WILLIAMSBURG — Tunes in Town is an occasional series that will catch up with some of the local musical talents that call Hampton Roads home.
Mercedez Buchan has always loved performing. Putting on shows for her family was just how she grew up. Now, at the age of 20, it’s still what drives her.
Buchan, whose stage name is Mercedez Marie, has been working on releasing her own music. The pop singer started pursuing music at an early age, knowing full well that recording music was what she wanted to do for a career.
“I have been singing and entertaining, since I was a wee little baby. I’m part of a retired military family, so I grew up overseas in Germany. We moved to the U.S. when I was seven. I got into dancing first, and then singing and acting. I fell in love with the arts as I took more classes and learned more about the potential career I could have,” Buchan said.
At the age of 13, Buchan began taking technical lessons where she was taught exactly what her voice could do. While studying, it dawned on her that it could be a career.
“I went from those classes and began to really think about, ‘how can I make this happen?’ I wanted to pursue more than just singing and acting. I threw myself completely into it and knew this was what I wanted and was what I was meant to do,” she explained.
At 15, Buchan worked on her first professional project. Through that project and working in a professional capacity, she learned the ins and outs of the business.
“I was just a little girl who had a dream of singing, but when it comes to the entertainment industry, it’s a lot more than that. It was a big growth stage for me. I learned that the industry is writing, producing, recording, singing, performing, selling, marketing, and more,” Buchan said.
Working on albums is the passion that sets her soul on fire, but it also frees her from the mental and physical stress of daily life.
“Music was always my release. I wasn’t in my head when I sang. It was just a feeling and a connection that I can make with people through words. Through the emotions of everyday life, music is so powerful,” Buchan said.
After attending iPop!, an event that brings undiscovered talent in front of agents and casting directors, Buchan was thrust into the world of professional auditioning.
“At iPop!, it was just this never-ending revolving door of auditioning for so many different people and for so many different projects to try and open my own door. It was the most intense audition and everyone in the room was so amazing. It wasn’t just people from your small town or your friends that you sing with. It was talented human beings who had the same dreams and wanting the same things as you. It wasn’t a competition but it was about the fact of you’re not the only one. When I went through that experience, I truly found that I have a talent, I am capable of doing this, and I’m able to perform,” Buchan said.
Through every musical and audition experience, Buchan remains humble for all she’s achieved through her musical journey. She hopes to be looked at as an inspiration, and not just in a creative way.
“When I started getting my foot into the music industry, I truly didn’t know everything that it came with. I just wanted to sing for people and make them smile or cry with me. I didn’t know that the music does have a bigger impact and someone who has a platform shows people a bigger message. Life is already hard enough and we as people just have to make the best of it. Everyone has trauma and paths, we can embrace and change it and create the world we want through the arts,” Buchan said.
More music from Buchan will be coming later in the year. Her music is currently available on all streaming platforms. For more information on Buchan, visit @_mercedezmarie on Instagram.