell a story or flow nicely. So I need to work out where all of my rap songs and sad songs are going fit into each other. I just want to put myself out there in a way that feels like I’m doing it because I want to do it and not just ticking a box. I lots of exciting shows coming up, and collaborations as well, and dance routines apparently!

For more information on Megan Black please check out her facebook and instagram.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.