For this week’s Spotlight On feature we’re focusing on Irish singer Melina Malone.
The Dublin born musician has recently released her first single Now Or Never, and is preparing for a number of upcoming gigs over the next few weeks.
Her soulful sound has caught the attention of listeners both in Ireland and internationally, and she has collabed with the likes of Mango x Mathman, Diffusion Lab and The RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
1. How did you first become interested in music and singing?
I’ve always been immersed in a lot of music growing up. Both of my parents are musicians and have been major inspirations for why I got into music.
I then went on to study vocals in BIMM Dublin where I met so many other great musicians and learnt a lot about what I wanted to do stylistically. I think being surrounded by other artists was a great motivator to work in this industry!
2. What are the inspirations behind your music?
I have a lot of Neo-Soul influences in my style from my earlier music, and I’m really loving electronic/ alternative R&B at the moment. Artists like H.E.R, NAO, The Internet, and Sam Wills are shaping the new stuff for sure.
3. How would you describe your sound?
Smooth soulful vibes with an electronic splash. I want to make people dance with my new music.
4. You have just released your debut single Now or Never – what can listeners expect from this single?
Now or Never is a groove driven electro soul track that explores the theme of spontaneity. We wanted to convey this not just lyrically but in the track arrangement with solid sections and countermelodies on guitar and bass.
The production and mixing on the track (by Steven McCann) is excellent and we hope that people enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!
5. What life experiences or issues motivate your song writing?
I like to write as if I’m telling a story rather than from life experience. A lot of my new music is about relationships, exploration of the self, empowerment, and freedom.
6. What are the biggest challenges for you when it comes to your music?
It’s frustrating that artists in Ireland can’t make a living solely on music right now. So many of my friends are working other jobs to fund their careers and it takes its toll on the creative process for sure. It’s really hard to find inspiration to write sometimes when you’re exhausted from work, but I’m hoping that people are starting to respect creatives more and pay them fairly for the work they do. Exposure doesn’t pay your billzzzzz.
7. What are your plans for the future?
I have some great gigs coming up over the next few months. I’ll be performing alongside Soulé on Thursday 14th November as part of Nialler9’s new series Fresh Mode at The Well in Stephens Green. You can also catch me supporting Shookrah on November 17th in the Bello Bar, and the lovely Celaviedmai on December 18th in the Workmans Club.
You might also see another release from me very soon I hope… Stay tuned to my Instagram for that! We have some big plans for 2020 with lots of new music on the way, and you’ll hopefully see us doing the festival circuit next year.