By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Influenced by artists like Madonna and Portishead, Toronto-based alternative electro pop artist Melotika recently unveiled a new deep mix of her past single “Bury The Bones,” produced by Sean Savage.
With the belief that society has an odd obsession with psychopaths, murder and lust, “Bury The Bones” fully embraces the haunting, suppressed dark emotions beneath the surface of an unhealthy, fictional love story and explores the perspective of someone with an “unsettling mind.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the singer-songwriter about her reworked single and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Toronto to someone who has never been there before?
Melotika – Toronto is culturally diverse and grand, sort of like the NYC of Canada! When I moved from Montreal to Toronto, I was blown away by the skyscrapers and how many people were in the streets and subways. Toronto is definitely a place to network, make connections and hustle! The city is filled with hidden treasures too – the lakeside beach vibe, the patios and the urban streets. Queen West is totally my go-to with the awesome shops and cafes! I always feel like I am young and on-the-go. It is such a fast-paced city. Toronto is a special place that can turn your dreams into a reality.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about alternative electro pop?
Melotika – What excites me the most about alternative electro pop is that I can be really playful and genre-bend. It sort of feels like at times, I created my own genre! Being inspired by alternative rock music and dance music, I feel like this is the perfect combination of two very different, but important worlds. Alternative electro pop allows me to express myself in many different ways. One day I can be dark, edgy and moody and the next, I can be bubbly, fun and loud! I do not feel restricted in this genre and stuck in a bubble.
Music Bugle – What inspired your artist name?
Melotika – Being partially French Canadian, the name “Melotika” was inspired by a play-on-words with my name Melany and musical references such as ”melody, le mélodie,” etc.. The idea came up in conversation back in 2016 with my at-the-time music collaborator Jackman Jones. We thought suddenly of making it more universal and simple and that’s when “Melotika” hit us! It sounded edgy, different and pop all at the same time.
Music Bugle – You’ve previously mentioned being influenced by artists like Madonna and Portishead. Could you go a little bit more into detail as far as what it was about them that drew your interest?
Melotika – I have been exposed to music from the 70’s and 80’s because of my parents growing up. I think the exposure has been a heavy influence on my music style. I often mention Madonna – just to narrow it down, but I am heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, Blondie, Queen and so many other icons from back in the day. I am inspired by Madonna the most because she is a symbol of strength, made big moves for women in the industry and her ever-evolving sense of style and music stands out. She is capable of recreating herself and doing something different each time she has a release and I love that about her. I mentioned Portishead as an influence for my “Bury The Bones” release, but there are so many more artists too! As a teenager, I really got into alternative rock, metal, indie rock and trip-hop. The vocals and lyrics by singer Beth Gibbons in Portishead resonates with me profoundly. Her tone and storytelling always gives me the goosebumps, along with Amy Lee from Evanescence and Maynard James Keenan from Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer. I believe when I am writing more moody music, inspiration from these artists shine through.
Music Bugle – What was it like writing “Bury The Bones” and what made you want to rework it?
Melotika – “Bury The Bones” is definitely a more experimental alt rock/synth pop track. I wrote this song in October 2019 with the intention of telling a fictional unhealthy love story. I recognized that society loves to obsess over lust, murder and psychopaths. It was also close to Halloween at the time, so maybe I was getting a little dark. (Laughs) While writing this song, I realized that I was channeling in some suppressed emotions from overcoming mental abuse many years ago and this song is my creative take on channeling these feelings. I often like to turn my negative emotions into art. We later made a horror-film vignette 90’s-style music video for this song! The rework was inspired by Sean Savage and my love for electronica music. He produced the original version as well and I love to let him play with my songs and see where he can go with them. I think it is becoming a thing that Savage and I made two versions of a song! There is always room for improvement and going further with a song. After sitting on a release, it is fun to recreate something new with what is already made. The electronica liquid d&b-inspired remix allowed Melotika to enter another realm and expose my music to this niche.
Music Bugle – What was your favorite music video to shoot?
Melotika – Oh, my goodness… this must be the hardest question in the universe right now, because all of them were so much fun in different ways. I must say however, filming “Joy Ride” must be it for now. Walking around half-naked, covered head-to-toe in silver body paint and looking androgynous-alien-like was such a thrill! I felt like a superhero for one day. People outside couldn’t resist turning their heads twice and checking out the scene! I always say I will do anything for art, whether it is running down the street in a pink prom dress with my feet bleeding or acting intoxicated alone partying on a condo rooftop. I just love the excuse to act nuts!
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a musician to stand out these days?
Melotika – I think social media makes it harder. There is just endless content out there and if you don’t have a huge budget, it is difficult to compete and have your pages stand out. The truth is that it is all algorithm-based. You may be the most talented musician or artist out there, but if you are not active online 24/7 showcasing anything and everything, you won’t be heard. For my mental health, I balance out my time and keep a healthy routine. I see social media as a tool and an amazing way to connect with a niche audience. I do my best to entertain my fans online and to keep in touch with them via DM’s. I believe a strong bond with your fans is crucial and more important than the numbers.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Melotika – Truthfully, it affected my life a lot. My partner and I were laid off our “day jobs” and ended up moving back to Montreal to make ends meet, as Toronto is a very expensive place to live. Moving was a lot of work in itself. Once I got settled, I started getting creative again and I am currently working on a new album with Sean Savage and possibly rereleasing new masters of my older works and remixes! The pandemic, however, was also a blessing in disguise because it allowed me free time to engage differently on social media and connect more with my audience – my rebels! I started doing livestreams and posting my journey a little more and noticed an increase in engagement and streams! Earlier this summer, we did a fun giveaway t-shirt and CD’s and other merch. It is so much fun!
Music Bugle – What has been the most memorable moment of your music career so far?
Melotika – My partner that I have been with for five years is a Toronto-based alternative hip hop artist named Krosst Out. The most memorable moments of my music career is hustling with him in the scene – organizing local shows and traveling together to different parts of Canada to do shows. Not knowing what will happen at each show has been a blast for us! We had both extremes of a packed venue versus an empty bar performing in front of two people. The journey is exciting. Knowing where we came from, having very little knowledge and connections in the scene at the beginning, we really grew together and helped each other out. Another one of my most memorable moments is actually a really funny one. In Spring 2019, I was performing at the Mod Club in Toronto. Using my microphone on stage and the venue’s cable, somehow during my set, the cable flew off my mic about three times! Every time it flew off, I turned around and did a cheesy dance move to not make it obvious and Sean Savage would be behind me, DJ-ing and trying to keep his cool. Too funny… these moments you will never forget!
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Melotika – Through my music platforms, not many people know too much about me behind the music – and besides being obsessed with my cats! I’ve worked for many years as a barista in cafes while working on my music career. Not many people know my passion for coffee and that one of my goals to invest in is to open up my own cafe! I also studied psychology and addictions. I worked for a bit in the field and would love to reciprocate in the future and help fund rehabilitation centers and do more volunteer work. I also love traveling, photography, painting, gardening and behind the Melotika scenes, I am often my own graphic designer and costume designer!