In Conversation With: Melan
DMV-based singer-songwriter Melan shocks the world with her soul-striking EP, A Cool Girl Dream. In many ways, Melan has proven to be the rose that grew from concrete. After releasing her debut single “Full Moon” in 2020, Melan has been hitting the ground running with back-to-back anthems. Carving out a lane for herself in the music industry.
A Cool Girl Dream is a seven-track EP, close to twenty minutes long. Each song allows the listener to experience a different side of Melan, gracefully. Melan touches on topics from self-love, heartbreak, and healing to being free and present. The choice of her production style on this project reflects her multifaceted personality. The overall production in the project borrows sounds from a wide spectrum of genres, ultimately molding her own distinctive sound, heavily entrenched in alternative R&B. Furthermore, “A Cool Girl Dream” serves as a guide for young women navigating this complex maze we call earth. A gentle escape from our current situations, into a place where we can breathe and come out feeling rejuvenated.
A Cool Girl Dream features a couple of notable producers including “Gxnzx”, who produced “Own True Lover.” Nevertheless, we caught up with Melan and had a deep conversation about her life, new EP, and more!
Tell us a bit about where you are from
I had a pretty nomadic upbringing and moved about ten times within the U.S and abroad so I’d say I’m someone from many places. DC is the place I’ve been the longest and it’s definitely shaped me the most so I call it home.
What were some of the challenges you faced when writing A Cool Girl Dream? Did this past year in lockdown help or take away from your ability to create the project?
As a new artist, it’s been a learning process. From finding collaborators and studios, deciding which songs to release, and learning about the industry and logistics of releasing music, while also staying in tune with the natural creative flow and having fun with it.
I released my first song in October 2020 and the lockdown honestly propelled me to finally take music seriously. I’ve dreamed of releasing my first project for the past 5 years. Having that time post-college and taking a break from traditional “work” allowed me to reflect on life more deeply and truly focus on what I love to do. It felt like I had so much creative energy that was just ready to be used.
Listening to your music can be healing and has a meditative aspect to it. Is that a reflection of your lifestyle?
Thank you! That’s my intention. My life is centered around healing for sure. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I believe we’re all here to uncover unique lessons from within and around us, so we can grow into our most happy and healthy selves. I do my best to create a lifestyle that is most healthy for me and the Earth. I’ve also worked in the holistic/plant-based wellness realm for some time so that’s helped support me on this path.
Meditation, yoga, journaling, nature, and plant medicine are major tools for me, but music is the thing that can help me get through my lowest moments. It helps me honor and transmute any emotion and experience. The music definitely heals me first, and I feel very blessed that it can also have that effect on other people.
Your music is very versatile. For example, Lime Green is a song I can play when I want to get into a vibe in the car on the highway. At the same time, Sunbeam puts me in a state of relaxation and makes me want to light incense. Is this parallel to your multifaceted character as an individual?
Yes. I’m all about duality and I think we all are for real. We have so many dimensions to us as humans and I like to tap into all of them. Through what I wear, where I go, and what I make. I want to create music for any mood. My whole life I’ve had to be very adaptable so it’s definitely in my nature to switch things up and be spontaneous. It feels refreshing.
It’s exciting to see the variety of what I can create and I think that’s the beauty of pushing yourself as an artist. I’ve always listened to many genres from folk to alternative rock, to soul. I just love music. There are so many vibes I’ve yet to tap into.
Which genre would you put your music into, if any?
I think I fit into Alternative R&B. There’s a nice fluidity there. I sing but I also just melodically flow on a beat sometimes.
Is there an overall theme or message in this project that you would like to let your audience know about?
A Cool Girl Dream is about honoring my girlhood and making way for my womanhood. Self-actualization and independence are prevalent themes. It’s about paying homage to everything that’s made you who you are, and embracing what makes you special. It’s 7 tracks, some new and some already released. The track “What is A Cool Girl?” really summarizes it.
The project is sonically abundant and has a solid range. Was there careful consideration when picking the production style?
Yes, I think this speaks to the duality again. It’s slow, a little upbeat, then slow again. Each song is its own little world and the beat brings it to life.
Who are some of your influences in music?
Sonically and just overall: India Arie, Bjork, Astrud Gilberto, Corinne Bailey Rae, Frank Ocean, Aaliyah, Joni Mitchell, Sade, Little Dragon, Nouvelle Vague, A Tribe Called Quest, Lauryn Hill, Madlib, Michael Franks, Earl Sweatshirt, Beautiful Chorus, Nujabes, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, MF DOOM, Kid Cudi, Zero 7, Willow, Alina Baraz, Choker, Jhene Aiko, and Best Coast.
That’s a random mix but all of these people have influenced me and inspired the music I want to make.
What can we expect from Melan in 2022?
More music. More visuals. Hopefully more shows. More healing offerings from new adventures I plan to go on!
If you enjoyed our chat with Melan, check out our interview with music trio Your Yasmin!