Meiko (American singer)

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Meiko 02 13 2018 -8 (28012563219).jpg
Background information
BornRoberta, Georgia, U.S.
GenresAdult alternative, indie pop, folk
InstrumentsVoice, guitar

Meiko (/ˈmk/) is an American singer/songwriter. She independently released a self-titled album on September 1, 2007. All of the tracks from the LP have been featured in major network TV shows. Her second full-length, titled The Bright Side, was released through Fantasy Records on May 15, 2012, and a single from the album, "Stuck On You", reached #1 on the combined Japanese AirPlay Chart and #1 on the International Chart in Japan.

Early life[edit]

Raised by her father in the small town of Roberta, Georgia,[1] Meiko (Melissa McAllister Sheppard) first stepped in front of an audience at the age of eight, singing "White Christmas" for parishioners of a Southern Baptist church. In the years that followed, she performed everywhere from talent shows to Little League baseball parks. When she was not performing, she was practicing - spending countless hours singing into the family's clothes dryer. "Great acoustics," she insisted.[2] She soon developed an interest in writing songs and enlisted the help of her dad, who taught her how to play guitar on his Gibson six-string. When she was thirteen, he bought her a guitar of her own. A flood of songs followed. "As soon as I learned a new chord," she says, "I wrote a new song."[3]

Music career[edit]

At eighteen, Meiko left her hometown to showcase her talents to a wider audience. After a brief stop in Miami, she moved to Los Angeles and began her career, playing venues all over Southern California and writing at a prolific pace. She performed (and bartended) at Hollywood's Hotel Café, where she still performs regularly.

In early 2007, Meiko performed at the Sundance Film Festival and caught the ear of Paste Magazine editor Josh Jackson, who declared her a "big success story" waiting to happen, predicting it was "only a matter of time" before she found her way onto Nic Harcourt's influential "Morning Becomes Eclectic" radio program on KCRW.[4]

In September 2007, she toured nationally with Brett Dennen and in October, toured the U.S. as the opener for Mat Kearney.[5]

In 2008, Meiko performed at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, and participated in the nationwide Hotel Café Tour, which also included Rachael Yamagata, Ingrid Michaelson, Cary Brothers, and Sara Bareilles.

In June 2008 Meiko signed a recording deal with MySpace Records/DGC, who released her album in partnership with Lucky Ear Music (Meiko's own indie label). The Lucky Ear/MySpace/DGC release has been remixed, remastered and includes re-recorded versions and a new track, "Boys with Girlfriends". The digital album re-release was August 5, 2008.

Meiko performing in 2007.

Also in August, she toured the U.S. (three dates in Southern California) with Joe Purdy, Chris Seefried and Jay Nash.[6] In the fall of 2008, Meiko joined another Hotel Cafe Tour - this time around the trek featured an all-female lineup. Meiko was the only artist performing all dates of the tour. From February–March 2009, Meiko performed on a string of U.S. dates in support of Joshua Radin.[7] In May 2009, she embarked on her first-ever headlining U.S. tour.[8] In June 2009, Meiko hit the road with Eric Hutchinson,[9] and in July 2009, she performed a string of shows in the UK before playing in the United States territory of Guam.[10] In October and November 2009 Meiko toured the U.S. with Jewel.[11]

Meiko's album was digitally released in Australia on October 9, 2009 and reached #2 on the iTunes Australia Singer-Songwriter Albums chart. The album was physically released October 23, 2009.

After spending most of the first half of 2010 writing new material, Meiko entered a Los Angeles recording studio in September 2010 with producers Styrofoam (Jimmy Eat World, Postal Service, Of Montreal) and Jimmy Messer (Kelly Clarkson, Neon Trees) to begin recording songs for her second album.[12]

She signed a new recording contract with Fantasy Records/Concord Records in late 2011,[13] with her second album titled The Bright Side released on May 15, 2012.[14]

Meiko released her third full-length album, titled Dear You, on October 14, 2014, through Fantasy Records/Concord Records.[15] Remixes of "Be Mine", the first single from the album, reached #25 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.[16]

Meiko decided to part ways with her label in early 2015, and independently released a live EP titled Live Songs From The Hotel Cafe on October 23, 2015. The 7-song release features six live versions of fan favorites recorded during various Meiko concerts at the venerable L.A. venue The Hotel Café, including the previously-unreleased show-closer "You Gotta F**kin’ Tip." An additional brand new live track titled "Perfect Fit" is included as well.[17]

Meiko independently released a new album titled Moving Day on June 24, 2016.[18]

According to her website, Meiko gave birth to her first child on July 15, 2016.[19]

On January 26, 2018, Meiko released a cover of The Cranberries single "Zombie" through the independent label Chesky Records. The track will also be featured on Meiko's Playing Favorites album, due out on May 25, 2018 through Chesky Records.[20]

On March 16, 2018, Meiko released another song called "Back In The Game" through the independent label WAX Ltd.[21]

May 25, 2018 saw the release of Meiko's Playing Favorites album through independent label Chesky Records. The 12-song collection of live cover songs debuted at #17 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart.[22] It was released on limited-edition pink vinyl on December 14, 2018.

On December 7, 2018, Meiko released a new holiday single called "Merry Christmas Wherever You Are".[23]

Origins of name[edit]

Meiko is one-quarter Japanese, on her maternal grandmother's side; in an attempt to get in touch with their Japanese heritage, she and her sister, designer Kelly Nishimoto, adopted the nicknames Meiko and Keiko. While those names are pronounced "May-ee-ko" and "Kay-ee-ko" in Japan, she and her sister pronounced them "MEE-ko" and "KEE-ko". They didn't learn of the mispronunciation for some time; and "didn't have the heart to change" the spelling after.[24]


Meiko has played a Gibson 1951 J-50 and has played many live shows with her Gibson 1942 LG2 which "doesn't have a pickup."[25] Meiko currently plays a Gibson B-25.




  • "Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song)" (2007, self-released)
  • "Boys with Girlfriends" (2008, Lucky Ear/MySpace/DGC)
  • "Under My Bed" (2009, Lucky Ear/MySpace/DGC)
  • "All of Me" (2009, Lucky Ear/MySpace/DGC)
  • "Leave The Lights On" (2012, Fantasy/Concord)
  • "Stuck On You" (2012, Fantasy/Concord)
  • "Bad Things" (2013, Fantasy/Concord)
  • "Be Mine" (2014, Fantasy/Concord)
  • "We All Fall Down" (2016, self-released)
  • "Zombie" (2018, Chesky Records)
  • "Back In The Game" (2018, WAX LTD)
  • "Merry Christmas Wherever You Are" (2018, self-released)

Guest appearances[edit]

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Penelope soundtrack (2008, Lakeshore) (song: "Piano Song")
  • Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs (2008, Sony), (song: "Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song)")
  • His Way, Our Way (Sinatra Tribute) (2009)
  • Cities 97 Sampler: Vol. 27 (2015), (song: "Be Mine")
  • Jem and the Holograms soundtrack (2015, Hasbro Studios) (song: "Abracadabra")

Music videos[edit]

  • "Boys With Girlfriends"
  • "How Lucky We Are"
  • "Under My Bed"
  • "Leave The Lights On"
  • "Stuck On You"
  • "Bad Things"
  • "Be Mine"

Television performances[edit]

Television song appearances[edit]

Feature film song appearances[edit]

  • Pants On Fire (song: "How Lucky We Are")[65]
  • Pretty Ugly People (song: "You & Onions")[66]
  • Wake (song: "Heard It All Before")[67]
  • TiMER (song: "Piano Song")[68]
  • Silverlake Video (songs: "Piano Song", "Reasons To Love You", "Heard It All Before", "Boys With Girlfriends")[69]
  • Into The Cold (song: "Hawaii")[70]
  • Love Me (song: "Under My Bed")[71]


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External links[edit]