Known on stage as her alter ego Melotika, Mel Yelle is redefining what it is to be an Electropop artist. Also referred to as non-commercial Retro Pop, her sound is heavily influenced by artists such as Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, Madonna, Evanescence, Metric, Portishead, Silversun Pickups, and music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Blending eclectic and stimulating sounds with carefully crafted, infectious, dance-able tunes, she stands for self-confidence and embraces individuality. Her lyrics are always laced with a deeper meaning, and her music offers a form of escapism for anyone who feels confused or alone.
Getting to know Melotika
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
This question is great because most of my rehearsals occur in the shower. I always found that singing in the shower was so liberating. Especially when I’m home alone and no one can hear me, the acoustics and reverb in the bathroom are the best for practicing belting! The hot steam of the shower also clears my lungs for better performance.
Do you have a cherished childhood teddy bear or other stuffed animal sitting on your bed at home?
I do! Her name is Miss Kitty. I had her since the first day I was born. Currently, her eyeballs are all scratched up and I painted glitter nail polish to make up for it. Her clothes have been destroyed by a dog when I was a kid, and my grandmother sewed on patches to fix her up. I remember 3 years ago our building had a fire alarm. The first thing I thought before running out of the house was, I have to get Miss Kitty. As a kid, I literally brought her everywhere.
If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be?
REBEL SPICE! I think that is well-fitting for me. I have always been the outcast with very few friends growing up. A part of me always broke the rules and I never enjoyed following them. Embracing individuality and calling on others to discover the beauty and confidence within themselves is what Melotika is all about. I always tell people to be their own bad-ass.
What’s your least favorite personality trait you like about yourself?
It is still a working progress, but I am trying to stop over-thinking and to stop thinking so little of myself. Most of the time I feel I am not good enough and always wanting to improve, which is a good thing. But the noise in my head at times really can put me down. At the end of the day, I am always competing with myself and I am my own obstacle to overcome. I tattooed these lyrics from my favorite band Tool, “Overthinking over analyzing separates the body from the mind.” I have this on me everywhere I go as a reminder.
If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?
I definitely want to learn German properly someday! My grandparents are from Austria and Yugoslavia and speak German. I always wished I was taught to speak German and much as I was taught to speak French and English being bilingual. I have a couple of goals: Definitely going to wrote a song in French someday, and it would be amazing to do something in German.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
If I got to chose who I would open for right now if shows were going on and if I had the opportunity, I would open up for The Weeknd and ideally in Canada. I really think it is important to grow in your home country, and I have been told by many of my fans that even though the style of Pop music is different, I remind them of a Lady Gaga/Cher-like version of The Weeknd which has been such an amazing comparison! I think opening up for The Weeknd here in Canada would be a magical experience if that were to ever come true. The Weeknd and I definitely share some of the same vibes. He is also currently one of my favorite Canadian artists.
Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing or is it hindering the experiences you can write about?
At first the pandemic was quite hindering. I had my last live concert on March 6, 2020 right before we all went into full lockdown. I was pretty devastated and confused that all my upcoming concerts were cancelled. After moving back to my home town Montreal during the pandemic, I found solace during this pandemic and inspiration to look over some un released and unfinished songs. This lead me into writing and recording an album. It got me to take a bit of a step back and think about what direction I truly wanted to go in with my music, and what stories I wanted to tell. After back and fourth exchanges with my producer Sean Savage, we created a collection of songs that are inspired by 70s Disco, 80s new wave and a hint of 90s music. Sort of like a time machine album filled with Dance Pop songs that truly define who I am today and tells my story.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I am focused on my upcoming album Dancing Without You that was written and recorded throughout 2020. I had just released the second single off the album ‘Crazy’ on April 16 2021. The music tells a deranged story about obsession and the craze behind falling in love with someone new and reveals cliché concepts and emotions often expressed through modern film, music and social media. The full concept album Dancing Without You is expected for release in late Fall 2021! It is a collection of songs expressing the true turbulent emotions I felt in my late teens/early 20’s, and what brought me into making music to begin with. Stories I have never shared before which is exciting. After 3 years of releasing a debut EP, multiple singles, and collaborations, I am ready to continue pushing boundaries and genre-bending. Working with Sean Savage as producer of the album, we crafted just the right sounds to bring my lyrics and stories to life. Covid-19 restrictions make it hard to create bigger productions. I am forced to get more creative with my DIY approach as a singer, songwriter and artist. I have picked up video making and creating my own music promotions. You will definitely expect more DIY music videos and content!
What about your music is rebellious, unconventional, or unusual?
Most of my songs challenge social norms and inspires others to be themselves. I think what makes my music rebellious and unconventional especially for today’s Pop music, is my traditional and unique sound. Often I have been rejected from press, blogs, and playlists because I have been told that my voice is too low and risky. I do not sing in the current trendy fashion that is a little more current in today’s popular radio. I am heavily inspired vocally by Madonna, Lady Gaga, Amy Lee and many vocalists from the 70s and 80s. I really think it is important to think outside the box and to remain true to yourself. Conforming to satisfy others is the most damaging thing you can ever do to yourself.
Does your music fit into your local scene? If so, how do you take advantage of that? If not, do you see that as an obstacle and what do you do about it?
I never found my music to fit much in the local scene. It was always hard for me to book gigs in the genre I create. Often I have been thrown onto the bill of rock bands and rappers and I would be the only Electropop singer at the venue. I am definitely grateful for these experiences as they allowed me to practice performing on stage. I have only been doing this for 4 years. This would work to my advantage ironically as my songs would stand out at the shows, and I’ve been congratulated by others for being brave performing in such a non-fitting environment. There is definitely a huge market online for the style of music I compose. Exposing and promoting myself through social media got me to reach countries all around the world and I have made new fans in this virtual world. This is going to be my ideal route moving forward and starting June I will be streaming live concerts from home.
Melotika Is Giving You More With Her New Disco Pop Single ‘Crazy’— Second Official Single Off Forthcoming Album Dancing Without You.
In her latest single ‘Beautiful Disguise’ that introduced her forthcoming album Dancing Without You, Melotika touched on feelings of heartbreak, self-reliance and what it’s like coming out of a toxic relationship. She breathes new life into older lyrics that still ring true for her today. Now, her follow up single ‘Crazy’ tells a deranged story about obsession and the craze behind falling in love with someone new. Melotika stays true to her off-putting statements revealing turbulent emotions often expressed through modern film, music and social media.
“I wrote this song 6 years ago. The original was a jam demo done with some musicians I met during my first Summer living in Toronto.” Melotika shares. “I still resonated so much with the lyrics and knew that I would definitely reproduce this once I finally get to establish myself as a recording artist.”
“‘No empathy for the one I call my own, now I’m stuck in this place all alone’ is the first line that ever gave me the cold shivers,” she adds. “At the time I had just moved to a big new city. Within a day the words were flowing on paper. I was sitting on my roommate’s kitchen table with the task at hand to compose lyrics for a song that was passed down to me. This lyric describes a society that lost all sense of control and self-worth. It was definitely a transitional period in my life where I was getting to learn about myself more, and I couldn’t keep back from observing the world around me. Everyone seemed so obsessed and in their own head. With social media becoming huge, it was clear that the idea of connecting with one another changed drastically. People seem to have no remorse either for their wrongdoings. The world felt empty ironically while I was falling in love with someone new.”