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Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, pianist and composer, Meredith Blis embraces varied influences, from Bach to jazz to modern electronica. Her siren-like vocals evoke both an intimacy and the emotional intensity of the blues. The lush musical production draws comparisons to artists such as Ellie Goulding and Annie Lennox. And her writing is reflective of confessional singer-songwriters like Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan.
Meredith Blis has been nominated as Songwriter of the Year and Most Promising Female Songwriter two years in a row by Tennessee Songwriters Association International. She has won the New Mexico Music Award for Best Pop CD in addition to being nominated for Best Vocal Performance, Best Song and Best Arrangement of an Original Composition. She also has been recognized in various songwriting competitions for her songs “Let it Rain” and “Legacy”. Meredith has worked with producer James Wisner (Dashboard Confessional) and Grammy Award‐winning producer and guitarist Larry Mitchell (Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek and Miguel Bosé), and is under the artistic guidance of celebrity vocal coach and music mentor Cari Cole (Donald Fagen, Journey, Chrisette Michele, Diane Birch and Courtney Love).
Music has been integral to Meredith's life since day one. Her father, Milton Sincoff, was a longtime executive at Arista Records. He worked alongside noted celebrities such as L.A. Reid, Whitney Houston, Jerry Garcia, Kenny G, Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Sarah McLachlan, Babyface and Barry Manilow.
During this formative time, Meredith displayed impressive pop instincts when her father would put on a new Arista release and playfully ask her to guess the single and she, more often than not, guessed correctly. Meredith tinkered at the keys as a girl, but her heart was set on being a dancer. She pursued this passion until two knee surgeries sidelined her for good while studying at Sarah Lawrence College.
She also faced other painful upheavals: Within a three-year period, she lost both of her parents and her grandmother. “During this time when everything was collapsing around me, I would play at a piece of classical music, and it was a comfort, because, for some reason, that was the one thing that always made sense to me. At the end of the day, we all share similar challenges, losses and emotions. The magical thing about music is, it has a way of connecting us and saying you're not alone."
Meredith shifted her focus from dance to music by studying music theory and classical composition at Juilliard's extension division. Simultaneous to this immersive experience, Meredith started performing in New York City fronting blues bands and gigging as a singer/songwriter in acclaimed local venues like CBGB's Gallery, Arlene's Grocery, The Bitter End and the Cutting Room.
Eventually she became stifled by big city life and she fell in love with the mountains and open sky of the southwest. She moved to Taos, New Mexico, where she independently recorded her award-winning albums, A Purple Kind of Blue and Let It Rain, in between teaching yoga and performing locally.
Although she moved to Nashville in 2010 to pursue a songwriting career, Meredith came to realize that writing only for others wasn’t satisfying her creative voice, and now, the fierce need to compose and perform again has become a call she can no longer deny.
"I think I spent so much time coping that I didn't realize how much of a turning point those losses were and how deeply they affected me," she says. “I was so focused on survival that I became disconnected from my Self.”
With the upcoming release of her new project, “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”, Meredith is reconnecting with her artistic voice and some of her most personal music is beginning to surface: songs about recognizing our darkest internal recesses and shining a light on them, songs about bravery and songs about hope.
"When we fall into a dark period, we forget that we will emerge, and usually we'll be stronger," she notes. "Part of the experience of being in that dark place is allowing yourself to be there, feeling it fully, but keeping the faith that you'll eventually see the light."
Meredith demonstrates this resilience on "Shine Again," which is the second single release from her upcoming EP. The new track reveals a personal struggle for Blis, and at its deepest core, the song is about trusting our inner strength and having faith that light can emerge again from the darkness. She has recently partnered with ChangeDirection.org to help share her story of living with depression and raise awareness for mental health issues. As she sings in the song, when this winter turns to spring, Meredith Blis is about to shine again.
Meredith is also an innovative and beloved yoga instructor, and dedicated philanthropist who has worked with Musicians on Call, World Hunger Year & Yoga for Youth. She raised funds for both the Musicians Fund and the ASPCA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as well as for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network), Community Against Violence (Taos), and noted playwright Eve Ensler’s charity, V‐Day (Meredith was also in a production of Enslers’ performance The Vagina Monologues).