Pop/Soul/Jazz singer-songwriter Melody Federer may be unfamiliar to many, but once you share contact with her, whether it’s at a performance, on a record, or in my case, a conversation, you will definitely fall in love with her realism and humbleness. There are no gimmicks about Melody, she has witnessed her fair share of ups and downs in life and love and her music are expressions of those experiences. Check out my conversation with Mel as she talks music, relationships, trust, learning herself and more.
For her birthday: I have this business guy that I’ve been dating, and he’s really sweet. He saw that I just came out with a single, and he invited a lot of our friends over for a click party. They were just clicking on the video [laughs]. I also worked; I had to play at the Hilton.
The Single “Lie to Each Other” and Real Life: I’ve been in a relationship like the song says that you really get attached to somebody. You love them, but your not really in love anymore and your just kind of sticking around because you don’t want to let it go. I guess girls are more sentimental.
Turning The Tables: I wouldn’t want the guy to lie to me, but I’m very sensitive to situations especially when I have a connection with someone, so I would be able to tell miles a head if he was out of the game. Then I would probably leave.
Graveling with Trust: I come from the south and since I was a little girl, my mom would be like, ‘you can’t sleep with the guy, he’s not going to marry you.’ My dad was the same way, he was all about make the man respect you and he may lose respect if you give in too soon. So it’s constantly in my head, at least for the first six months I’m thinking ‘what is this guy really after?’ I'm usually tough on guys when it comes to trusting them.
Where It All Started: I’ve been singing since I was a kid. My dad was Pastor then, he tried to run for congress a couple times, and he would have me stand up on chairs wherever we were at and sing the National Anthem. Or when there were some people around he would say ‘tell Melody some words and she will make a song about it.’ He kind of taught me how to play piano as well. But I guess it really started when I fell in love for the first time and got my heart broken. I had this guitar my older brother gave me and I was living alone in DC, and I just remember picking up the guitar and writing a song about how I felt about the end of that relationship. From there, I just kept doing it.
When I was 18, I would put on a pretty dress and sneak into the Marriott and play the piano like I worked there. It’s ironic because now I get paid to go play in a lounge every night.
Inspiration: My older brother got me into Joni Mitchell at a really young age, Cat Stevens, fish…the real singer-songwriters, which helped me appreciate the craft. I was till I met this French piano player that I really started getting into Jazz. When I moved to Paris, he was really tough on me; he would make me listen to Louie Armstrong and other legends in slow motion.
Transition to the second Album: The transition is pretty major, because of all the transitions I’ve gone through as a person, as a woman, and as a musician. I think up to this point my life and music kind of revolved around the person I was in love with because I’ve always been in love with musicians. The last album I was with a 1930s piano player and before that it was a guitarist…this is the first time, living in LA, I was totally on my own. I had to get on my own two feet, I had to find myself, playing on the street, playing my own originals, getting a job, paying for my own apartment all by myself. So I think these songs come from a more pure place of my personality.
Learning self: It’s probably been the most important year of my life to me. I’ve always been a gypsy before this, I’ve always lived with other people, at times it was on coaches. I came to realize that when things started getting too tough or complicated I would pack my bags and go, without telling anyone goodbye. This year, I met this manager, who has been a huge mentor in my life, helping me to learn to stick things out. Every time I would say I don’t want to do something, he would just say “that’s for cowards, If you’re going to be a real artist, if you’re going to make it in this business, you have to stick it out, you have to be honest with people, have integrity and show up.”
Music: It’s my life; it’s the force that keeps me going. I pick up a guitar, and it feels natural, same when I sit down at the piano. When I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking about song ideas; it’s just kind of an obsessive thing.
Take From The New Album: For people who listen to this album, I want them to get the suspense of love and find out who they really are. Once you find out who you are, you’re able to have better relationships because you’re not faking. I think the album is about that.
Losing Music: I would probably just die or become obese and become a nun.
Hobbies Outside of Music: I’m kind of nerdy I guess because I really like going to the bookstore any chance I get. I get a real kick out of reading and meaning strangers and hearing their stories. I love spontaneous traveling as well.
Celebrity Crushes: Michael Buble and Zach Candon of Beirut. If James Taylor was a little younger, maybe!