Simple, Silly, Soulful –– Kristen Merritt is a must-hear neo-soul artist. A Detroit native raised a little bit of everywhere else, Merritt has captivated audiences while developing her sound in the self-coined “high-key” (high energy) neo-soul genre. With funk and soulful pop influences prevalent, she tells a powerful story with every song she douses with her unique touch, while also discovering herself with each release. Kristen finds her musical roots in groups such as Take Six, and neo-soul greats such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Jill Scott. These artists defined their genres in terms of their soulful musical compositions and lyrical storytelling ability, both elements in which Kristen takes great inspiration from when creating her own music. Newer inspirations of hers include artists such as Daniel Caesar, Jacob Collier, Hope Tala, and H.E.R. Her musical journey in NYC started from humble beginnings, without prospects on the horizon but with a guitar strapped to her back and big dreams gleaming in her eyes. In the few years leading up to the pandemic, Kristen hit the pavement running, scooping up local performance slots and securing open mics, building her confidence on stage while developing her sound and voice. While in the process of attempting to create other projects, Kristen found herself returning to other pieces she was working on in the background that felt more raw, intimate, and worth exploring. The culmination of those efforts will be released in September of this year!