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  • Bryon Harris

Mel Monaco

Mel Monaco, born in Northern Ontario CA, is a multi-talented musician who is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. Learning from her experiences and transferring them into lyrical melodies, Mel’s first release, “Anything Goes,” was quickly followed by her project “These Are Just Suggestions”. The second CD released April 2015 and hosts “Single Again” - 2016 Niagara Music Award “Music Video Of The Year”. Mel’s eagerness has landed her back in the studio this year to follow up on her latest music video “UNTAMEABLE.”

Make sure to check out her video here!

What got you into music?

As a child, I was very imaginative and energetic. The video games weren't cutting it for me! So, my folks put me in every extra curricular activity running in our small town. I learned of ceramics, horseback riding, badminton, but alas the one that always stuck with me the most was music. Having started out on stage in musicals, I quickly picked up piano at a young age. I ventured into violin, flute, drums, and guitar. I loved learning new instruments and writing songs about things that were going on around me. I always knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. And while the growing up never really happened…sometimes I still feel like a big kid with a reflection aging, it didn't matter, because I was eternally grateful for discovering my deepest and most sincere passion, playing music and songwriting.

What is your favorite part about being an artist or band? Songwriting, performing, recording, etc.? Tell us why.

I like it all! Can’t do one without the other…However, I would say my favourite part is songwriting, until you have a dry spell (generally in the depressed winter months), then songwriting seems a distant dream. But as spring comes to, so does my writing and it’s amazing! I love writing. I’ve learned to let the music come to me. It is more genuine and stylistically developed from previous writing when you don’t force yourself to write. There’s nothing like feeling accomplished (regardless if you like the song or not) when you write a piece of music and play it/record it for the first time!

Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?

I’ve had many different experiences in the studio. From working with session players, to building my own band and recording, to ultimately getting super creative and bringing in different instrumentation for one off performances on a song that just really needs it!. I love the studio, sometimes it is a little stressful, because as an artist you can often be a little hard on yourself but generally speaking…once you get past the performance jitters regarding permanency versus perfection…you come to terms with the fluidity of your career and music and life is good again! AND so is the studio! Anxiety drifts away. On a more personal note…I am an organized person, I love creating charts and building the song structure visually on a giant bristol board. Stickers and all.

As an artist or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?

If you aren't over coming obstacles, you aren’t growing. The biggest challenge to date would be when I transitioned some members of my band. Some members I thought would be with me forever. But sometimes the fairy tale becomes a comedy, or a tragedy, depending on how you look at it. It was important to recognize, like your writing…people change, people move and creative differences take place. All you got to do is remind yourself that you are strong and the music will carry on, just like you will ALWAYS carry on.

Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?

Oh! I would have to say, Brittany Howard of The Alabama Shakes. I’ve seen them perform a number of times and she just rocks each tune like it is her last of the show! The energy is sensational and so very memorable! Next would be Lady GaGa, her authenticity is contagious. I have been a true fan since day one…I would most recently say Leon Bridges, his new record is outta this world good!

If you could be granted one wish, right now, as an artist, what would you ask for?

1) A one shot music video, complete with flash mobs, slime, 80’s attire, and all my family and friends performing in it! 

2) Nation wide or possible European tour with my 11 piece backing band. Come on Ontario Arts Council Grant! Factor?!

What is on the horizon in the next year for you?

New EP in 2018! After releasing the monstrous album “Falling For The Third Time” in 2017. 16 tracks was an incredible journey to record. I’ve decided to focus on 3 tracks for the follow up to the album. I’ve titled it “Wishing, Waiting, Floating”. (November 2018). New flavour, fresh ideas, Fun tunes! Following that, working on music video to accompany the EP as well as getting that tour underway with all 11 members!

To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?

Tough question. Perhaps UNTAMEABLE or HOLD ME BACK. But I’m a firm believer, the best is yet to come. But in the meantime! Totally, UNTAMEABLE and HOLD ME BACK.

Tell us where fans can access your music.

#MelMonaco #IndieMusicInterview

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