We had the good fortune of connecting with Salih Mekki and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Salih, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance has become very difficult within the past year for obvious reason. With the lockdown caused by the pandemic, being an independent artist from home was a seamless transition at first. Who wouldn’t want to be locked in with their craft and equipment with endless time to experiment explore new sounds and ideas. Unfortunately the stress of it feeling like work set in shortly after a few months. I found myself feeling unproductive due to not being in a creative mindset, not feeling motivated, or burnt out from a long day and night previously filled with nonstop music. I’ve learned better to change my mentality surrounding it now, which is to take the pressure away from it best I can by leaving the room that holds all my equipment and giving myself a break. Once I do return to work on a concept I have fun with it and I try not to take myself too serious to allow the free flow of ideas. Its always a constant adjustment but once I catch a rhythm it no longer is followed with the pressure that typically would fill my head. I just create content that I enjoy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My name is Salih Mekki aka Mekfly. I am 24 years old from Oakland, CA and I’ve been an independent producer/ recording artist for 5 plus years now. I’m where I am now with my career from conversations with mentors who’ve guided me and helped me focus on what is to come as well as collaborations with other creatives who offered tips and feedback on a regular basis. I’ve always found it hard to not face a challenge because of how I’m wired. I’m always willing to push against the problem until I solve and I better understand it. I think thats why I can’t find any reason to quit music even when I doubt myself. My brain is always curious about all aspects even beyond the creative process. Streaming, marketing, shows, and how to move as a brand while building a core/ loyal fanbase is what makes me continuously try and adapt my methods. I want the world to understand that my passion for this isn’t based from the money that could be made, its the opportunity to look back at the end of my life and say my that passion and hobbies are how I made my living and allowed me to live comfortably. Thats my main goal. I also want to reach people and resonate with them. I want my music to be tied to a feeling or a moment thats different for each individual person. I just hope people can see the dedication and effort that I soak into my art. Its very much a chunk of who I am and how I feel.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I have a friend coming to the bay area to hang out for a week I have a whole list of spots to hit up and go to. Food experiences alone are going to be some of what I feel are bay area staples like grabbing an Ikes Sandwich, heading to Homeroom for some bomb mac and cheese, grabbing Korean fried chicken from 99 Chicken, etc. As far as locations and spots to just enjoy the scenery you’ve got Haight Ashbury, Lake Merrit, Pier 39, Ocean Beach, Grizzly Peak, Jack London Square, Downtown Oakland, etc. Theres just so much vibrancy and culture to absorb in the bay area that we could probably stumble into something to do every 10 mins. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shout out my friends who listen to every rough draft and snippet I send and provide feedback on what ever content I’m working on. I want to also acknowledge my mother, Assistant City Administrator, Latonda Simmons a who re-sparked my interest in music when she bought monitors and a new mic. That simple Christmas gift 5 years ago has helped me do so much of this on my own and allowed me to practice and get better. Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to my girlfriend, Deborah Araujo, who has to listen to me at all hours of the day and night tapping away at my midi board while I work on every idea that crosses my mind. Honestly there are so many people influential people who have helped me, supported me, cheered me on, and lifted me up when I felt unsure about my abilities and what I could and can achieve.