North Carolina-born, LA-based artist Mez (f.k.a. King Mez) is a GRAMMY-nominated artist, songwriter, and film director. Get familiar with this VIPER interview…

What five words define your sound? 

Futuristic, soulful, dark, essence, truthful.

Tell me something unique about your creative process 

My creative process is unique because everything is linear. Music, film, fashion; it all boils down to storytelling. All great art is storytelling, so as long as you can tell a story, you can win. Even songs that don’t sound like a story are a story, it just depends on the way you’re telling it. 

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first? 

‘Call On’ for sure. 

What inspired you to make that song? 

‘Call On’ is a resurrection song. I wanted to put it out first for this project because it’s a good palate cleanser for people and it shows people what I’m on right now. It’s a great stamp on the future of my world. 

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music? 

Music is really about bearing your soul so I’ve done that a lot. I have this idea that great art is like a trade – you have to trade people something for them to be able to connect with you. 

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage? 

The best experiences I’ve ever had on stage were on tour with J.I.D., Saba and Mereba in 2019. Going on stage and seeing people fall in love with my music all over the world was really rewarding. 

What is your favourite song to perform? 

I haven’t been able to perform the new stuff on my EP yet so that’s hard. I really just want to perform new stuff, but just recently I performed ‘Costa Rica’ with Reese Laflare when IDK was on tour in LA. That was crazy to perform because everybody knows the words and was singing my part. 

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music? 

Dr. Dre ‘2001’is definitely one that inspired me to make music. Kanye’s ‘Late Registration’also really formed me into the rapper that I am. I actually worked with Kanye for a little while on ‘Pablo’in 2015. I wrote something and he came in the room to listen and told me I remind him of ‘Late Registration’because I like to tell stories. That was like the biggest compliment ever because that’s my favourite Rap album. 

What’s the meaning behind your name? 

The name Mez was actually bestowed upon me by one of my homies from North Carolina. My real name is Morris, so in high school everybody would call me M-Eazy as a nickname. One day in the studio, my homie Base spelled it out and said I should try Mez. I really like the Z because it sounds futuristic to me. Down the line, I gave the name the acronym “My everlasting zeal.” I’m a really passionate artist and creator so zeal represents my art. 

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead? 

I would be designing clothes for sure. When I was in high school, at the same time that I was making mixtapes, my homeboy and I started a clothing brand, but I was too infatuated with music to really dive in like I wanted to. To this day, I still design clothes though. I put out Heirs clothes a few years ago and have been working on more designs. 

What’s success to you? 

Success to me is getting to live the life that I want and make the art that I want to make. Not only sustain my life and grow, but I also get to connect people around me with what I’m doing. For example, my 15-year-old cousin Zoey is a set and costume designer. One of my favourite things in my life right now is connecting her with set designers that have worked on films and music videos in LA. Success to me is being able to make connections like that for the people around me and those who don’t have the opportunity. 

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction? 

In my mind, I never actually changed direction. I went from making music to directing films and then back to music again, but that’s just the public-facing version. I was always making music, but I was figuring out the business side of things and wasn’t able to put it out at the time. So from the inside, I never really changed directions. Different opportunities have presented themselves for me to demonstrate different sides of my creativity, but I’ve really been doing the same stuff the whole time. 

Where can people keep in touch with you? 

My socials: instagram | spotify | youtube | tiktok 

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