It was an absolute privilege to be able to interview Melanie when I was in London recently. We caught up in Chinatown and she took me to her favorite chinese restaurant. Over yummy food we got to have an incredible catch up and I was blown away by what Mel had achieved in the past few years with her music. Originally from the UK, Mel spent her teenage years in Christchurch, New Zealand; which is where I first met her- we were 17! Lots of great nights out and fond memories of the 'Sing Star' Parties at her house - she always won, and now we know why!
Fast forward 12 years and Mel is now starting to get traction in the UK music industry and I think she is one to watch in the years to come. I love her mix of passion for music and her sound appreciation for the business side of what she does. She gave some great tips in the interview; not just for those in the music making business, but in any business! I was particularly impressed with how she has used mentors and producers to help level up her brand and abilities - something we can all easily forget! I am stoked to be able to share some of her experiences to help inspire others to become Lifetime Creatives!
1) WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Melanie Grant and I am a singer/songwriter from London. I was successfully chosen out of 200 people to be given the opportunity to create my own EP. I’ve have been in the recording studio creating and writing music with an amazing producer. I would say that my style of music is soulful pop with and indie twist.
I currently work at IMG (International Management Group) which is a sports, media and events company. Working here has given me the flexibility to go to the studio, having this support and encouragement from my work has made it easy.
2) What is exciting about producing your own music?
It is amazing! I have enjoyed being able to create an EP from my own songs. I have absolutely loved every single moment of the creative process in bringing it from a thought / idea to a melody, to written lyrics. Now that my debut single is out I get to share it with everyone and I love that I can do that. I find music in general brings happiness to the people who listen to it and I want my music to do exactly the same.
3) What are the challenges?
I suppose it’s like starting a new business you have to get the brand out there and make it grow. In this case I am the brand. So I have to market myself, which at times is a bit surreal but equally exciting. My debut single has just come out so it’s now about approaching radio stations, record labels and other media platforms something my team at my studios are involved with. The challenges are all part of the journey nothing in life comes easy, the biggest reward at the end of the day would be that I never gave up.
4) Tips for starting A business or brand?
Get to know the industry and how it works. The last thing you want to be is a puppet getting told to do this and do that. I think it’s crucial to get involved at every stage of production from the creative process, to what happens after the song has been mastered, and if you don’t like something don’t stay quiet, voice your opinion.
Always work at your craft. I find carrying a notebook around to be very handy, as you might be out and about and something might spur an idea or inspiration for lyrics or a song.
Get to know yourself as an artist. I think it’s great to have artists that inspire you however you don’t want to be a clone of them, so create your own identity and be unique.
Create a YouTube channel and do cover songs, by doing that you can start to gain a following.
Find a studio where you can record your original material, this will come at a cost but if you want to put your music out there on platforms such as ITunes and Spotify or even approach radio stations you want to give them a professional representation of your work.
Don’t give up. If this is what you want to do as a living then keep hard at it. Everyone’s got to start somewhere. Determination is key with this industry and also having a thick skin. You’re going to find that not everyone is going to like your music but that’s ok because there’s going to be people who love it, and that’s what matters.
5) How major has it been having a producer and mentor?
Huge! My producer has worked with industry professionals and has a name for himself back in the USA. I feel so incredibly lucky to be working alongside him which has altogether been a completely inspiring experience. I would be in my session watching him compose a melody and I’ll be thinking “Wow, just wow! This guy is a musical genius”. I had great trust in him to produce something amazing with all my four songs, I feel he’s has done just that.
6) In Five years?
Within five years I would like to be an established artist. I would like to have an album out, collaborate with other artists and musicians. Have one of my songs in a Movie and tour both nationally and internationally.
For now, I am going to focus on getting the right exposure for my debut single and my upcoming EP which is out January 2017.
- Melanie Grant, Melanie Grant Music
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