Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Little Bit About Mel

Melismatic was voted 'Best Blog of the Day' on April 20th, 2009.

Blog Awards Winner

Several blogs that I frequent have a little section where they talk about themselves. For most writers, this is a bit difficult to write about, because it feels borderline narcissistic. However, considering my blog is now 100 entries, and several months strong, an indicator to myself more than anything else that I have a degree of commitment to Melismatic, I figured why not give you a bit of insight inside the mind of Mel. I apologize now if I bore you, but it was you who chose to click on this link. ;)

My given name is not Mel, it is in fact a pseudonym I have personally adopted in order to feel more free about speaking my opinions. It's not that I do not stand by them, because I do. It's a matter of wanting to be honest not just to my readers but to myself. Mel is short for Melisma, a musical term.

melisma (n.) (mi-liz-muh) - an ornamental phrase of several notes sung to one syllable of text, as in plainsong or blues singing. (read: Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston's riffing)

Melisma is a phrase I've been interested in for a long time, mostly because I was so deeply influenced by R&B music since a very young age. Hence the name of the blog: "Melismatic", the adjective form of "melisma", because I am often describing both music and musicians in this blog. Bet you didn't think you'd get that in depth of an answer, now did you?

Mel Elsewhere On the 'Nets: Twitter, Last.FM, Tumblr

Personally, I am a lifelong music fan. I was born in June of 1987 in a mid-level city in upstate New York, when Atlantic Starr's "Always" was the number one song in the United States. My first real experience with music, so at least I am told, was later that year upon the release of the quintessential 80's film "Dirty Dancing" starring the incomparable Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The love theme song "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" was all over the radio at the time, and my mother testifies to the fact that despite being about five months old at the time, my whole face would light up whenever the song came on the radio, and I would "bop" to the beat, giggling fiercely from the core of my belly. I guess you could say I was destined.

The first album I ever "bought" was Mariah Carey's "Music Box" in 1993, when I was six. The album spawned the singles "Dreamlover" and "Hero". Mariah instantly became my own personal 'hero'. I used to line up my stuffed animals and sing into my hairbrush or pencil, wavering my little hand to the riffs as I heard them through my humungous stereo system in our den. I would close my eyes and pretend I was on a stage, pretend I was Mariah.

Other early favorites include Whitney Houston's "Whitney", TLC's "Crazy Sexy Cool", Janet Jackson's "Janet." and En Vogue's "Funky Divas". The latter was my absolute favorite, and I still listen to it all of the time. I used to play dress up and act out "Never Gonna Get It" by myself (as I was an only child), not really understanding what "it" was.

The switchover to pop music was basically a sneak attack on my R&B focused mind. It was thanks to three little blonde boys from Oklahoma, better known as Hanson. The boys broke through in 1997, when I had just hit double digits in age, the youngest in the band being just two years older than me. Their debut, "Middle of Nowhere", began my journey into adoring pop music. Not long after, the Spice Girls began dominating my youth culture, encouraging little girls everywhere to chant "Girl Power". I still remember going to birthday parties in the 5th grade when all we'd talk about was the television show "Boy Meets World" and work out dance routines to "Spice Up Your Life."

Shortly after the Spice Girls' star began to fade, the boy band invasion began to take over America, thanks largely to the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. If you were a preteen/teenage girl in 1999, you had to choose a side. You couldn't pick both. It was un-American and unconstitutional. I, of course, leaned on the side of *NSYNC, which led to three concert experiences, endless hours of recorded performances on VHS, lots of posters cut out of teen magazines, and even more screaming. I think just about everyone has to go through that experience with some musician, and I'm glad mine was *NSYNC.

During this time, a time before mp3s were the main currency of music and new releases, I vividly remember waking up early every Saturday morning to listen to Rick Dee's Weekly Top 40 radio program. I would eagerly write down all of the chart positions, clamoring over the changes from week to week to whoever would listen, and would keep each week's position safe in a plastic black binder. No joke. I still have it. I would also tape various songs live from the radio broadcast onto a tape so that I'd have a real copy. This is recognized as illegal now, but I was rebel when I was 12.

In 2001, shortly after the dominating effects of September 11th, I was 14 and found out about a latina quartet called Soluna. I began following their career, which led to helping form a national street team for them with two other fans, that was not only recognized by their label, Dreamworks Records, but more importantly, the girls themselves. After several concert trips to far away cities (Chicago is a long way away from upstate New York and is even farther when you travel alone and you're just 15 years old). I'm proud to call all of the four women in that now defunct group my friends, and I continue to follow their careers to this day. It was through working with Soluna that I truely began to realize that music promotion was what I wanted to do with my life. It was my calling.

In 2005, upon graduation of high school, I made my transition into college, still at a safe upstate state school, majoring in music industry, with a minor in Spanish. I finished up this degree in May of 2009.

In late 2006, I was approached on MySpace by a fledgling girl group then called Bliss, made up of a trio of New Jersey teenagers, who had recorded a cover of "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money. The group would later become the Candy Coated Chaos of today, and I began developing a street team idea, complete with fansite www.cccfans.net to help promote the group. I've been in contact with the group ever since, again following their career despite their premature breakup in 2009.

In late 2008, I accepted an internship at a prominent record label in New York City and recently made the transition to living in the big city, beginning the internship in January of 2009. Now graduated from college -- I'm living life in the USA's biggest city trying to find where I fit in...

Thanks for walking this walk of life with me.


A said...

Hey! My name's Matt Mariner. I'm a 16 year old pop/rock artist from Boston MA. My single "For the Best," produced by Ric Poulin. is creating a buzz in although from Boston to the U.K. I would love for you to consider me for an interview on your blog.


or visit my MySpace: www.myspace.com/mattmariner for more info.

Thanks :)

A said...


My name is Marcia and I represent teen pop/rock artist Matt Mariner from the Boston area. I am just checking to see if you received our inquiry about considering promoting Matt on your site with a feature or interview.

I hope to hear from you,

Warm regards,

Marcia for Boria Management

Fueled by never-ending persistence and steadfast determination, Matt Mariner is making a name for himself in the music industry. Already at the age of 16, Matt has performed from Boston to the Caribbean. He signed with a top talent agent at age ten, has appeared in television and film, and was even invited to sing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2006. He has now teamed up with Boston's premier artist development Bristol Entertainment (responsible for signing Jada to Universal Motown Records). "For the Best," was produced by renowned producer Ric Poulin, and is creating a buzz on Clear Channel, Taff Air Radio, Dixie Radio, Planet Net Tunes and all over Boston. It will have a physical release this spring. For more details please check out www.myspace.com/mattmariner.

tristanclopet said...

Hey there,
My name is Tristan Clopet and I’m an indie-singer songwriter with a rock edge. I’m based in Miami, but I’m known in 57 countries and am building up a wide fan base.
I’m writing because I saw your site and really enjoyed reading some of the articles. I have a new EP out called "Purple" and I think that you and your readers would like it. "Purple" has been described as a mix of Jeff Buckley with a pinch of funk. It has the perfect balance of songs – from those that are ideal for sitting back and relaxing, to those that make you want to get up and dance.
‘Purple’ has gotten great reviews from sites such as J!-Ent, Totally Her and Everyview
We’re offering it for whatever people want to pay for it. I know time is scarce, but if you could give it a review, I’d love to read it. Even if it’s negative, I really respect your taste, and would be interested to hear what you think.
If you’d like a physical copy of the cd or a t-shirt, shoot me a size and a mailing address and I’ll be sure to get one out to you.

A few links to check out:
Homepage: http://www.tristanclopet.com
Download “Purple” here: http://tristanclopet.com/download
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tristanthemusic
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SussexRecordings

Best Regards,

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