South London singer Meron T sustained a career-threatening vocal injury five years ago.

I recently spoke to South London R&B singer, Meron T about a vocal injury that devastatingly left her being unable to sing for two years – a singer’s worst nightmare. The injury was damaging to both her tone of voice and vocal range, and she can still feel the effects to this day. We also discussed how she felt when she received her diagnosis, and how she came to terms with her injury. Read the full article below. 

I’ve been listening to Meron T for almost two years now, and I was shocked when I saw her post on social media about her vocal injury. She has an exceedingly rich tone - which is particularly noticeable in her track “Hunny” – one of my favourite tracks of hers, so I couldn’t believe she had gone through this trauma only a few years before this song was released.

Listen to “Hunny” below :

To give some background, Meron T sustained this injury five years ago in the summer of 2015, at the age of twenty years old. She was at the beginning of her career and had been writing and performing for about a year-and-a-half. She had not released any music by this point. 

In terms of the diagnosis, Meron only received this last year – four years after the vocal injury! It was discovered to be a polyp on one of her vocal folds. A polyp affects how the air passes through the vocal cords, and inhibits the full closure of vocal folds so it can seriously compromise tone, quality and range of voice. Luckily, this injury is not career-ending.

According to
The Straits Times, to sing beautifully requires agile cords but, ‘all that slapping together of your vocal cords can wear down their fine, spongy surface and lead to tiny contusions. Over years of heavy use: nodules, polyps or cysts form on the vocal folds, distorting the sound they create. For a singer, the first sign of trouble is often the wobble. Her/His/Their pitch fluctuates on and off key because his/her/their ragged cords have lost their natural vibrato - their ability to resonate properly.’

“I’ve honestly never felt so hopeless in my entire life. It was like losing a superpower. I didn’t know who I was without my beautiful voice and ability to sing. It was my most important form of expression, my most important asset. Losing that left me without the will to live - to be brutally honest with you.” - Meron

For two years, Meron stopped singing completely and moved to Madrid to distract herself by life in a new country. She was studying in the Spanish capital and was heavily involved with the female football team at her university. “That pretty much became my life, my studies and football kept me sane. It allowed me to assume a new identity for a while, until I found the strength to re-embark on my musical prophecy - I’m lucky I was able to take refuge in those things. It could have been a lot uglier without Madrid to distract me” stated Meron.

After two years of vocal rest, she moved back to London in 2017, and slowly started to find her voice again. Yet, she stated, that she strongly disliked what she could hear as her voice was not what she knew it to be, so she became her own worst enemy and harshest critic : “I couldn’t forgive myself for what I’d done for a painfully long time - and held it against myself despite the external praise I was receiving.
Despite this, Meron said she is starting to finally come to terms with what has happened, and has been implementing lifestyle changes to help manage the injury, and doing vocal exercises to help rebuild and strengthen her voice to regain her confidence. “Confidence is key” she stated. Her voice isn’t one hundred percent back to what it was - she has good days and bad days, but she is starting to embrace her huskier tone - as long as she can still reach the notes she wants to hit!

Here are some last words from Meron: “before the injury, I took my voice for granted - I didn’t look after it, I just assumed it would always cooperate with me. Once it happened - I learnt how precious it was to me… the hard way. I always learn the hard way, but it was a valuable lesson - and I knew that if I ever got it back, I’d never let it go again. It really showed me what was important in my life. Falling off and finding the strength to get back on again is a testimony to my pure love for, and tenacity I have towards, my musical destiny.”

Meron also released a new track this Thursday called “Love Your Life” in collaboration with East London producer, Darkness. This track ‘is about loving someone whilst respecting their right to live freely, learning that you can’t possess them. It’s about understanding that we don’t have control and will never have control of the other persons dreams, desires and deepest thoughts. It’s a song touching upon respecting differences and individual freedom in a relationship. But more so it’s a call to live, to love and to carpe dixm.’

Listen to Meron’s new single “Love Your Life” on Spotify: 

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Written by GNM Founder (Maya Gough)