Mer Sal Reflects on Her Career

Who knows what “making it” means?

I guess it satisfies to say that you can always climb different steps – in terms of your abilities, the players and singers you meet and work with, who you go on to collaborate with, where you’ve toured, and how well the public knows you. There are so many different styles to then master. And “mastery” never ends, it keeps going upward.  

Where can you apply your musicality? There are many circles of musicians to meet.  It’s infinite, and it’s worldwide! I was humbled to be invited to experience Singdaptive – an app which I feel will change the singing world for the better. It has already inspired me with exercises to improve what I specifically need to work on. 

Mer Sal & Scott Kinsey

Looking back on my career… 

Things started slowly, when I was rehearsing with my early adulthood band. The bass player door kept revolving, so even though I didn’t play bass, I picked it up and started really hustling. The first success in my mind was when we rented out a theater in my hometown, hired opening acts, did the promotion ourselves and managed to break even.  This sort of thing put me on the map, and I was invited to sing and do a set at a large blues festival.  

I shared stages with inspiring female acts like Southern Avenue, Ana Popovic, Deanna Bogart, Danielle Nicole, Samantha Fish, and other girls of that ilk.  

This opened doors for me, and I began touring the Midwestern USA.  I opened for Danielle Nicole’s Cry No More release at Knuckleheads Garage. I also shared the stage and became friends with Grammy winning harmonica player Jason Ricci. I recorded with Alvino Bennett, a drummer for Dave Mason and Chaka Khan.  

I had bizarre success in a small town in Kansas we would pass through, and there was no greater feeling than to be appreciated for my artistry. It made me believe I could maybe take this further if I worked smarter.  But I had no idea how. I would lean against my band van at 3am, after every load out, and look up at the stars for a few seconds.  “What am I missing?”

One day, Jimmy Haslip was producing a session in Denver where I fortuitously was invited to sing. I practiced my parts before going in. Somehow I nailed it on the warmup take within minutes of arriving.  We were in and out within probably 15 minutes. 

Jimmy Haslip called me a month later to invite me to sing a few songs on an upcoming project. He asked, would you like to come to Los Angeles to track this, or would you rather sing it in your own recording studio? I told him I’d like to see Los Angeles.  

In March of 2019, I took a red eye flight to LA, and went to the studio. When I walked in, we were greeted by Jimmy Haslip, engineer Paul Tavenner, and guitarist Jeff Richman. We sat and talked in the control room, while we waited for one more person to arrive. In came Scott Kinsey, so we could begin the session.

We tracked two songs. And I worked directly with Scott. He had picky expectations, which I preferred, being the perfectionist that I am. I liked how the material was challenging. That day stands out as the day my musical horizons, ideas, and life expanded.  

Fast forward to now, I am living with my boyfriend Scott Kinsey. I have spent countless nights at the legendary jazz club The Baked Potato, witnessing show after amazing show. We have an amazing life! And now an amazing new album.  

I recommend you try Singdaptive.  Getting straight to the point : targeting what you need to work on – is the key element of improving efficiently.  Why take years to accomplish what you can in months? Singdaptive, I feel, will straighten out your path for you.  

Mer Sal’s new album – Adjustments – is everywhere.  Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal and so many more.  It’s available in Asia and Europe on their own platforms as well. Worldwide! Here is the ink hosted by our the distributor The Orchard.

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