Now Reading: Interview: How Upcoming Artist Alexa Melo Turned Her Tragedy Into Success


Interview: How Upcoming Artist Alexa Melo Turned Her Tragedy Into Success

June 19, 20186 min read

Singer/songwriter Alexa Melo is out of hiding and ready to show everyone what she’s capable of. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Los Angeles, Melo independently released her self-titled debut album at the age of 20.

Soon after her career began picking up momentum, the singer had to get emergency surgery on her vocal cords. She was forced to take a year off for vocal rest. However, after much reflection and self-discovery, Alexa has written and produced a new EP that is set to be released in September 2018. Mute, the four-song EP, goes through all the struggles and pain that Melo felt when recovering from her surgery.

In this interview, Melo divulges about musical influences, the heartbreak she felt after surgery, and her rise back up again.

How did you get started with music and who are some of your musical influences?

My family was never very musical so what got me into music is a bit of a mystery and sort of puzzled everyone around me growing up. My mother was very supportive though so she absolutely helped me hone my craft from a very young age. My musical influences have changed with each chapter of my life, but as of right now, as a songwriter and producer I’m very influenced by Radiohead, Bjork and Pink floyd. I love the psychedelic pictures they paint with each album. They don’t just create songs, they sort of create portals into these sonic landscapes and that’s something I aspire to do.

What was your reaction to learning that you had to get emergency surgery on your vocal cords and be put on vocal rest?

Devastation. But that moment wasn’t even the worst of it. Being completely derailed from my musical path post-operation, and having my voice never quite return to its prior state almost completely destroyed me. The anxiety it’s created in me is still very present. The trauma from that whole experience, I feel, is very present in my voice.

Who are some of the people that have stayed by your side and motivated you through the difficult times?

My best friend Lukas was extremely vital in my recovery, emotionally. After over a year of not being able to sing, my well being was completely broken down and he was there to support me in anyway he could. Also, the producer of my first record, Christian James Hand stood by me and kept me strong during this time, I want to also shout-out the vocal coach who became a true friend of mine and was one of the kindest people to me when I really needed it, Carol Tingle. She was so supportive, and got me singing again eventually. I owe all of them a huge “thank you”!

What was the inspiration for your EP MUTE, more specifically your cover of Crazy?

Well, my cover of Crazy isn’t featured on MUTE, so they’re separate inspirations. Crazy was a spontaneous art project that my Videographer and I randomly did for pure fun! MUTE is an EP I wrote and produced in my room while I was completely isolated from the world because of the vocal cord surgery. I performed most of the songs while my voice was barely functioning so the character of my voice on the recordings is very vulnerable and meek in comparison to my prior releases. I titled the album MUTE, because I felt physically muted, but spiritually as well. At the time, I also found myself going through a breakup from a 4-year relationship and the music is me processing that transition during a time I felt muted in all aspects of my life.

Courtesy of Alexa Melo

Did you always envision yourself making music and gaining a following like the one you have now?

I definitely hoped for it. I am extremely grateful for the support I’ve gained this year. I hope my following will be as excited about my original music as they have been about the covers. fingers crossed.

What do you want to tell your fans about future projects and what to expect?

I’m so excited to share my upcoming EP and music videos with them! I’d say, expect some darkness. I’m not sure people see that side of me in my cover videos but the music and videos I’m about to release is very emotionally charged, I’d say to expect completely unfiltered and raw emotion from me. I absolutely didn’t hold back on that front… I tried to be completely shameless.

Cover Image Courtesy of Alexa Melo/Twitter

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Esme Marfo

I'm a 19-year-old sophomore at GWU. Love reading, writing, and listening to music. I'm also interested in social justice and equality. #UnapologeticallyBlack #BLM

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