out perform // outlast // out work
We’ve been following Torrey Mercer’s journey for so long it still surprises me that we are only now giving her a post of her own. Post aside, Torrey has been an integral part of forming and shaping Out of the Woodwork into what it is today. In fact, if you went back one year into the past, you would find me surfing through Mercer’s social media and music sites, slowly digesting the information I found there. Torrey was one of the first to inspire me to promote optimistic and caring artists instead of just anyone I liked. During our Holiday Contest last year, was nearly chosen by our celebrity judges as Artist of the Year, narrowly beat out by Charleston film producer Jenny Kleiman. Still, her influence on our mission and our identity is undeniable.
For those of you at home who haven’t already been exposed to Torrey Mercer, I’ll start by telling you that she is an energetic pop singer from California that uses her influence to spread awareness about bullying. Her Facebook biography reads “Torrey Mercer is an artist who strives to be brave, and to help her fans and followers be brave with her. Ever since she knew what it was like to be pushed down and bullied at a young age, Torrey has been passionate about the cause, wanting to use her music to reach out to others and to help make a statement about the truths of bullying. Torrey has always loved music. She knew that she wanted to sing in some form ever since she was nine years old. But she doesn’t want to sing just so that other people will look at her. But instead, she wants to create music and perform in hopes that she can touch the lives of those who follow her. Torrey wants to see the faces of her fans and supporters light up and smile, and that is her biggest mission as a recording artist, and a person. To make other people happy.”
Over the past year, we have watched Torrey accomplish several major milestones as she traveled the country to speak at anti-bullying rallies and performing her music. She landed one of her music videos on Vevo and was named “2014 Inspirational Artist of the Year” by the Artists in Music Awards. In preparation for this interview we took a look at two of Mercer’s fantastic new songs- Lies and Lipstick and the not-yet-released Be Your Own Hero. Mercer has surpassed her good songs and made great ones. When you listen to these you feel like you want to make a difference. You see how petty our problems can be and feel the urge to change things. The perfect combination of motivation and fun.
1. You’re gearing up for some pretty big moves in the near future. What can you tell us about your plans?
That I am! I can’t tell you too many details yet, but I can tell you that you can expect my first EP to be coming out next year, and that my motivational speaking is getting a BIG upgrade! It’s no longer going to be just “Torrey Mercer”… soon it will be under it’s very own name. We’re looking to launch that officially next year as well. More specifics will come on my social media over time.
2. What inspired you to write Lies & Lipstick?
I’ve actually wanted to write a song like this one for years. The song is about my experiences with mean girls and women alike, and how shallow-minded, petty, and sometimes even how cruel they can be to each other. It’s sad to me that some women feel the need to tear each other apart instead of standing together, and this song was really my tongue-and-cheek way of bringing light to that issue. For many young girls, there is this pressure to be a perfect Barbie doll queen bee, and to use that power to hurt others instead of build them up. I’ve seen girls be absolutely cruel to each other because of their own insecurities, and it’s always sad to me when women have to hide behind this “mask” to feel okay with themselves. This song was really written to expose the issue in a satirical way, which I too am very passionate about from my own experiences with women in the past.
3. You’ve got some pretty sweet cover art for your song “Be Your Own Hero”. Is it symbolic somehow are did it just seem to fit?
Thank you! And actually I would say it’s symbolic. The cover is supposed to represent a “ying yang” dynamic, or a contrast between light and dark. The song is about the idea that there’s a good, and a bad person inside of every single one of us, and how we have to choose to be the best person we can be, or at least try to. When someone tries to hurt you, you can either hurt them back, or try to understand them or ignore it. Someone could go out drinking and have way too many drinks, or they could go to bed early and take care of themselves. They could date the wrong person, or not settle until they find the right one. They could be a bully, or they could apologize and allow themselves to grow. There are so many aspects of life that this applies to, and the idea is that even if we all have a good and a bad side, we decide our fate in the end. People choose to be the hero, or the villain. Ultimately, we have the power over ourselves…and no one should be able to take that power away from us.
4. We recently learned that your brother has ventured onto the music scene as well. How is that going?
It’s going well for him! He’s really happy about it. He’s hoping to make some more music in the future, but nothing is set in stone yet! I’m just really proud that he also cares about the bullying prevention movement like I do, he’s a great kid.
5. What’s your vision for the future? What impact do you want to have on the entertainment community?
I’m hoping really to just keep expanding what is already starting right now. My ultimate goal would be to get signed by a label, major or a bigger independent, so I could have more impact with the music I am making on a bigger variety of people. My plan is to make music that applies to many young people while still being relevant to myself and people my age, and I also plan to intertwine this into my motivational speaking whenever possible. I want to make music that inspires, empowers, and provokes thoughts in my listeners. I hope I can get to a point someday with my music that I have enough people in the industry listening that I can take some of the points I tell kids at assemblies, and find a way to write them into songs. I want to positively influence kids, because to me, self esteem and self identity, and learning to love those things are more important than anything. Relationships are important too, and I believe you can find a great deal of yourself from what you learn in a relationship, but I would love to make music that emphasizes how important loving yourself and being kind is first, before any of that other stuff.
6. Any plans for collaboration in your future?
We will see! As of right now there isn’t a plan for collaboration, but I’d love to do some with a few people I have in mind for sure! Who knows, maybe one of these days it’ll happen!
7. You spend tons of time inspiring other people. Who inspires you?
First of all, thank you for that! There’s plenty of people who inspire me. A lot of my friends, mentors, and family inspire me for all the good that they do in their lives most definitely, and of course, there’s some public figures too. Demi Lovato inspires me a lot, as well as Beyonce and Lady Gaga for all of the good they have given back and contributed to the world through their music, and with their public position. There’s many that musically inspire me as well… Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Imagine Dragons, to name a few… but honestly, I just admire just about anyone who has gone through something extremely difficult and has come out of it gracefully, or who helps or empowers others to be strong and to love themselves. Those are my favorite kind of people.
Torrey Mercer fights daily to end this bullying epidemic. She stands for positive change in the entertainment community, and it is here that our goals align. We are proud to stand by Torrey and are excited for her every success!
Until next time, I’m Chancy Johnson. Here to bring them~
Out of the Woodwork.