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MELFI

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MELFI, WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya Melfi thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

“It’s a decision I come to every day, and I think it comes from an innate need to be expressive. I’m always tapping my hand, or playing with something in my hands, talking in Australian or British accents trying to make people laugh. I think I was just born to make noise. Making music is just the ultimate way for me to do all the above in unique ways.”

Introduce us you and your musical history?

“The day that I really started was at the age of 20 when I first discovered audio engineering. I was taking online music classes through a recording conservatory based in Austin while pursuing my electrical Engineering degree at Binghamton. I was tasked with working in a recording studio as an apprentice.

One thing led to another and eventually I wound up recording, mixing, and mastering a funk ep for my friend and his band Funky Toona at Newclear Studios. While I was there, I was able to play with a massive suite of analog gear, learn console routing, how to mic instruments, and what techniques exist for each kind, how to organize a session and punch in takes. All these things fascinated me, and just blew me away at how my skills as an engineer could be applied to my passion.”  

What was life like for you before you started producing music?

“The first word that comes to mind is: uninspired. I’ve always had an insatiable need to create and toy around with sound, so whenever I’m not working on my craft I feel as though I’m just kind of wandering. Although I am mostly self-taught, I’ve realized that I will not be fulfilled until I’m able to dedicate all the time I need to fully immerse myself in songwriting, collaborating, and performing music.”

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

“Energy Drink by Virtual Riot. There was such explosive euphoria in this track with sounds I didn’t think were possible. I immediately took a break from studying for my finals to look up who this was and how it was done. I was brought to his Youtube channel with a bunch of tutorials. I went home and installed Ableton Live 9 and began trying to recreate those sounds in soft synths.”

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

“I feel as though I’m on the precipice of a breakthrough. My goal is not, nor ever has been, to be launched into the mainstream like some pop star or international sensation, I just want to inspire and be inspired.

I’ve made some serious strides in the quality of my work, and I’ve developed a unique sound that is derived from my own techniques. Soon I will have a certification in music from Slam Academy and I’ll be fully prepared to launch myself into a new tier of creativity, and I’ll be able to bring them to even bigger stages than I already have. I see myself approaching a territory of cultivating a vibrant community of producers, listeners, designers, and visual artists alike to share and take part in the creative process.”

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

“I learned this from my friend Barkin, check out his Spotify his music is sick. He taught me that my ethos of ONLY using sounds that I create can be an inhibiting factor in the creative process. Sampling is not a new concept and I think I developed a sort of anxious attachment to the idea that my music couldn’t be mine unless I did absolutely everything from scratch. This advice has enabled me to break out into new genres and experiment with different styles while remaining satisfied with the level of effort and intention that I put into my songs.”

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

“I’ve travelled to Japan, I cook a great coconut curry, I’ve never been to EDC”

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career, what would it be?

“I would wish for a mentor. Like an in-person mentor for me to run my ideas by and challenge my beliefs about my process to point out stagnation and where I can improve. I always believe I can do more, but this way it would be much more discernable as to what I can do more (or even less) of.”

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

“I think everyone will be misunderstood at one point or another, no matter what it is they are trying to say. Language is inherently reductive, and no one has the time to explain what it is they really mean all the time. Now that doesn’t mean you should go around instigating people or expect to hold no accountability for what you say.

My belief is that if you have good intentions, and you’re willing to put the time in to express yourself without harming someone, there’s really nothing that shouldn’t be said. If you are someone that carelessly whisks around insults at others, then I would advise looking inward and reflecting on why you think that’s an appropriate use of your energy and time.”

MELFI


Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

“I definitely subscribe to the existence of other life forms. It would be inconceivably significant if we were truly alone out here. We’ve only just barely scratched the surface with what the scope of our observable universe holds, there’s no telling what else we could find even tomorrow.”

What was the worst experience on stage?

“My worst experience would unfortunately have to be shared with my best one. I was doing a back-to-back DJ set at a show last year. It was a sick set, the crowd was jumping, we played some new originals that they enjoyed, overall, it went very well.

However, afterwards my costar got harassed by another performer who had made some reprehensible remarks about my costar’s personal choices and romantic behavior. It ended abruptly once this certain individual realized no one was on their side, luckily it didn’t escalate. All the while being in an environment which celebrated individuality, kindness, and appreciation towards one another. Although it wasn’t me that was target for this rhetoric, it still infuriated me that something like that would happen to a fellow artist at such an event.”

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

“I’m actually mostly self-taught. I’ve taken some basic music courses online when I was younger, but mostly I get my knowledge from Youtube creators, trying to remake songs by other artists, and my own tinkering with Ableton.”

What makes you stand out as an artist?

“My approach to songwriting and how I incorporate spontaneity in my songs. Each one features samples that I’ve either created in other projects, field recordings, or new takes of heavily processed material.”

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

“Now that I’ve rediscovered my passion for singing, this new single is a testament to that. ‘I Got You’ is a moniker of self-love and confidence. After embarking on my journey into electronic music, I became obsessed with synthesizing and crafting new sounds, always in search of my unique voice. Ironically, the one that seemed time and time again to escape me was one that could not be represented in an oscillator or drum machine; my own. After years of producing, playing the drums, and using samples from online libraries, I finally decided that now was the time to get comfortable and create a combination that would become unmistakably “MELFI’s Sound”.

What was the recording process like?

“It was a mixture of showcasing it to other artists and managing all the sounds I was able to fit into it while keeping the groove intact. The vocals poured out almost immediately after I laid the drums down. All the bass shots and little vocal chops I added were some flicks that I typically like to incorporate to add percussive slap and tonality to the track.”

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

“Definitely being comfortable with hearing my own voice. Thank God for pitch automation haha. Seriously though, I used to hate hearing myself because it sounds so foreign. Now luckily, I no longer see it that way.”

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

“I think I could have added some other lyrics and mixed the bass a little bit better. I wanted to but it felt right the way that I had done it and once that happens, I know it’s time to move onto the next work.”

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

“I want to say thank you for listening and taking the time to check out my other stuff, I always appreciate it when anyone does that. If you’re an aspiring producer or musician, I would advise you that NOW is the time. With all the technology and resources available there’s no excuse for being unable to create something. If you don’t know how to do something, look for a solution and I guarantee you there’s a video or thread about it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!”

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