Nell Mescal, the 19-year-old Irish singer songwriter, did not expect to launch her artistic career during a global pandemic, but she is making the best of it. Like most teenagers, she spent 2020 at home, attending school, where she’s in her 5th year (a Junior in High School), virtually. Recently she also signed her first management deal with Q Prime Management via Tara Richardson who says “After only one month of zooms and calls, I knew Nell was for us, and hope that we are for her. She’s a rare talent. Her voice & songwriting abilities are as wicked as her sense of humour”.
In the past year, Mescal has released several new songs to acclaim, including her most recent single “Missing You” which soundtracked the 2020 Christmas ad campaign for Brown Thomas, a popular designer department store chain in Ireland. The song is appropriate for the time as Mescal reveals “It was inspired by friendship and missing people that weren’t necessarily very far away but due to changes in life, you’re not as close anymore. It’s about missing people, so it’s kind of fitting for now because of the lockdown in Ireland.”
Mescal is drawn to and inspired by artists from across genres and generation, the through line being songwriters who are able to emotionally resonate with their audiences, or remind us that as bad as things seem, no one is in it alone. “If I can write a song that makes someone feel something in any capacity or give them some kind of release, that was always my number one thing. I didn’t want to write a song that someone just listened to and said ‘oh this is nice,’ I want them to actually feel something and sit there and think about it.” These influences, from artists including Phoebe Bridgers, Frank Ocean, and Bon Iver to Billie Joel and Paul Simon (many of whom Mescal has covered on her popular Instagram page), shine through in Mescal’s moving, insightful, and incisive songs, and in her voice which is already wise beyond its eighteen years.
Despite being locked down and missing her friends, Mescal has not allowed her creative output to slow down. “I don’t think being at home has kind of lessened the amount that I’m writing which is nice because I was a bit scared at the very beginning, but I actually ended up writing a lot, so I was very happy about that.” In the next year she hopes to release more music, delve into production, improve her piano chops, and continue working with her band, comprised of female musicians. “I’m at the beginning of the rest of my life and I think that if I can find my sound whether it’s this year or next by writing as much as I can, I think that’s a huge thing for me. And then personally I just can’t wait to be out of this pandemic and travel and meet the cool people that I’ve been connecting with for the past year.” Mescal is currently in London writing new music.