On July 9, multi-instrumentalist Junior Mesa turned 21, an important occasion in anyone’s life. Few have the chance to share big, artistic accomplishments with the world on such a monumental day, one of which is Mesa. What better day for a musician to give us two of his latest creations? Listening to the singular and mature sound of “Losing My Grip” and “Creep,” both songs make a strong argument for the beginning of an auspicious career.
One of the most striking things about Mesa’s music is the depth of influences showcased throughout his songs. Junior learned about artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, to Sly and the Family Stone and beyond by deep diving on YouTube where he would spend hours listening and discovering different styles of music from decades old. “I think I took away that there is and always will be new inspiration to be found,” he tells Remezcla. “I just have to look for it.” This curiosity fueled his desire to make music, learning to play guitar and soon picking up bass, piano, and drums as well, recording at his Bakersfield home. (He has since relocated to Los Angeles). “I like being able to take my songs in the exact direction I want them to go. It is fully me, it is pure,” he says about his ability to play many different instruments, yet adds that playing with other people is very satisfying for learning and finding new approaches for making music.
His talents are fully on display in the two songs that he has just released. The upbeat soul groove of “Losing My Grip” gives us a hint of ska that adds a feel-good vibe, while changing the pace up for the Beatlesque outro where his guitar skills shine through. “Creep” deepens his love for psych-pop as the mid-tempo number flourishes with a warm and warped backing track where melodies brim with hooks. “I wrote these songs about two years ago and just got around to producing them out about four months ago,” he says. “‘Creep’ is a fictional story putting myself in the shoes of a person that seems creepy but has no foul intentions. He’s just a weirdo. ‘Losing My Grip’ is a song about me going crazy all while trying to be in a full time relationship. I try to explain that it is hard for me to pay attention to the real world and her while inside of me there is already too much going on.”
Both songs reflect one of the central philosophies to Junior Mesa’s art. “There’s a slower pace that my generation sort of needs, because our lives are so fast and frantic. For me, music is peace. It’s what I want to share.” His music seems to signal a chance for us to breath and smell the flowers. “When I say it’s peace I mean it’s a call for peace. It’s me yelling for peace to find me. It’s me saying ‘I’m lost come help.’” We could all use a bit of help in these times.