Check out our interview with talented musician MNERVA who recently released his hit single “Stuck.”
“Stuck” is a song MNERVA wrote in quarantine during a time when he was feeling he was at his all time low both creatively and mentally. He found himself reliving the same day over and over and had even stopped responding to friends. He wrote this song as a way to work through how he was feeling and started therapy soon after.
Follow MNERVA @i_am_mnerva
MNERVA - Stuck (Official Video)
Hi MNERVA please tell us a little about you?
Hey guys! I’m originally from Darnestown, MD, I’m 24 years old, and I’m currently based out of Nashville, TN. I’ve been releasing music under the MNERVA moniker for a little over a year now and I’ve been a professional musician for five years. I also have a photographic memory, am a massive nerd, and live for storytelling.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Energetic, Determined, Tenacious
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get in the industry?
Both of my parents are actually former musicians so music has been a big part of my life since I was a little kid. My dad started me on the drums when I was five years old and I joined my first rock band when I was 13. It was with the group where I caught the songwriting bug and started to record my songs in my basement with a friend of mine. From there, I got really into hip hop when I got to college and started playing drums for various pop artists around Nashville. Once I got plugged in, I decided that I wanted to be up front and share my own story. I’ve been pursuing the artist path ever since.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Energetic, Intense, Emotional
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My favorite band of all time is Linkin Park and they influence me as an artist every day. I also love twenty one pilots, grandson, J Cole, NF, Logic, The 1975, Pasek and Paul, Bring Me The Horizon, and Lin Manuel Miranda and they push me to be the best storyteller that I can. I learned at a young age that writing music was the perfect outlet to voice my negative emotions in a healthy way so I decided I wanted to be an artist in order to share my story with the world. If diving into my greatest fears and insecurities helps even one person that’s listening than I’ve done my job as a creative. Music has also helped me sort through my own depression and mental health issues so I will always continue to create even after I finally fully get my head right.
Do you play any instrument?
I have been playing the drums for almost 20 years and I also play piano.
Do you ever get nervous?
I do get nervous but not about performing. Thinking about the future makes me the most nervous but I also worry about my relationships often if I’m being honest. For me, performing is the one time I can be truly myself and I look forward to playing every show I do!
Tell us about your new single “Stuck.” What’s the story behind this single?
“Stuck” is my obligatory artist pandemic song but it’s very important to me. I wrote in last November right after I hit rock bottom in my life. I felt like I was living through Groundhog Day and that nothing I did mattered anymore. My self-worth has always been connected to my productivity so losing all of my motivation caused me to absolutely hate myself and I didn’t recognize the person I was becoming. Eventually I stopped responding to my friends and didn’t know how to get out of my quarantine slump. Writing “Stuck” was actually the first step of me finally turning my life around and I started going to therapy a few weeks after finishing the track. Now 6 months later, I can finally say that I don’t feel trapped and I’m excited for what the rest of this year has in store.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My drum set, my cell phone (I hate that this is true but it is), Wikipedia, my piano, my friends and family who hold me accountable
What’s next for MNERVA in 2021?
My next single, “Quarter Life Crisis,” is coming out July 2nd and it’s going to be the first single from my debut EP, Talk Too Much. I’ve been working on this project since the beginning of 2020 and I truly believe it’s the best music I’ve ever made. This EP will complete my transition from an alternative hip-hop artist into a rap/rock artist and the music is super intense but I love it. Lyrically, the project talks about my fear of the future, my relationship with my family, failed romantic relationships, and my problem with running my mouth so it feels like the perfect introduction into who I really am. Talk Too Much is going to drop sometime this fall and I can’t wait for y’all to finally hear it!!
What is your favorite song? And why?
“Leave Out All The Rest” is my favorite song. I absolutely adore the song’s message and the lyric’s subtle rhyme scheme is ridiculous. Mike Shinoda doesn’t ever get enough credit as a songwriter in my opinion. It’s also what I listen to when I want to feel something when I’m sad and I’ll never get tired of the song no matter how many times I listen to it.
Any loves other than music?
I am a huge comic book and anime fan and I love all things nerdy. Star Wars in particular will always be one of my favorite obsessions. I’m also a bigger film buff than I want to admit and I love traveling and going on crazy long hikes.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would absolutely love to get lunch with Lin Manuel Miranda. I feel like our personalities would vibe very naturally and I’d love to ask him a million questions about how he wrote Hamilton and In The Heights. My friends all call me his long-lost son so getting to have a “father son photo” would make my life!
Best advice ever given?
One of my best friends says that in everything you do there are three metrics: fast, quality, and cheap, and you can only pick two. So, in other words, if you want something done quickly for cheap, it’s probably not going to be high quality or if you want something that’s high quality done fast, it probably won’t be cheap. I love this advice because it reminds me that I have to make sacrifices in order to keep a high bar to everything that I do and it keeps me patient when things aren’t moving fast enough for my liking.
Name one your strengths?
I have an excellent work ethic and I will always make sure that something is done right in everything I do. Basically, very little of my talents have come naturally so I know first-hand that in order to succeed at anything you have to put in the work.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Not working a double at my day job (I have every day since I started 2 years ago). Actually, though my perfect Sunday includes a long phone call with my family, taking the time to write a good song, and learning about a new topic online.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
That’s a hard one! But anytime, “Waving Through A Window” from Dear Evan Hansen, comes on with my roommates in the car, we start screaming it at the top of our lungs. That’s honestly one of my favorite memories from college.
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think being happy is about being content with the life you’ve created. I’m working hard every day in order to make that life where I can monetize my creativity and be surrounded by people who love and appreciate me. So many people just accept the hand they’re dealt and I believe the only way to be truly happy is to create your own destiny.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Nothing drives crazier on a first date then when someone doesn’t know how to carry a conversation. I can talk for literally years at a time but I don’t want to be the only person leading conversations in a relationship so that’s a huge deal breaker for me, especially if the other person is glued to their phone.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
It’s funny you ask this because the final track off of my debut EP, Talk Too Much, is actually about this question. It’s called “The Interview” and I wrote the song five years ago. My answer to the question then was “I hope it gets better than this.” Five years later, that’s still my answer but I also hope to be a full time creative by then and have a bunch of records out as MNERVA that I’m proud of. I also hope to have finished writing an original musical by then and be in the process of getting it on Broadway. But most of all, I just want to be happy. I’m taking the steps now to make that happen and I think it’s completely possible.
What do you think of Social Media?
You know, it took me a long time to come around to it, but I’m finally starting to enjoy social media. I still believe that so many people’s mental health and self-worth issues stem from the toxic side of social platforms, but I think that social media is an incredible way to put yourself out there and get connected with people who share your passions as long as you don’t let it become your life.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: It’s okay to not be okay
Movie: 500 Days Of Summer
Travel Destination: Kauai (my family’s from there).
Sports Team: Washington Capitals