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  • Q&A: Take Aim with Alexa Melo

    Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:27:08

    Q&A: Take Aim with Alexa Melo -

    She is 20 and has lived a long music industry life already—find out how!

    L.A.-based artist Alexa Melo released her debut, self-titled LP on June 2.

    Alexa has a pretty unique backstory: she signed to a major label at 14, after teaching herself to play guitar, bass, piano, ukulele and more, but was shuffled from producer to producer over the next six years, writing over 13 albums of material.

    Yes, we said 13 albums of material! Cray, right?

    Melo ultimately parted ways with the label, because she refused to abandon her guitar and conform to their pop star visions. #GirlPower.

    Now at 20, she's finally releasing a debut album that stays true to her rock roots, drawing influence from artists like Radiohead, Björk and Pink Floyd. Every sound and voice on the album was created by Alexa herself.

    See what we mean? She is 20 and has quite a life's worth of experience, in terms of the music industry, and her debut is all the better for it.

    What happened to those 13 albums worth of material? That's quite a treasure trove, girl!

    The 13 albums worth of material still exists and is currently on my hard-drive on deck for whatever opportunity that may arise where the songs might come in handy. Some of those songs will be available on my Soundcloud at some point in the near future on a playlist titled B sides. But most of them will likely stay idle or be recycled into a future official album.

    Twitter-size your bio -- your choice of 140 words or characters, if you want to get technical -- and tell us everything we need to know!

    20 year-old Alexa Melo is an independent singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist and the front-woman of her L.A.-based, six-piece band.

    If you were not doing music, you would be...

    If I weren't doing music for myself, I'd be producing or writing for someone else, making music videos for other artists or playing an instrument in someone else's band. But if music couldn't be involved in my life at all—like if I were to go deaf— I'd have to get really good at painting or something. Otherwise I'd have no creative outlet, I'd drive myself mad and probably become a murderer.

    Any non-music hobbies, talents or skills?

    None! And I'm not kidding. I'm pretty much deficient in every other aspect of life. I used to write novels, make short films and act, but I figured out very quickly that my skills were limited to music. So that's the avenue I've stayed on!

    Pick ONE song on your record and share a writing or recording story. Something intimate, that you haven't told anyone else (or at least a bunch of writers or journalists) and that which puts us in the moment with you. Let's get intimate, shall we?

    'Call This Love' is the one song on the album that is probably the most misleading in its lyrical content. It sounds as though it's the usual heartbreak power ballad, but it's not about a romantic relationship at all. I wrote it early last year after the original version of this album was rejected by the record company I was signed to at the time.

    At that point, I was at the end of my rope after five years of rejection and having my hopes built up only to be disappointed again and again by that record company. It was exhausting and emotionally taxing. I was being told that the entire album would be scrapped if i didn't write a surefire pop single. In that moment I was in the depths of a spiraling depression and I felt very trapped in my own skin.

    I began obsessively trying to write and produce a pop song for weeks and weeks in my room with some creative guidance from my producer, Christian James-Hand. I wrote 'Call This Love' about the record label at like 3 in the morning after spending the whole month pulling my hair out and spitting hooks into my microphone with no usable results.

    'Call This Love' is admitting to myself that my relationship with music was deteriorating under the microscope of the label and possibly causing irreversible damage to my spirit. I sent Christian like 20 'pop' songs for him to evaluate with 'Call This Love' as like an extra bonus. I told him that that one wasn't to be assessed but just to be listened to. It ended up being his favorite out of all of them, and even though it wasn't a pop single, we produced it up anyway. After successfully leaving the record label six months later, it is now featured on the album.

    Finish this sentence: Alexa Melo is the artist that...

    Alexa Melo is an artist that will never compromise her art.

    That much is clear. We so admire Alexa Melo's ability to hold on and on her terms.

    —Amy Sciarretto

    Alexa Melo's self-titled debut is available now.

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