Rising musician and actor Kyle Meagher talks Anne With An E, new single and more

Ottawa’s Kyle Meagher’s career is taking off and is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon! The 17-year-old musician and actor has demonstrated his rich artistic range and ability over the last few years with his role in the hit CBC & Netflix series Anne With An E and with his 2019 visual album Beats in a Bagel Shop.

Anne with An E wrapped after three season run. Meagher is ready to take the next steps in his career including new music, an international tour and more. The dynamic artist took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about his new single “Just Talkin,’” balancing music and acting, and what his big plans for 2020 are.

Ottawa Life: Congrats on your new single “Just Talkin’!” How did the song come about and what do you hope listeners take away from it?

Kyle Meagher: Inspiration came from a relationship I had with someone that I was sort of starting to date. It was that stage of a relationship where we were spending lots of time together and I was really interested in but we had not made anything official. We were dancing around and flirting, but I wasn’t prepared for a friend of ours to ask “So are you guys dating”, right in front of her because I really didn’t know what the label was. So I stuttered out an, “Uum, I don’t know? We’re just talkin’ right now . . . Right?” But apparently that wasn’t quite the answer she wanted to hear. That relationship didn’t work out, but the phrase burned into my mind Just talkin’ isn’t actually a bad thing because it’s really about those sweet moments of uncertainty in dating before you have to put a label on it.

People may recognize you from the CBC & Netflix hit show Anne With an E. How was the experience filming that show?

Kyle Meagher: I can’t talk enough about Anne with an E. Working on that show was absolutely amazing. The cast was wonderful and I have made some lifelong friends that are fantastic people.  The crew was like family – we had some pretty hard days with weather in snow and rain and ice throughout the years, and everyone just goes with the flow and reminds each other that it’s a hard day and we will get through it. It was a group of very special people. Not to mention, the writing and producing was top-notch! All in all, to be part of a show that brings to light so many different issues such as, bullying, racism, feminism, LGBTQ, and more is such an honour. The fandom for that show is still so supportive – they were so upset that season 3 was the final season that they tweeted Netflix and CBC over a million times and crowdfunded billboards in Times Square, Dundas Square in Toronto and in Arizona to renew the show. The show brought together so many “kindred spirits,” to quote Anne. To be a part of something that is so meaningful is an experience I will never forget.

Is acting an equal passion as music to you? How do you juggle both?

Kyle Meagher: I’ve been doing music since I was about three or 4 four years old – taking piano, guitar and singing lessons in various shapes and forms, so that has really just been a part of me for pretty much forever. I started acting when I was around 10 years old. I had done a bit of theatre and loved public speaking in class so when my mom told me that local talent agency Angie’s Models and Talent was having an open call, I thought it would be fun. However, I had a hockey game that afternoon that I didn’t want to be late for, so when we showed up there were already about 200 people in line. My mom and I started to walk out but Lou, Angie’s husband, stopped me at the door to ask where I was going. I told him I had a hockey game. He laughed and put me at the front of the line so I could audition right away and they signed me. If Lou hadn’t stopped me I wouldn’t have been able to do all this so I’m super grateful.

I later got into music professionally through one of my acting jobs, a show called 7 Hills where the director knew I played guitar and could sing. He asked if I wanted to contribute a song to the soundtrack. I was hooked from there and started songwriting and recording. At this point, I have been able to do both music and acting and they have kind of gone hand in hand. When I have an acting job, I put music on pause and go into songwriting mode – and release new singles whenever I can.

The best part is that I’ve even been able to combine both passions when I recorded my visual EP Beats in a Bagel Shop. I wrote seven songs that were a story and turned it into a short film which was nominated for “Best Musical” at the Orlando Film Festival and it was an official selection at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival. I love both singing and acting and I really hope to be able to combine the two as much as I can.

Any exciting things coming up in 2020, music or acting wise, that fans can look forward to?

Kyle Meagher: Yes, for sure. The project that actually got me into music professionally, the show 7 Hills, has been greenlit to film more episodes, so I’ll be starting on that in a few months. I am also writing a second EP and visual album, the follow up to Beats in a Bagel Shop. I’ll be releasing that later this year. I’m going on tour this summer, in the U.S., so I’ll be releasing those dates later this spring. I’m sure 2020 is going to be another exciting year!

Catch Kyle Meagher in Anne With An E, streaming now on Netflix, and stream his music on Spotify and Google Play Music.

Photos: Highkey Entertainment