Beyond the Tunes: Promising Songsmith Mei Teves On Her Songs that Capture Silence, Stillness, and Solitude

Sep 25, 2021

“Beyond the Tunes” is a series of interviews and features that aims to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming singer-songwriters who have earned a spot in the Wishcovery Originals grand finale. Get to know the top musical acts who will be vying for the championship tilt in the third edition of Wish 107.5’s very own talent search.

There’s something about Mei Teves’ sound and storytelling that poignantly prompt her audience to slow down, shut out the noise, and listen. 

At 22, the promising music-maker from San Juan has given birth to songs with serious themes that are atypically touched upon. From an ode to keeping secrets, to a musical narrative of a tragic past, to a piece that speaks the struggle to be heard, Mei Teves’ musicality has proven that she deserves the last seat of the Wishcovery Originals’ grand finals. 

Making a strong comeback in the competition after missing her first shot in February 2020, the acoustic artist joined four other handpicked contenders namely Erin Acoustic, Alvin Serito, Julia Daniel, and Comiclyde on the Wild Card edition of the show. 

On September 19, she emerged victoriously and completed the roster of the season’s grand finalists. 

In this Beyond the Tunes feature, Mei Teves gets candid as she shares her musical journey, her takeaways from the competition, and the ideation behind her “eccentric” tunes.

What made you pursue music? Who are your musical influences? What’s unique about your artistry?

I really love singing, even when I was just a kid. Music has been by means of expression. 

My musical influences are Ms. Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, sir Bullet Dumas, Munimuni, and Aurora. 

Some people have told me that my art is eccentric. I base my music on my own emotions and what I see happening around me.  

I think what makes me unique among other artists is that what you hear from me is really who I am. I am usually able to create songs whenever I feel really strong emotions.

Mei Teves

After battling it out on the weekly and monthly finals, how has Wishcovery helped you career-wise? Did the competition open up new opportunities or lead you to a new musical venture?

I was really afraid to share my art with others — and to hear them comment on it in front of many people. It’s really terrifying. But it definitely helped me because I got to know their different opinions about my craft. 

With this, I learned to be brave and to be more open and accepting of others’ perspectives.

How has your whole Wishcovery experience been so far? What do you think is the most important lesson that Wishcovery has taught you — as a singer-songwriter and as a life-learner?

Wishcovery has really helped me meet and become good friends with other aspiring artists. The competition has also allowed me to gain more subscribers on my YouTube channel. 

But what really left an impact on me are the collective comments of the reactors — especially when they called me an “artist.” Because I didn’t consider myself an artist. So it really made me happy when I knew they considered me one.

During the weekly eliminations, you performed “Shhh.” What’s it all about?

“Shhh” is about keeping your secrets all to yourself. 

My favorite line from the song is from the song’s bridge. It says, “Kapag tayo’y nahuli, ikiyom ang mga bibig/ Itago ang mga daliri/ Walang iimik, walang ituturo.” (If we get caught, let’s keep our mouth shut/ Let’s hide our fingers/ Keep quiet/ Don’t point fingers.)

It speaks about the reality of pointing an accusing finger at someone in order to save yourself from being caught.

For the monthly finals, your entry was “Something Happened Today.” What’s the story behind this one?

The song narrates a haunting story I’ve heard. It’s about the breakwater my friends and I used to go to. We’ve been banned from going there because someone drowned in the area. People say that was fighting to survive, and even though there were other people there during that time, no one was able to save him. 

I’ve been associating this story with people who have mental illnesses. People may see them suffer, but they will respond to those living with mental illnesses very differently. There are those who choose to shut their eyes and ears. There are those who are willing to save someone from drowning but don’t know how to swim. There are those who want to help, but it’s too late. 

You’ve graced the Wild Card round of the competition with your original track, “Pakialam.” What piece of thought are you championing in this song?

My most favorite line from “Pakialam” is “Ayoko nang iparinig ang aking tinig ‘pagka’t walang nakikinig/ At kung mayro’n man, wala namang pakialam.” (I don’t want to let my voice be heard because no one listens/ And if someone does, that person doesn’t care after all.)

There are people who say that they’re listening to you, but at the end of the day, they don’t care at all. At the end of the day, you only have yourself — you’re the only one who cares about you.

Watch Mei Teves’ Wishcovery performances below:

Watch the latest episode of Wishcovery Originals below:

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