photo via Melanie’s Facebook
Melanie Taylor’s history as a performer spans stages, screens, and music venues. Her edgy, push-the-envelope style of pop is evocative of 90s alt rock pioneers and modern cutting-edge powerhouses.
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Natalie Durkin (TribeLA Magazine): Give yourself and your work a tagline and tell us why.
MT: I like to say I’m a cross between a hippie stargazer and urban city girl, and I think my music reflects that soulful yet edgy personification as well.
ND: What got you started in music? What is the reason you are here today?
MT: Music was like another family member to me growing up. I am an only child that grew up with a single working mother, so there were many times I just had to entertain myself. Most of the time that meant watching endless Michael Jackson videos on repeat, or making up dances in my living room to whatever single was out at the time.
I actually decided to go into acting professionally before music, but it was primarily musical theater things I would get booked for. I realized after being in LA for about a month, I couldn’t do acting without music being somehow involved as well, like that would always have to be there for me to feel really fulfilled. And then I was like, ‘well then why wouldn’t I just make this my main priority; the entertainment industry is hard no matter what!’ And I haven’t looked back, although I do still enjoy doing acting jobs when I have the opportunity.
ND: How do you hope to influence your audience?
MT: I want my audience to feel invigorated, uplifted, and empowered listening to my music. I intentionally put a message into every song, and I would hope people feel that they are better off for listening than if they didn’t.
ND: What do you do when your creativity is blocked?
MT: I find it really inspiring to be in nature. Especially living in Los Angeles, where you’re inundated with city sounds and ads, it’s super refreshing for me to just unplug, meditate, or go for a hike or something. It’s amazing what some distance from your thoughts can do for your subconscious mind to be able to open up!
ND: What fires you up and gives you energy?
MT: Performing. That is why I really am doing music in the first place. If I don’t have a show planned or something where I’m getting to do a live performance and feed off a crowd’s energy, I get really lackadaisical. I’m just a better person when I’m actively doing shows – I’m the most disciplined, organized, and inspired.
ND: Can you tell us a little known fact?
MT: A little known fact about me… I starred in a Hot Pockets commercial when I was 10, but instead of real hot pockets I had to eat ones that were stuffed with cold potatoes and make it look amazing… acting.
ND: Where is your favorite place in Los Angeles and why?
MT: I mean it’s technically not Los Angeles, but probably Malibu. It’s where I went to school, so besides the fact that it’s absolutely stunning and peaceful and gorgeous, AND has some of the best restaurants in the world, I have many amazing memories there!
ND: How do you make music? Briefly chronicle your creative process.
MT: I used to want to get a lot of the music done first before I top-lined, but I’ve found that to be more limiting than the other way around. Now I tend to write out what I’m feeling, and get a lot of lyrics down first with the melody I have for it in my head, and make the music fit around that. I just think it’s an easier process to make the music work with what the concept is saying than trying to make words fit into a box [they don’t] want to be in.
ND: What is coming up?
MT: I plan on continuing to release a few more singles I’ve got up my sleeve in 2019. I’ll be performing a lot in LA and hopefully nationwide!
ND: Describe your style – musically and otherwise.
MT: I think of my music as soulful electro-pop with ‘90s retro savors. That’s probably pretty accurate to how I dress as well, although my wardrobe will change just depending on what mood I’m in.
ND: What is the best advice you’ve received and the best advice you can impart onto us?
MT: To practice! Every day. I even have to remember to do this myself, but your voice is actually a muscle that needs to be strengthened like anything else. Cultivating stage presence, or even feeling comfortable on stage, doesn’t happen overnight; you need to work at it. Keep getting experience however and whenever you can.
ND: Any closing words?
MT: I just want to say I’m so grateful to everyone listening and supporting my career. It means so much to me every time I get a comment or DM about my music. And If you like it, please follow on my socials and subscribe on YouTube! Every person helps make this dream a reality for me 😉
more Melanie Taylor