Rise & Grind is a new editorial series, meant to introduce and dissect new, buzzing, or underground artists.

A multitalented artist who plays guitar, produces, sings, and raps, Mereba has been steadily honing her craft for years. Upon moving from North Carolina to Atlanta, she quickly found creative kindred spirits in both EarthGang and J.I.D, who went on to become her trusted friends and collaborators. Most recently, they reunited on Spillage Village’s Spilligion album, a project written, recorded, and released in the midst of the pandemic.

Stomping Grounds:

Greensboro, North Carolina is an important place, of all the places I’ve lived. It’s where I learned to play guitar. I started writing songs all day, every day because I had trouble making friends there. I learned the guitar and wrote songs instead. It’s how I found my interest in folk music and roots-type music. I would also say Atlanta. That’s where I linked up with a lot of my friends that I make music with to this day. Atlanta taught me the grind of being an artist — playing shows all over town and playing shows for different types of audiences. I’ve played every circuit you could imagine. The hip-hop shows, the singer-songwriter shows, the reggae shows. Anyone who was down to listen to me, I was playing for. It really showed me what it takes to hone your skills. That was super important in my journey.

I used to be on the same circuit with J.I.D. and EarthGang, playing the same shows. I have flyers from years ago with both of our names on them. It’s really cool to grow with your friends from ground zero up.

Zodiac Sign:

I’m very into astrology. I’m a Virgo. Very much so a Virgo. It’s all about analyzing and finding solutions to problems. We’re very solution-oriented. We have a tendency to want to fix things, sometimes too much. But it’s all from a place of love. I feel like I’m a very idealistic person, with ideas on how the world could operate to avoid more pain and suffering. It’s not necessarily always realistic, but that’s kind of what my music is — a more idealistic view of how the world should be. Hopefully whoever listens to it sees that intention of me trying to put something out into the world that can make people feel better. It comes from that desire to fix things. Big Virgo vibes, with a Leo moon.

Top 5 DOA (Rappers & Singers):

My top five rappers are Andre 3000. Lauryn Hill. Black Thought. Tupac. It’s hard to do five! I’ll go with someone current and say Kendrick. I have to give a sixth one, and I’m not being biased, it’s just how I feel. I have to say JID. He’s a GOAT and I think people are going to recognize that more and more.

With singers, it’s less about singing skill itself and more about songwriting. I’m into songwriting deep. My favorite artists on the singing side would be Stevie Wonder. Lauryn Hill again. Joni Mitchell, she’s one of my favorites ever for both singing and writing. Whitney Houston, vocally. And lastly…Frank Ocean.

Biggest Accomplishment:

Producing my own music. Producing my album The Jungle Is The Only Way Out was a very proud moment for me. For years, I wanted to produce my own stuff. It was a missing piece for me as far as translating my sound to the world. It wasn’t glamorous, sitting in front of my computer teaching myself Abelton. But going really deep into the process of production was my biggest achievement artistically. Being able to put something out into the world that was new and maybe something only I could give to the world — that was really cool to me.

Studio Habits:

I really love production. Engineering myself, playing with reverbs, plug-ins, EQ. Finding my sound has been a very personal process for me. Production is super fun because I love to play instruments. I’ve always felt insecure when it comes to producing my own music, but I finally decided to say fuck it, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I became very hands-on with the process.


Like everybody else, I didn’t expect last year to be last year. I was working on what I thought was going to be the follow-up to my first album. “Rider” was a song I made in 2019 with the producer Elite. My team and I loved the song and we knew it would definitely be a single for the next project I released. It was tucked away sitting on my computer, and then 2020 started happening. I didn’t want to continue making the album I was working on, because It wasn’t covering how I was feeling presently. Everything changed almost overnight in the world.

Being a Virgo, I’m very in tune with where the world is and how I fit in, how I can be a positive force or a solution to the problems we’re experiencing collectively. I felt like what I was writing was no longer relating to me or the situation the world was going through. I pulled back and started to write new songs. I didn’t know I was making a project at first. I was writing in my living room because I couldn’t leave the house. I wrote the songs “Go(l)d” and “News Come,” and that’s when the theme of the project started to form. “What is my life like on the daily now?” I’m living with my man, it was just us against the world all of the time. So love, falling in love, being in a soulmate kind of relationship was at the forefront of my mind. That’s where “Rider” and “My Moon” and “Beretta” come from.