I am learning how to expose myself as an artist on different social media sites and it has been fun. I guess the only “cons” would be that I feel that we do not have the greatest fan base yet and getting our songs to play on the radio has been difficult. – @melotikamusic
Listen to the Live interview
Episode #351 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/08/17/episode-351-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW MELOTIKA
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Mel Yelle & Mista T Dot
Mel Yelle. Unfortunately, in today’s society (in my opinion)
it seems to be more about being popular, making the big bucks and marketing yourself more than about the music and truly connecting with others. With technology advancing, if you’ve got the money, it is easy to be an “artist”. A lot of “artists” have other parties back them up and compose, produce, etc, and they perform what they have been told to do. It is a difficult industry for sure for people like Mista T and myself who come up with original material, we are not very known, and to compete with bigger “artists”.
Mista T Dot: I think there is room for independent artists
in the mainstream and I think there will be a huge change in that aspect. Other than that, the music business is a tough business but I love it.
Mel Yelle. So far it’s been very good and easy going.
With my music releases, I am for now taking it slowly step by step. I am learning how to expose myself as an artist on different social media sites and it has been fun. I guess the only “cons” would be that I feel that we do not have the greatest fan base yet and getting our songs to play on the radio has been difficult. A couple of college radio station played our track which was awesome. But the bigger stations it is harder to get into. This is all normal, as it is just the beginning! I am confident that when we have more singles to expose, it will get easier.
Mista T Dot: Our work schedules can be conflicting at times.
I’m changing my work schedule in September so that I have more time to make more music. The big pro for me is I get a chance to work and learn from some of the best people in the business and I get to challenge myself everyday.
Mel Yelle. For now, I think releasing singles is the best way to get recognized.
Nowadays, it has become more trendy to release singles online vs. someone going out to purchase a full album; especially if it is not a very known band/artist. We are new artists and not many people know who we are yet. Releasing singles slowly along with music videos introduces who we are and what we are about slowly, to get people ready for when in the future we release a full album. We started off by opening up our social media pages, releasing images from our photo shoot with our track online on soundcloud and youtube. All summer we promoted the song and eventually got it available on itunes, Amazon and Google Play for purchase. The next step is to release the music video for the track. We did not want to release everything at once. Promoting the one song step by step, slowly, we thought, was the best way to break into the scene and introduce ourselves. We will be doing the same for the next 2 songs and hopefully each time we will get more and more listeners to eventually have a decent size fan based to put out small gigs.
Mista T Dot: For now, the urban pop genre is a new challenge for me
so we plan to release two more singles and see where it goes from there. Also, I’m working with two other artists. One of them is Nina Brown, an accomplished r&b singer here in Toronto, and she is releasing her E.P. this month and I produced a track for her called Own It, an r&b club banger, which is on Itunes. We will be doing another r&b track together this year. The second one is Lindsay Clark, a former singer from the band Heaven’s Muse. I finished another r&b club banger instrumental this year and she is currently writing the lyrics to the track so I’ll be doing that track with her as well. Mel is going to be working with other artists too.
Mel Yelle. Social media is useful and fun in the sense
that you can communicate with other like minded artists and music lovers from different parts of the world. Our generation is now extremely blessed for having such opportunities. It allows us to network and meet different people we would not have had the chance to if not for the invention of internet and social media. It also allows us to be more flexible, and have more exposure. It is definitely a great way to promote music, music videos, photoshoots and blogging. We have now on our FB page started podcasts where we would have people tune in and chat with us! It’s been great.
Mista T Dot: Social media allows us to reach more people in the world today.
We are using facebook ads and twitter a lot to get our music to the masses. We also use Instagram and youtube and soon to be snapchat.
Mel Yelle. I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
I’ll say Michael Jackson. He was one of my idols as a child. I always thought his style was unique and he truly opened the gateways for urban, r&b and pop music. If I had 5 minutes alone with MJ, I’d beg and ask him to collaborate and make a great dance track together.
Mista T Dot: I’m inspired by James Brown and Prince…
One was an innovator on the stage and the other was an unbelievable musician.
Mel Yelle. Music Business…
As I mentioned earlier unfortunately, in today’s society (in my opinion) it seems to be more about being popular, making the big bucks and marketing yourself more than about the music and truly connecting with others. With technology advancing, if you’ve got the money, it is easy to be an “artist”. With this going on, I find it difficult as an upcoming artist to get recognized. We put a lot of work and time into our songs and invest on getting our work mixed with the right people. I believe the second way of doing things, and a more meaningful way, is with hard work and pushing yourself, you can find the balance and break in the scene. What makes us unique is that we are doing everything ourselves. Mista T comes up with the beats, he created and produces with his gear. I write the lyrics and sing and create harmonies etc. I also take charge in promoting ourselves with editing the photos for photo shoots, creating a logo for Melotika with our partner Elysya (who also filmed the video and is the photographer of our images) placing it on social media, I am also currently editing our upcoming music video. I take care of the promotions and media work so that keeps me busy! Together Mista T and I sit through mixing sessions of our songs and get creative with the mixing engineer to ensure we are on the right path.
Mista T Dot: I think there is way too much emphasis on trying to be trendy,
especially in music but I’ve always been original and I think Mel is the same so we try to make our music unique and different from everyone else but impactful and fun.
Mel Yelle: As my parents say: before I learned how to talk, I was singing.
Since day 1 I was into music. Singing was my greatest hobby along with dance lessons. I remember as a young girl performing in front of my family pretending to be the spice girls! Dressing up, singing, and doing choreographed dances, making an “Oops I did it again” by Britney Spears music video with my family in New Hampshire for fun. My parents were very open and supportive. My father is a drummer, I grew up with music in my blood. My father would encourage me to sing and would play Journey and Styx records and allowed me to sing with a microphone in the living room. We would also watch musicals such as the Rocky Horror Picture show. My mother would design me costumes to let me get creative and perform for the family! My favorite song growing up was I love Rock N’ roll by Joan Jett. In elementary school I would participate in singing and dance shows as well, and at the age of 11 I took singing lessons while continuing dance classes. My brother and I began at an early age listening to Eminem and other artists as such, and would learn the lyrics and rap together. In high school I called myself “musical instrument A.D.D.”. I was not able to focus on one instrument: I tried trumpet, bass, drums, other percussion and piano. All I ever really wanted to do was sing and write lyrics at that time. I would try in my later teens forming bands just for fun to jam as I grew very fondly for heavy metal, progressive rock/alternative and rock n’ roll. From the age of 16 21 all I ever did was go to Rock concerts, metal shows, EDM festivals raving to Zeds Dead, Paper Diamond, Bassnectar, Datsik, Excision etc.
As you can see I am well diverse! How I got seriously involved in producing was after attending a recording school. Since I was 6 years old, I wrote short songs and poems. In my teens I continued practicing writing lyrics as a hobby. When I was 21 I decided to quit my plans of studying social working to pursue music. I attended a recording program where I got to learn how to use analog boards, sound systems, producing software, musical knowledge etc. I grew a desire to learn sound design and synthesis. I bought myself a synth KORG MS 20 through a friend of mine and began experimenting and creating my own sounds. I learned how to do live sound and manage the sound for a show. I also learned how to do studio recordings and recorded a few bands in the past 2 years and mixed and produced the tracks. Producing is a very fresh and new skill of mine. I am still learning. There is always new technology, and new things to learn.
Mista T Dot: I would have to start at the beginning when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old.
My mom and dad are huge music fans. My parents played records from many different artists back in the 70s and 80s. The late 80s and early 90s is when I started dancing and going to clubs. Fast forward to 2009 and a chance conversation I had with my D.J partner in crime, DJ Duck. I was mixing at some of the parties he was doing and I told my new years resolution for 2010 was to learn to be a DJ. That is exactly what I did. In 2012, I started to take music production classes at the Noize Faktory. I did a few remixes for some local artists in Montreal then in 2015 is when I started to do my own bootleg remixes to some rnb club bangers. This year is when I decided to start doing original work so even though I started late in my life, my musical roots go all the way back to when I was 4 or 5 years old.
“Downtown Summer ft. Krosst Out”
Mel Yelle: Originally in mind Mista T wanted to call the track “Downtown Summer”.
The beat he created made sense to me so I began writing around this theme. The point was to create a positive song “forget the grind and feel the flow”. That’s what it’s all about. Sometimes a person needs to let go and just feel the flow. With all the chaos going around and tragedies, we feel that the world needs a little more positivity and that is what we are trying to promote in this song. It is a simple idea. We want to encourage people to let go every now and then, and just dance.
Mista T Dot: A friend of mine asked me to put a beat on a song
from an artist she was managing at the time cause she wanted the track to be on radio. Since she knew I was good at making urban beats, I did just that. She liked it and his other manager liked it but the artist didn’t like it. So I was left with this beat. I put out an ad on craigslist and kijiji asking to work with other artists, dj, and producers. First person that answered was a producer by the name of Richard Vetro. I came up with the idea to do a summer song based on the track cruel summer by Bananarama. So I sent him the beat and he came up with the music. I put everything together and the instrumental was made and it came out exactly how I wanted it. The second person to answer the ad was Mel Yelle. We met up, she listened to the instrumental, and she loved it. The lyrics she came up with captured exactly what the instrumental was all about and I was amazed by her musical knowledge as well. We both came up with the name downtown summer, loosely based on the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars track, Uptown Funk.
Mel Yelle: Funny story, only in studio did I come up with the main melody line:
“Downtown Summer” we now hear for the chorus. Originally I had another idea and we did not feel that it was strong enough. I just “winged it” and it turned out awesome. From there we continued on with the rest of the idea for the chorus that was already done.
Mista T Dot: Krosst Out, who came up with the rap verse for the track,
had some more ad libs for the track. So he was the one who came up the “grab your grandmas” and “ should there be more ad libs there”. Let’s just say it was a funny and amazing moment in the studio when it happened.
Mel Yelle. As Mista T Dot and myself only met in February,
for now we will be only releasing singles and hopefully an EP in the future. As I mentioned above for the previous question, we feel that the world needs a little more positivity and that is what we are trying to promote. Our second track that is in the making is another urban pop tune, with lyrics a little more deeper than “Downtown Summer.” The upcoming track is about youth, and the struggles of growing up in the society we live in today and having a more positive outlook and ending. The idea with my songwriting for these tracks are to be honest, and open about situations along with the idea of encouraging people to let go every once in awhile. Hopefully this way we can connect with others.
Mista T Dot: Well, Mel and I, even though there’s a huge age difference between us lol,
we are on the same level musically. You can expect our music to be lyrically impactful and will make you move. Downtown summer was made to be positive and catchy and everyone who has heard the track has told us it was stuck in their heads, which to me is the greatest compliment.
Mel Yelle. I grew up in Montreal and the outskirts around.
Montreal is a very artistic city that is open to many different art forms. I feel blessed for growing up in an environment as such. It was very inspirational. Partially the reason I wanted to become an artist. People love going to shows whether it is heavy metal or EDM. The festivals in Montreal are wild and I had a blast growing up and being part of the music scene. Going to Montebello’s Rock Fest 2 years ago was an experience I won’t ever forget. The crowd was mature and unbelievable. It felt like woodstock. People just connected with one another and knew the words to every single song.
PikNik Electronik on JeanDrapeau island is a place I recommend for a sunny Sunday listening to electronic dance music. If you are an Urban Bohemian like myself, you would appreciate hanging around the plateau on Mont Royal and visiting the small cafe’s and antique shops and thrift stores. I love underground shops!
As much as I love my home city, I fell in love with Toronto as well. It is so grand and lots to do! I find myself more successful in Toronto as an artist which is why I moved here. The music scene is very different around and I am excited to break in. There is more people, and more musicians eager to network and create.
Mista T Dot: We’re both from Montreal but we both live in Toronto.
The music scene is rich in diversity and talent. There are a lot of places to go to see live talent especially on Bloor st, Queen St, King St, and even Ossington St. One fun thing I like doing is listening to old school hip hop and r&b.
Mel Yelle. “Over thinking, over analyzing, separates the body from the mind.”
This is a quote from my favorite band Tool sung by Maynard James Keenan in their track “Lateralus”. The reason is clear: the meaning is to not overthink things. And I try my hardest to go by this. The less I over think and the more I just do the better the turnout.
Mista T Dot: Two of them actually.
From IceT “you want me to write soft rhymes, I’m sorry I can’t, I rock the rhythm”. From Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest) “Told you in the jam that we can get down, now let’s knock the boots like the group Htown”
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