“I was married in Virginia when I was 23, with a career and a business suit, but I gave it all up to play music in Southern California,” says singer-songwriter Megan Combs, who arrived in San Diego in summer 2008.
“I like to consider myself a bit of a chameleon with music. If I hear something I like, I’ll try to put that vibe out in my own songs. I love everything from Jay-Z to Missy Higgins and everything in between, so separating or identifying genres can be confusing for me.”
Now living in Ocean Beach, Combs seems to have fully embraced the Left Coast’s culture. “I think I definitely have a Southern California, laid-back feel to my music. It’s similar to Jack Johnson, Joni Mitchell, Colbie Caillat, or Tristan Prettyman, with an emphasis on reflective lyrics. At the same time, I was an East Coast child, so the angst still keeps showing up in my songs.”
Of late, the beach has served as both crib and muse. “When I start to lose inspiration for things to write about, I go sit and play my guitar on the cliffs and watch the waves roll in. I’ve been running every day, mainly for the view but also because now that I’ve started I can’t stop. I’ve been surfing almost every day, too. I want to try this thing they call ‘surgery,’ where you catch a wave and ride it all the way underneath the pier. Don’t have the balls just yet, but it won’t be long.”
WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
1) “As far as locals, I’m a huge fan of Mike Pinto. His CD has been in my car for a year and a half. Kind of reggae-rock storytelling — he’s amazing.”
2) “I’m digging a cool lady I don’t know much about yet, Antje Duvekot. I heard her song ‘Long Way’ on Pandora a while back and became an instant fan.”
3) “Brett Dennen’s Hope for the Hopeless is on regular rotation in my life. It’s a good album to jog to.”
4) “Her name is Caitlin Crosby, the song is ‘Still Have My Heart,’ the album is Flawz. I like this chick. She’s just like all of us struggling female singer-songwriters, but her spunk and sarcasm stands out in her music. Plus, her melodies are totally on point.”
5) “You don’t mess around with Jim. Not in my car, at least. Jim Croce’s triple box set has been in my car since my dad got it for me back in 2000. I just learned to do the song ‘Operator’ and hope to include it in my live show.”
READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?
“The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. This one’s a frustrating read but well worth your time. I also have to give props to the Conversations with God books, which do not necessarily promote religion. I can honestly say that without these books I would still be living in Virginia instead of living my dreams.”
MOST ANNOYING TV COMMERCIAL?
“Oh, by far the damn Snuggies commercial. ‘Snuggies! The blanket with sleeves!’”
WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
ANY SUPERNATURAL ENCOUNTERS?
“When I was seven, I was out on my back porch on Christmas Eve with my brother, sister, mom, and dad, and a real sleigh flew over our heads, with white lights, jingling bells, the whole nine. My parents were shocked and couldn’t explain it to us. Remote control? UFO? Not sure, but it was definitely a flying object and unable to be identified by my family that night.”
WORST GIFT RECEIVED?
“Magazine subscriptions for gifts are horrible, especially when you get billed for them later, and you’re not sure who the gift-giver was.”
MOST VISITED WEBSITE?
“Jason Mraz’s blog. Reading his blogs are like reading an entertaining novel in about ten minutes. His words always inspire my day and seem to have symmetry in what’s going on in my own life.”
“I take care of my trashy-celeb fix while standing in line at any grocery-store checkout. Can’t bring myself to actually buy one, but they’re great for temporary distraction.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“I’m a huge fan of the OB Noodle House. We always have an amazing time there. They offer sake bar bombs called pho — pronounced ‘fuh’ — where everyone in the place does a bomb together, creating a sense of community.”
“Portugalia in Ocean Beach. The owner Jason has a passion for Portuguese food that is second to none. They also have an open-mike night every Tuesday, where he feeds everyone who comes in for free, and the food is incredible.”
TEN THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT MEGAN COMBS?
1) “I had open-heart surgery when I was five to fix a birth defect.”
2) “I have a black 150-pound great dane Ollie, who is the love of my life.”
3) “I have recurring dreams where I have found a way to breathe underwater.”
4) “I love hippie stones and the energy they give off.”
5) “I have a crazy sweet tooth.”
6) “I see hummingbirds everywhere.”
7) “Growing up, my mom’s nickname for me was Peanut.”
8) “I was a gymnast power tumbler for 12 years.”
9) “My mom breeds thoroughbred horses, and I’ve always ridden and shown them.”
10) “I’ve wanted to be a rock star since I was five.”