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The identity and ambiguity of San Antonio’s multi-artist: Merykid

MeryKid embraces his identity as a Lebanese-American multi-artist.
Nick Mery / Photographed by Bryan De La Garza
Merykid embraces his identity as a Lebanese-American multi-artist.

A San Antonio artist will have a documentary about his ancestors' home country featured at the Cine Paris Film Festival next year.

Nick Mery is a Lebanese-American creative director under the alias “Merykid.” He was born and raised in San Antonio.

Within the Lebanese community, he established roots at his church ─ where he first sang at the age of 7. The fostering of music in his family paved the way for his foundations in singing and songwriting, leading to production in film.

Back in 2018, Mery was a recipient of the cultural scholarship by the American Lebanon Foundation. It allowed him to travel back to the lands of his heritage. The sights and sounds of Lebanon prompted him to collect visual footage as a “souvenir” at first. Later on, it inspired him to compile the gathered footage and produce a short documentary titled "In Dreams: a love letter to Lebanon."

“[I] felt compelled to make this documentary in order to share the beauty and strength of Lebanon: a country that has been the root of my cultural identity for 37 years” stated Mery.

“In Dreams: a love letter to Lebanon” was officially selected for the Cine Paris Film Festival which will take place in 2023. It was the official selection at the Lebanese Independent Film Festival for 2022.

"In Dreams: a love letter to Lebanon" was written and directed by Mery.
Nick Mery
"In Dreams: a love letter to Lebanon" was written and directed by Mery.

Before he made his mark in the film industry Mery worked on his music career.

The album “The Raccoon”came out in 2010 ─ as an auditory musical experience about a man who builds a rocket ship that goes to space, alluding to Mery wanting to escape his health problems.

Diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in 2007, Mery latched onto writing music as an outlet to lament his sickness.

He emerged back into music as self-titled “Merykid” a nickname given by his high school friends.

However in 2021, Mery’s health drastically declined. He was rushed to the ER for surgery.

I got really, really sick. And it was really hard. I mean, I ended up being bedridden for almost a year. Stuck in this place where I wasn't able to go out and really live a life,” said Mery.

Post-surgery, Mery lost 60 pounds and struggled with body dysmorphia. His physical abilities were not the same previously. It was a setback, but did not stop Mery from achieving another album, “DEATHBLOOM” this year with his long-time friend and collaborator, drummer Brandon Guerra.

Locally in San Antonio, Mery began rebranding himself with animal masks. The mask gave comfort and also ambiguity to his identity as an artist ─ not conforming to a single title and helped with body dysmorphia.

One of the masks Mery puts on to highlight his versatility as an artist.
Nick Mery / Photographed by Bryan De La Garza
One of the masks Mery puts on that display his versatility as an artist.

“...when I put the mask on, suddenly I had this kind of constant image to lock on to, and it just made me feel a little bit better, you know?” Mery explained. 

He revealed himself in masks to the public, seen in collaborations with local San Antonians, recently debuting “Faster” a music video with 2022 Summer of Music DJ Battle winner Catwalk.

“My identity as an artist is that I don't necessarily have to have a form or shape that people recognize. If you once remove the one layer of your identity from who you are as an artist, you find there's a lot of freedom and suddenly you're just able to do whatever you want.”

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Jia Chen is a freelance journalist and photographer for Texas Public Radio. She began with TPR working as the Bexar County selected Summer Arts Intern in 2021. Her coverage includes arts & culture, technology, politics, and more. She holds a BA in Communication from University of Texas at San Antonio and has lived in San Antonio for over 20 years.