Who Is MELANIE?
Toronto songstress, MELANIE is not one to mince her words. Headliner gets the scoop on this Caps Lock-defying new artist’s debut single, 'Yeah Yeah' – a rebellious ‘I don’t give a fuck’ anthem from a singer that wants to create music that lasts a lifetime.
Head wedged between the red fishnet-clad legs of a woman on the provocative cover art for her debut single, Yeah Yeah, emerging artist, MELANIE is giving us the finger.
“I’ve been told no so many times, it’s time I tell everyone else NO,” MELANIE tells Headliner. “I wanted to come out running off the top with a song that shows the world I’ve found my power, and it’s here to stay.”
Describing Yeah Yeah as an “I don’t give a fuck” guitar anthem for “when your chips are down and you’re searching for that bouncebackability,” MELANIE’s smooth, commanding vocals and growling guitar line tell a story of fighting an inner conflict and finding power after a heartbreak.
In terms of what influences her music, it’s real life inspiration, or nothing: “It’s always about my life and what I’ve been through. If you’re not talking about your relationship with the world around you from experience, then how can you influence those around you?”
The message behind her White Stripes-esque debut track is that you can get over anything with the power of your mind, and for MELANIE, it’s important to her that listeners feel that “they are all connected, and that we are all the same.
You only have to glance at MELANIE’s Spotify playlist, Red Rage (we daren’t ask) to get a sense of her musical inspirations: it’s all Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, The Smashing Pumpkins and Grace Mitchell (who MELANIE doesn’t sound to dissimilar to, actually).
“I try to pull from inside of me, or it’s coming from the past,” she nods. “I love Kurt Cobain, Tracy Chapman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, old soul singers, and anything that touches me in any genre.
"A good song is a good song, and it doesn’t matter what genre it is from and how it got to your ears. If it feels right to you, it feels right to you. I’ve been inspired by country, to jazz, and my playlists can look very outlandish to people, but that’s what makes music special – it doesn’t have to look a particular way. I look up to artists who have had longevity in this industry.”
Leaving a musical legacy is important to the singer – she is not interested in producing throwaway music:
“I’ve created a new wave of music,” she asserts. “It’s not just straight rock music – it has a mix of blues, R&B, electronic, and ME. The messages leak vulnerability, stories, passion and love of actual authenticity. \
"I’m not just trying to release songs that are in one day and out the next; I’m trying to create music that lasts a lifetime. I want people to truly enjoy it and understand who I am, and what I am doing in this industry.”
When it comes to music production, MELANIE is very hands-on:
“I like to get involved in the production. I will sit in a lot of the sessions and have a major part in it. I would say I’m a very hands-on artist. But I work with an amazing team that I love dearly, and are now family to me that I trust. I can’t wait to share what we have been doing. My producer, Jeff Hazin is an incredible mentor, as well as my songwriting partner, Matt Kahane.”
Before releasing this single, MELANIE reveals that she was “working her ass off getting ready to launch this music,” and has new music and possibly some live shows in the works once the lockdown lifts.
“That’s a surprise I will leave you to find out!”
Words Alice Gustafson