Born in California, Megan Moreaux found country music as an escape from her traumatic childhood. Coming from an unstable family environment, a Mom who left her at an early age, a father who sold drugs for a living, and a childhood full of physical and mental abuse, abandonment, and neglect, Megan found solace with her Aunt when she was five. For the few months she spent with her, her aunt introduced her to country music. Megan’s journey, one of courage, perseverance and faith ultimately led her to a career in music. In addition to releasing her debut EP Praying For Rain in 2014, she found herself opening for Martina McBride. With what looks to be a big year, Megan took the time to speak about her past, wanting to inspire, the music and more.
You had a very traumatic childhood and a lot of times people in those situations tend to go in one of two directions. Where you are now and what you have accomplished really are testaments to your strength.
Thank you. I wrote “Finding My Own Voice” for that reason. People can go off the deep end and blame their past when they don’t realize they can choose to make their lives different and not be a victim of their past. The whole goal of why I want to do music is to help inspire people, to let them know that they have hope and that when something bad happens it’s not the end of the line.
Megan's struggles continued throughout her childhood. With the combination of needing 24 hour bodyguards because angry drug dealers were attempting to kidnap her to get to her dad, being held at gun point and questioned by the DEA, her father being arrested and put into federal prison, and being in abusive relationships, Megan temporarily lost her strength. She decided she wasn't able to deal with everything, so she attempted to take her own life. In this attempt she had a realization that something was seriously wrong. There was something missing, but there was hope. A few days later she was called out in a crowd where she knew no one, and no one knew her, by a pastor who said the Lord told him she was attempting to take her life but God wanted to redeem her. After a struggle with embarrassment and hesitation, she found redemption, love, joy, hope, and purpose in Jesus and devoted her life to Him from that moment.
A turning point for you seemed to be that moment when you were in the crowd and the pastor called you out about taking your own life. That seemed to be divine intervention.
It was miraculous to say the least and it’s all been a crazy miracle since then as well. I had tried to take my life the week prior and that was God saying “if you don’t want your life then why don’t you try giving it to me and try seeing what I can do with it.” It was ultimate divine intervention.
And now, are you in a much happier place?
Oh yes, I went through extensive healing and I am doing fantastic now. I was in group called The River which focuses on internal healing, life trauma healing, emotional healing and relational healing. I went through healing and the leaders told me that no one had ever come into the group with as much trauma as I did and make a complete 180 degree turn. They asked me to help teach which I did for two and a half years.
And you are still helping others heal by going out and speaking to people of all ages about hope, healing, and love as well as overcoming abandonment, depression and other traumatic life events.
As you can tell, I’m an open book. I am not afraid to talk about things most people are scared to talk about. I go into schools and talk to teens about suicide, which is at an all-time high. Some of the parents get angry with me, but at the end of one day a girl came up to me and thanked me. Her sister had committed suicide and she had no one to talk with about it. She said talking with me made a difference--and that makes the parents getting upset not bother me. Teens go through a lot of what adults do, but grown-ups know how to deal with issues better.
I want to help people realize they don’t have to be a victim, they can get out of a situation. I always tell people I’m an artist who isn’t here to be served, I’m here to serve. I want to give my attention to the audience and for them to know that they have my time and that I want to help them in any way I can. It’s very important for me to write songs that inspire.
I always reference diamonds when I speak to people. Diamonds come from lumps of coal and if you weren’t able to dig through the coal you wouldn’t find the diamond. I dug through the coal and found that diamond and I want to share it with the world so they can also dig through the coal and find their diamond. God always promises to make something terrible into something beautiful and I wanted to do that in my life.
You certainly have done that, and continue to do that, in your life and with your music as well. Music has been a large part of your life from a young age, almost a refuge. Did you always know that it was what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Absolutely. For the first eight years of my life, I lived with a woman who was a cocaine addict and very abusive to me. She would beat me and lock me in a closet. I had my Walkman and would just listen to Michael Jackson, The Judds and Willie Nelson as an escape from everything. When I was five I saw Michael Jackson’s ‘Live in Bucharest’ on HBO and knew I wanted to be a performer. I knew I wanted to sing country, because those songs were stories and I knew I had stories I could sing about.
Did you have any support along the way or were you solely self-motivated?
I definitely had some angels on my side in human form. When I was very young, I lived with my Aunt Lori for a few months and she was the one who introduced me to country music. In high school there was Mrs. Jensen. She knew my situation and was a motherly figure to me. At the time, I was living on my own, which she knew, and she encouraged me with my music and helped me get into a music school for college. Recently, my best friend, Jennifer Adan, who wrote Blake Shelton’s #1 “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” has been on my team helping me manage, write, find songs and make the album.
Definitely some human angels!
In addition to those artists you mentioned, do you have any particular influences on your style?
I love a lot of music. My passion is country, but I draw influences from everywhere. I love Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. I also love Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood, Shania, Reba, Willie and Garth. I also draw influences from Etta James and Aretha Franklin. I just love music pretty much! My music meshes the blues, pop and country into one super genre.
That variety of influences can be heard on your EP, Praying For Rain, which was released in September. After all you have been through, that must have been an incredible high point.
It was basically a dream come true. It was a long time in the making, but it happened fast because I was opening for Martina McBride and we wanted to have it ready for that show. We used an Indiegogo campaign, raised the money and recorded it in four days at Blackbird Studios. It was really fun to bring it all to life and give it to people instead of just saying to people "if you want to hear my song come to my show."
I love songwriting, but I am aware that I am a better singer than I am a songwriter, so I wrote two of the songs, and my extremely talented songwriter friends wrote the rest. A lot of my friends know me and my story well, so they know how to write something that I would be interested in singing. My best friend Jennifer Adan wrote “Let You Go.” She played me the song and it was just gorgeous. I asked her if she needed me to sing on the demo, which I did, then I asked if I could sing it at my show, then if I could keep it (laughing). That one I fell in love with and took from her! “Praying for Rain” was written by my friend who is an Aussie rocker. He knew the song was too country for him and he had me in mind to sing it as it is about the Holy Spirit. The song is my first single and means the most to me because it basically invites the Holy Spirit into my show, into all I do and into the lives of the people at my show. It’s very truthful and I love singing about truth, no matter what truth it is. It’s not a party song or about destruction, it’s just real emotion and about the things people go through.
Did you chose to title the album Praying for Rain because the song meant so much to you?
Yes. It’s a summation of the album, that no matter where you are or what you’re going through, you can ask God to rain down his presence and everything will be okay. I had spent so much of my life struggling on my own that six years ago when I met Jesus I learned how I can ask Him to come into your life and help you. It’s very elementary, but it changed my life. It’s important for me to let people know that this is what I want: for God to rain down his presence on everything.
You end the record with a song we briefly spoke about, “Finding My Own Voice.” Was that intentional?
Yes it was. That is one of the songs I wrote a long time ago. I had been singing it for so long that I had gotten tired of it, but I still loved the song. It’s a song about my life and the ability to change one’s path. It’s an ode to the self, but as the last song it’s one that when people listen to the album end, they can let the topic resonate with them. It’s like a bonus song for myself and others.
It’s a song that definitely resonates and leaves you with food for thought for sure.
Switching gears a bit, you spoke of opening for Martina McBride. That must have been an amazing experience.
It was phenomenal, a dream come true. I got to meet Martina and tell her how much her song “Concrete Angel” means to me. Then, I cried on stage, as I knew I would. During the show I tell the audience about my life so I can connect with them. I looked down in the front row and saw people bawling their eyes out. I know it sounds terrible but that’s my goal--to make someone cry, but in a good way because then I know someone’s life is changed. After the show, I had a line almost out the door with people talking to me about how my songs relate to their lives and how they touched them. That’s what I want—to touch people on a global scale.
You're well on your way.
What are your professional plans for the summer?
I have been opening for Ronnie McDowell a bit. He’s one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, a genuine, good human being who loves to smile. He invited me to sing with him at other shows, so I just agreed to do twenty more dates with him. I was also asked to be a part of the American Legacy Cruise and we are finally releasing “Praying for Rain” to radio. That’s what this summer look like so far and I am really excited!
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