Sometimes something so hideous and devastating can reveal everything beautiful. Los Angeles artist mehro documents an experience that left him emotionally crippled and how he broke free of his darker side on “Hideous.”
“When I wrote this song I was in dark place,” says mehro. “When I closed my eyes, my thoughts were ones of self hatred, when I looked in the mirror I saw a monster.”
A follow up to “Perfume,” his delicately sewn debut single, “Hideous” is a 180 of mehro writing to heal. Recorded in his Los Angeles apartment late one night, “Hideous” cracks open the shell of pent up pain and disgust.
“I was hurt and had to express that pit of disgust, to not let it fester inside of me,” mehro tells American Songwriter. “I was devastated and couldn’t live with that feeling, and it started to eat me up alive. So instead of internalizing, I wrote the song. It was therapy for me.”
“Hideous” is enrapturing. It’s beautifully arranged in plucking guitars and pop electrodes conducting each phrase. Lyrically, mehro cut right through opening on Can’t you look at me / Am I that hideous to you / Can’t you talk to me / Do I really mean nothing to you.
For mehro, songs come from somewhere deep for mehro, and he typically writes best when he’s not thinking. When the music can flow through him, that’s when he can tap into a song’s real emotion. “I admire anyone who has cracked their own code, found their truth, and expressed it in a unique way,” he says. In thinking about great lyrics—there are too many—but Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 single “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” always come to mind: And I’m sure not why I’m infatuated with death / My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats / That can come about / ‘Cause the tongue is mighty powerful / And I can name a list of your favorites that probably vouch / Maybe ’cause I’m dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death.
mehro reveals the raw and the tender on “Hideous,” extracting something pretty, something ugly, but ultimately a song so profound to his experience.
In listening to the track, he hopes others capture the essence of what it says. “You are not weak if you are taken advantage of,” he says. “You are not defined by the love that others give, or don’t give you.”