Interview With KERRI MEDDERS | Feeling My Life Through Art

Our perception and emotional reality shape our experiences and the world around us. When we are aligned with a drive for creative expression, we find inspiration wherever we look. Even those things we consider mundane or heartbreaking can serve as an inspiration to create something beautiful when we are aligned with our creative self. By creating art which comes from a genuine, emotional place, we can also connect on an intimate level with our audience.

Singer, songwriter, and actress Kerri Medders is a young woman who uses her emotional reality as inspiration for her artistic expression. Kerri says: “Being an artist, I feel we tend to feel more in-depth about our feelings because we spend more time in our minds creating.” In her music and her acting performances, you can feel Kerri’s connection with her inner self.

In this interview, discover Kerri’s unique perspective and be inspired by her dedication to creating art.


INTRODUCTION 

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Kerri Medders?

Kerri Medders is an artist who’s been living in her mind for 19 years trying to figure out how to let the visions in her head out into the world. 

  • Do you remember the moment you felt music is your creative expression? If so, was it inspired by an event, a person, or a natural impulse within yourself?

I think it’s always been personal to me because I feel like music it’s my soul. It’s a little piece of myself transforming into a song and it’s how I express my feelings and personal struggles. I don’t recall an exact moment where I felt it was a ‘bingo moment’ of it being an advocate of my creative expression, I just always remember it healing my soul after pouring my heart into the material. 

  • How has growing up in the spotlight contributed to your personal growth?

Growing up, I think I was always aware of what was happening in the industry because I was coasting along with it but not automatically in front when I first got into it. See, I was able to witness and understand the chaos of how everything moved when you’re being ‘watched.’ It’s in that I understood that you have a message no matter who you are and should let yourself be heard as yourself because people are always listening. That’s why I try my hardest to let myself shine through what I do instead of a ‘product’ of someone else’s ideas.

Photography by Leslie Alejandro | Styling by Karen Raphael | Hair by Castillo | Makeup by Joyce Bonelli

MUSIC 

  • As you have personally expanded over the years, how do you feel your music has evolved so far?

My music has evolved as much as I feel I have as a person. I’m constantly inspired by new visions and people, so it translates into my songs not only lyrically but sonically. 

  • What is the inspiration behind your beautiful new songs Nothing to Lose and I’m Sorry? How do they connect to your emotional reality?

Both of those tracks are completely opposite ideas. ‘I’m Sorry’ was written at the piano over the holiday and it was about not quite understanding how to handle the concept of love. It was my truth capturing a moment of my life where I had commitment issues. It’s how I handled love for the longest time, and nobody was confidently expressing they were bad at love (except for Halsey) so I did.

Then ‘Nothing to Lose’ was written about risking it all for love because there’s absolutely nothing to lose about falling for another person. It’s either going to work out and become the most magical experience you can be a part of, or it can lead you to enjoy the time you have with that person until it’s time to leave and move on. 

ACTING

  • On the CBS drama SEAL Team, you play Emma Hayes – the sassy daughter of Jason Hayes. What is the experience of working with such a talented cast and playing this role?

Playing Emma Hayes has been such a growing experience for me. Not only am I surrounded by a beautiful talented family, but as I get older, I’m getting older with Emma. Playing her (especially in the second season) has unlocked a flame and strength in my spirit that I could’ve only realized by playing her. 

  • On the Netflix comedy Alexa & Katie, you portray Gwenny, the confident and manipulative enemy of Alexa. How do you get into character when portraying Gwenny?

I create a world where Gwenny is the center of it. Also, character choice wise in Gwenny’s voice I make it in my higher register because it makes the inflection of the line delivery more ‘cutting.’ 

  • The show’s namesake, Alexa, is battling cancer while striving to live the life she wants. This gives the show a heavier tone – how do you balance staying positive with portraying this aspect of the storyline?

What’s great about the show is that it’s not about cancer, it’s about the relationships and the experiences we go through (family included) in high school and beyond. It just so happens Alexa has cancer and therefore her experience is different. On set, it’s light-hearted and easy going. Everyone knows we are there to tell a story and we keep each other in good spirits no matter what. 

  • In season two, Gwenny starts dating Alexa’s brother. How are the dynamics between Gwenny and Alexa shifting as the series progresses?

Between Gwenny and Alexa they are forced to start slowly accepting each other because Gwenny is so involved with Alexa’s home life. They are forced to figure it out. If they can, lol.

  • Are there any aspects of your own high school experience that you bring into your portrayal of Gwenny?

I didn’t go to high school, I went online; I actually based Gwenny off of the girls in a performing arts middle school I went to. It’s such an interesting age of shaping who you’ll grow into, so as seasons have gone by it’s become what I’ve pictured girls from that age to have become. 

  • You are featured in the highly anticipated upcoming film Do Not Reply. What can you tell us about the film and your role in it?

The movie touches on a huge problem we face today and how the role social media can play in trusting the wrong person and online dating. My character is Meagan who struggles with having Stockholm syndrome after trusting the wrong person who in her mind becomes the right one. 

  • For both your music and acting careers, you have a dedicated fanbase who see you as an example to follow. How do you use such a powerful platform to connect with your audience?

I’m able to voice who Kerri Medders is on a platform like Instagram and I must admit I’ve been awful at letting people in to who I am especially at the idea of it being everywhere but at the same time I have a message (as I believe everyone in life has one) and I should share it because the people who follow me are going to understand it and hopefully get inspired in their own lives. 

Photography by Leslie Alejandro | Styling by Karen Raphael | Hair by Castillo | Makeup by Joyce Bonelli

LIFE 

  • At a young age, you have already accomplished so much. How do you feel about where you are in life right now and where do you see yourself in the future?

I think I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, all the lessons, feelings, and opportunities presented to me is how my story is written. There’s a reason for why I’m feeling the way I am because in order to bloom you must have rain. I can’t predict the future, but I hope that no matter what is present in my life it stimulates my creative side and brings me to the best version of myself. That’s all I can ask for right?

  • How does self-belief affect your existence?

Self-belief matters a ton in my life because it motivates and pushes me to the next step, I need it to further my growth in what I do and who I’m becoming. 

GOOD SOUL 

  • You are diagnosed with Type I diabetes and are committed to raising awareness. Can you tell us about your cause and how can our readers contribute?

Type 1 diabetes means that my body doesn’t produce insulin which is the bodies process for turning carbohydrates into energy. You can look into and support the American Diabetes Association and JDRF to find out how you can help raise awareness and find a way to further research. 

CLOSE UP 

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

In all honesty, being an artist, I feel we tend to feel more in-depth about our feelings because we spend more time in our minds creating. So, in my case, I can find happiness (or joy) in a lot of beautiful things while creating but at the same time, I know that when I feel an overwhelming sense of joy, the complete opposite feeling will follow. In that constant back and forth, yin yang style, of emotions I believe it tends to bleed into my art and transform the finale product of the expression of my art. 

  • When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?

100% true! You have the power to conquer and be whatever or whomever you want to be. It’s all within you and it’s up to you.


Instagram.com/KerriMedders/
Photography by Leslie Alejandro | Styling by Karen Raphael | Hair by Castillo | Makeup by Joyce Bonelli