By Emily Hutton
Got a minute? Sit down at your computer and google the name Megan Landry. Instantly, half a dozen YouTube videos will pop up, followed by news profiles and feature stories. Click on Megan Landry Stronger, the music video at the top of the list, and you’ll see it has been viewed 143,687 times on YouTube and there are 961 comments.
What’s special about this? Megan, a powerhouse of a musician and artist, shot that video when she was just 15 years old. (She wrote the song a year earlier.)
And since Stronger—her anti-bullying anthem—became a hit, the Ottawa teen has garnered tons of praise for her strong voice, creative lyrics and prodigious talent. Heck, a whopping 7742 people subscribe to Megan’s YouTube channel, where fans can find 11 music videos, many with over 20,000 views.
There’s no question she’s a rising star, but you do have to wonder how the petite
17-year-old manages to fit everything into her packed schedule. The To Do list includes finishing high school, working at two part-time jobs and making post-secondary plans. Still, her creativity continues to skyrocket. There are two new songs on the way, as well as a poetry book called Skim to be released in June. “Currently I’m in two different recording studios recording two songs,” says the singer, who will be graduating from St. Pius High School in June and attending Algonquin College in September.
She describes one of the numbers as a song that “explores how popularity isn’t really everything and [how] what is on the inside is what matters most in a person. The other song I’m working on is called Nose Bleeds and that one is going to have a music video and a full production just like Wallpaper.”
Wallpaper, released with lots of buzz near the end of last year, is notable for its arresting lyrics, social commentary and provocative video. Megan describes that particular song as one she wrote while going through a rough patch in life. Naturally, she directed the edgy video, featuring child models styled to represent society’s broken people. One of them, bloodied, is pointing a gun; another is drinking from a beer bottle; yet another, a little girl, is holding a baby (doll) and smoking.
Combined with her impressive voice, Wallpaper makes a lasting impression and clearly, at least so far, “lite” music isn’t Megan’s thing. “I am usually motivated by tragedies,” she admits. “When it comes to writing happy songs I find that there is no momentum.” Although she appreciates upbeat danceable songs, she relates more to the emotion and sadness people experience.
Music lovers can relate. Her style has been compared to that of New-Zealand sensation Lorde, who is internationally famous for songs such as Royals and Glory and Gore. Like Lorde, Megan doesn’t hesitate to express herself and to tell compelling stories that speak to listeners of any age.
At an early age, Megan’s own musical talents emerged. As a preschooler, she began teaching herself to play piano. At age nine, she started lessons and at age 11, she wrote her first song. Today, her interests lean towards Indie-Pop music and her fans clearly express their approval, with likes, comments and viral online sharing. Tributes of the tactile kind have been stacking up too, including a Spirit of the Capital Youth Award in 2012 and a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal in 2013.
When not focused on her music and videos, the teen heads to class and to work at Malabar Costume Shop or Mercury Film Works, a cartoon network where she serves as the editor’s assistant. In September, she’ll be enrolled in Algonquin’s graphic design program, but—as you’ll be happy to know— there are no plans to stop singing or producing videos.
“I have a whole bunch of paths that I could go down for my future and just like any other 17-year-old, I’m really confused as to what I want to do,” she confesses. “But I know no matter what I do, no matter where I go, even if it doesn’t take off I’ll always have music in my background. I’ll always be putting out videos and be writing songs.“