While so many celebrities are famous for no good reason, Mara Measor stands out as a girl with real talent. This actress, singer-songwriter, and musician is a triple threat with something to prove.
At first glance, Mara Measor appears timid and reserved, but don’t let her looks fool you. Ever since she was little, Measor has demonstrated a rebellious side. “I remember in music class, you could take exams with whatever instrument you wanted. I wanted singing to be my instrument so I brought in my guitar and I sang for my exam and [my teacher] said it didn’t count so I had to do it all over again.” Measor dismissed the expected path of law school to attend NYU Tisch, the prestigious performing arts school. In college, Measor focused on acting while music served as her private passion.
Measor’s recent switch from acting to singing is the result of a number of different factors. Before attending college, Measor taught at a school in Ethiopia for a year where she joined a choir and began writing songs. Near the end of her NYU days, she performed at Joe’s Pub, resulting in a contract with the music director. Last but not least, Measor’s post-graduate visa is about to expire in a few months. Booking shows and producing music is her ticket to stay in the country.
However, Measor’s music is far from just a pretense. She grew up listening to Luciano Pavarotti, Elvis, and the Beatles—artists from three very different genres but as Measor points out, “all three of them were real stars in their field.” Channeling these models, Measor produces music that is bluesy and fresh yet still showcases her powerful voice. “It’s sort of more hip to be nonchalant and cool and above being emotional whereas I like being more gritty and pour myself into it. I’m not really interested in someone who doesn’t break a sweat while they’re singing. I like people who throw themselves into it.”
Measor’s EP You Said, which was released earlier this year, easily demonstrates her sweet rawness. Her favorite track is “I Want to Love You” which is in English and Mandarin. “In this country, I’ve had a lot of experiences of just feeling like the other person has no idea what I’m saying even though we are speaking the same language…The English is kind of skirting around it and being like, ‘I don’t know if I can [connect with you]’ whereas the Chinese is when she is completely opening up to that person.”
I had the pleasure of watching Measor perform at the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn, New York. From a rendition of Disney’s “Kiss the Girl” to tributes to Asian bands like Beyond, Measor showcased her capability to make any song her own. However, my favorites were still her original songs, especially “You Said,” a love song based around the lyric “You said you love me so when did I become unlovely.”
Measor’s debut album is still in its preliminary stages. She hopes to explore linguistics and play with different languages and sounds. Measor also plans on filling out her songs with a string quartet. To keep up to date with Measor’s lastest news, check her out on Facebook.