Originally from Carlsbad, CA, now residing in Hollywood, CA, Pop/Rock Singer-Songwriter Melanie Taylor is a 4-time award winner. In April 2014, Melanie toured the mid-West and took home two awards for Best Music Video and Best New Artist awarded at the 15th Annual Bare Bones International Film & Music Festival. In Hollywood at Universal CityWalk, Melanie won Best Pop Artist at the 2014 Artists In Music Awards. Melanie also took home the award for Best Dance Artist at the 2013 Artists In Music Awards. We got to know Melanie a little bit better in the interview below – Enjoy!
Entertwine: When did you get your start in music? What kind of musical background do you have that helped you develop as a musician?
Melanie: I started doing musical theater/choir/showchoir when I was like 6! So I’ve definitely had a LOT of rehearsal/ performance hours growing up that taught me to be comfortable in front of an audience, gave me a very serious work ethic, and just instilled an immense love in me at an early age for live shows. I also took 8 years of piano growing up, which taught me harmonics, and gave me an understanding of chord progressions for song writing. I feel like I didn’t really develop fully as a recording artist though until I was actually working on my project that ended up being my first full length album, All About.
ET: When did you find your sound? What attracted you to creating pop/rock? And how does your music and your sound stand out from the rest in your genre – considering the pop rock genre is a large (and competitive one!).
Melanie: It took a lot of discovery looking back at my first album, because I tried a lot of different styles within that album. I had to reflect on which style of pop from reggae, to rock, to R&B, to dance, which are all genres I love listening to – actually resonated with me the most when I was singing them live, and also which style people responded to from me the most. The rock aspect is just something I think that’s always brought out a higher level energy in me, especially on stage, and I love a lot of pop/rock artists that have greatly influenced me to do what I’m about to do now.
ET: Who are some of your influences when it comes to writing and performing? Why?
Melanie: Hands down Michael Jackson for his performance ability, and also his ability to so greatly feel what he was singing about. I feel like I always strive now to do the same in my shows. In terms of writing, Alanis Morisette has been the greatest influence for me lately. I remembered I had worn her “Jagged Little Pill” album out when I was a kid, and I so appreciate the rawness of that album, which is something I’m pulling a lot from for my current project.
ET: How did your local music scene of Carlsbad, CA (or more recently Hollywood, CA) influence or shape your sound as your career progressed?
Melanie: Well I think I’ll always have a very Southern California vibe in my music, just because growing up by the beach your whole life will do that to you. So while I said in the previous answer I’m very influenced by Alanis – I should also add that my music will take a much more positive outlook.
ET: Tell us about some of the awards you won – how did you prepare to win such awards, and was this something you expected to happen?
Melanie: This year I was thrilled to win Best Pop Artist in the Artist in Music Awards – and was definitely very active in promoting people on my social media outlets to vote for me, although you never know for sure so it’s always an amazing surprise to find out you’ve won! I also just won Best Music Video in the Bare Bones International Film Festival, as well as Best New Artist in the P.A.I.N Foundation – and both of those were completely unexpected but very appreciated!!! I put a huge amount of effort into that music video, and it was awesome to win something so great especially while I was touring out there in Oklahoma!!
ET: Which song would you say best encapsulates your sound off your latest release?
Melanie: I have a new song called “Dizzy” that I think is definitely hitting the nail on the head for what it is I’m trying to do as an artist. It’s fun, yet alternative and different, and of course extremely catchy 🙂 But it’s just one of those feel good songs you wanna hear while you’re driving with the windows down, and I hope a lot of people will do just that with it!
ET: What are your future plans for the rest of 2014? What can listeners expect?
Melanie: I’ll be releasing this new project probably by the end of summer, and we will also be putting together another tour around the same time!!
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