FIVE years ago, Megan Sullivan McInerney was a WAAPA graduate uploading her first song to the triple j Unearthed website.
Now she is known all over the world as Meg Mac and is about to wrap up a nation-wide sold-out tour.
“Unearthed was where I got my start,” she said.
“That’s where I got my first radio play, then winning that award (2014 Unearthed Artist of the Year) was so important.
“It’s weird looking back to know it all started with uploading a song to a website.”
Since then her self-titled EP has gone platinum, her debut album Low Blows landed at number two on the Australian ARIA albums chart and her single Roll up Your Sleeves is close to hitting 20 million streams on Spotify.
And she’s only 28.
“It’s weird when you say it like that,” McInerney said.
“I guess this is my whole life, so every day I’m working towards making more music and releasing more music and touring is just where it all pays off for me.
“And I can sing, tell my story, sing my songs in front of people and this tour has been a dream.”
So far, on this Give Me My Name Back Australian tour, the Melbourne singer-songwriter has played sold-out shows in Coffs Harbour, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Geelong, Melbourne, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Cairns and Hobart, with just two shows left in Adelaide and Perth – also sold out.
“I’m always grateful for anyone to be at my shows, but when they sell out and to be playing not just in the major cities but visiting regional places, it’s been really exciting,” she said.
Though living in North Perth for four years while studying music, McInerney said she had never been to the Astor Theatre.
“I spent a lot of time on Beaufort Street; I would have passed the Astor Theatre so many times so it feels so cool to know I’m playing that venue where I used to hang out,” she said.
McInerney said she was also excited about the Perth show because it follows the release of her new mini album Hope on June 7 so fans will already be familiar with her new songs.
She said the mini album was “a few more tracks than an EP and a bit less than a full album” at seven tracks.
“I’ve called this album Hope and it’s named after my favourite song on the album,” she said.
“I feel like this song captures the theme of where I was at when I was making this album.
“It’s like this concept of hope but not in a positive or nice way, it’s almost like it’s a desperate side of hope and the curse of hope… that we all live in hope and it’s hope that keeps us all alive but it also drives us crazy and it can kill you, or feel like it’s killing you, and I just felt like that idea really captured the album.”
She said this tour was quite an intimate show.
“I really wanted to start telling stories about the songs so for a lot of the songs, before I play them I’m giving a little bit of an insight to what they’re about or where I was when I wrote it,” she said.
“I haven’t really included this in my show before but I feel like it can frame the song and you hear it a bit differently if you know where I was at when I wrote it.
“A lot of people often say, “oh I didn’t realise that song was about that” and I think people appreciate it and I think some of the lyrics make more sense when you know what the song is about.
“Like with my song Give Me My Name Back, when I came out with the song I talked about the message behind the song and I said it was about standing up for what’s right.
“It’s for anyone who has ever felt like they lost a piece of themselves or needs to get their identity back to get their name back.
“And the response I got back, I never could have expected.
“I got hundreds of messages from people telling me these really personal and heavy stories about their experience and how the song related to them.
“It was hard to read some of them because they were so heavy and sad but it was also really empowering to read how people were using that idea of getting your name back to set themselves free.”
Meg Mac will play the Astor Theatre on June 14.
Who: Meg Mac (sold out)
What: Give Me My Name Back Australian Tour
When: June 14
Where: Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley