We had the good fortune of connecting with Mei Eldridge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mei, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve been a risk taker since I can remember. This is something that had always gotten me into so much trouble growing up but it has finally paid off because I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am today without my willingness to take risks. My entire life, I was shown the path to success was very black and white. You work hard, go to college, get a job, make money, and that’s it. My biggest risk in terms of my career was the very stereotypical (but very life changing) decision to drop everything and move to LA. This was one of the best decision I’ve ever made. As soon as I made that move, I was launched into a completely new mindset. Surrounded by people proving everything I had ever learned wrong. I was exposed to the idea that there is no “right” way to succeed, and it lit a fire in me to make my own path and to continue taking risks that felt right in my heart, even if they weren’t what I was taught growing up.
I took a risk when I released my first song despite not knowing ANYTHING about the music industry. That song now has almost half a million streams on Spotify.
I took a risk when I dropped out of school in order to be able to put my all into the Buzzfeed residency program that I was a part of. I was one of only three residents out of the entire program selected to receive a full contract with the company doing my dream job.
Risk is scary but to me, it’s worth it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m currently working in two different spaces, music and social media. Both of which, I still feel like a newbie at but I am learning to accept that I’ve come a hell of a long way and have a lot to be proud of. Music wise, I’ve been singing since I could talk. I was a choir kid growing up, participating in any musical, talent show, you name it – I was there and I was singing my little heart out. I always wanted to make a career ot of it but it wasn’t until I was in college that I began to take myself seriously. I recorded my first song in 2 hours with a producer that I found on google, no glamour, no experience, just me, a mic, and a strangers studio. Two years later, I am in such a different place, meeting so many amazing people from the industry, improving my skills, and preparing for what I hope to be an incredible next project. It’s been a long road but I am so excited about what I have coming.
In terms of social media, my life completely changed when I started working for Buzzfeed. The process to becoming a Creator as Buzzfeed was intense. From 3000 applicants, to 10 residents, to being 1 of 3 chosen to be hired as creators, so much work has been put into this job, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I think that the most important part of my story, in both music and social media, is where I started. I came from a family with no background in anything entertainment. I had no musical or social resources to go off of, and I think that part of my journey makes me the most proud. I did this all myself, how badass is that?
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is my dream question!! Okay, I’m a west side girl so you know I have to start the day with the beach. I would go grab a coffee and a pastry at Flowerboy Project, my favorite, Black-owned coffee shop. Then I would take them to the beach to hang for a few hours. Once we are sun-kissed and hungry, I would head over to Samosa House, and INSANE vegan friendly and fully vegetarian Indian spot on main street for the best, most authentic Indian food in Santa Monica.
Since this is my perfect day, I’m going to pretend like LA traffic doesn’t exist and we are going to head over to the East side. We’d hit up Donut Friend for the best vegan donuts, and then walk down York Blvd to see all of the super cute shops they have. Then, once we’re tired out, we would head back to the west side, relax a bit until getting dinner at Little Fatty – one of my favorite Chinese spots in town.
It’d be a fully packed day but there’s just so much to do!! I could name like 100 more coffee spots, restaurants, and neighborhoods to check out but you can only do so much in a day 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life right now. I think that when I look back at my life though, my sisters have really been my rock since day one. They were both always so unconditionally supportive of anything that I wanted to do, no matter how crazy it may have sounded at the time. I remember being like 10 years old, telling everyone I was going to be famous when I was older, and everyone would laugh and make fun, but not them. Of course, these were big dreams to have, and I still have quite a long way to go until I could ever claim fame but my sisters have never doubted me for a second. So shoutout to Mia and Kai, love y’all.